Thu10022014

News

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics


The Town Crier chronicled the first election of Los Altos City Council incumbent Jarrett Fishpaw in 2010 and documented the Los Altos candidacy of Jean Mordo, who volunteered as a longtime public servant in Los Altos Hills before moving to the flat...

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Schools

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system


Courtesy of St. Simon Parish School
St. Simon fifth-grader Matthew Cummins uses a laptop in class last week. The school’s cloud-based Schoology system boosts organization and collaboration.

Families at St. Simon Parish School in Los Altos laun...

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Community

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos main library is among the more popular branches in the county library district system, set to celebrate 100 years.

In 1914, Babe Ruth made his debut with the Boston Red Sox, wages hit $5 per day, the first ste...

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Sports

Eagles eye another stellar season

Eagles eye another stellar season


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High outside hitter Carmen Annevelink, right, goes for the kill Thursday against Palo Alto, as teammates Sarah Tritschler, left, and Lulu Kishton prepare to play defense. The Eagles won the match in straight ga...

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Comment

Torok, Walter, Dave for MVLA board: Editorial

There’s really nothing major you can criticize about the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District. It offers a diverse array of effective programs for all types of students. Its instructors, with few exceptions, are outstanding.

Howe...

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Special Sections

'Funabout' Fiat

'Funabout' Fiat


Photos courtesy of Fiat
The 2014 Fiat 500e uses 29 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles, which the engineers claim is the equivalent of 116 mpg of gas use. It has a sticker price of $33,095.

If you believe in climate change, would love to see alternat...

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Business

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground


Ted Fagenson

An East Bay app developer is testing his newest creation in downtown Los Altos.

Ted Fagenson, co-founder of Skrownge (pronounced “scrounge”), told the Town Crier that he’s beta testing his mobile gaming app this week ...

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Books

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween


Courtesy of Dee Ellmann
Jenny Hurwick self-published her picture book last month after decades of storytelling.

During her years working as a teacher and a Los Altos mom, Jenny Hurwick loved to tell stories. One tale she crafted for her son just se...

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People

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

July 27, 1953 – August 12, 2014

Native Los Altan died Medford, OR. Graduated Bellarmine Prep. Married Josephine Domino, 1950. Licensed Auto Mechanic, Private Pilot, skilled Computer Scientist. Tim “could fix anything”. Afflicted with cancer 2001. ...

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Travel

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup


Rich Robertson/Special to the Town Crier
The sun sets over the Aegean Sea in Bodrum, Turkey, left.

Tours that whisk you from Istanbul to Bodrum in 11 days are as plentiful as souvenir hawkers in Turkey, but traveling from the Blue Mosque to Topkapi ...

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Stepping Out

'Gypsy' on its way out

'Gypsy' on its way out


Chris Berger/Special to the Town Crier
Alison Koch of Los Altos plays Dainty June in “Gypsy.”

This is the final weekend to catch the Sunnyvale Community Players production of “Gypsy” at the Sunnyvale Theatre. The musical is slated to close Sund...

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Spiritual Life

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Herman Lukwago educates children in Uganda.

Imagine life if your father had 25 children and you were raised in poverty in rural Uganda.

Now imagine that you and your siblings were orphaned at an early age and you ass...

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Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Clef Hangers bring the joy of song: Los Altos resident leads choir on quest to coax smiles


Courtesy of Carol Park
The Peninsula Clef Hangers are set to embark on another season of entertaining local seniors.

The Peninsula Clef Hangers, a women’s chorus of approximately 40 volunteers, perform to bring smiles to the faces of seniors during their December and April holiday concerts at retirement facilities and nursing homes in the Los Altos area.

Directed by Los Altos resident Joan Sprague since 1991, the Peninsula Clef Hangers will soon restart rehearsals and are recruiting new members. Members must be available for Tuesday evening rehearsals in Menlo Park. No prior choral experience or audition is necessary.

The choir was formed 40 years ago when a group of community volunteers wanted to bring entertainment and holiday joy to the senior community. Some chorus members are musically trained, some are not. The group rehearses for 10 weeks between September and December, performs approximately 15 concerts in two weeks and then breaks before renewing practice for the April concert series. Each concert season finishes with a party, and the singers gather for several potluck suppers during their May to September vacation.

Members of the choir sing its praises.

During a performance of Christmas tunes at a convalescent home, a silent resident (due to a stroke) began singing along. When tears rolled down his cheeks, his wife cried with joy, said Los Altos soprano Helene Hills. In another instance, a comatose senior started tapping her feet.

The choral performances trigger profound emotion in the singers as well as their audiences.

“It’s a feel-good thing to go and sing for our audiences,” said alto Margo Harris, a Los Altos resident. “A lot of the seniors don’t have family or anyone visiting them. The music talks to them.”

Another Los Altos choir member, Mary Ann Balkenhol, recalled that musical performances were the highlight of her mother’s days at an assisted-living facility.

Balkenhol said joining the Peninsula Clef Hangers has helped her handle loneliness and sadness. After her husband died, she realized that she needed to expand her world.

“Though I have only an average voice, I love to sing,” she said. “I saw the information about the Clef Hangers in the Town Crier and decided to give it a try. I like filling one evening a week – the time I feel most lonely. I particularly like the fact that the commitment is not so all-encompassing as to make me feel guilty if I miss a rehearsal or performance. I enjoy our potlucks and the socializing before choir begins.”

For more information, call Teri Waldman at 964-9127, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit home.comcast.net/~zbyte/clefhangers.html.

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