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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Childproof? Ha!: A Piece of My Mind

It happened just like they warn in the emergency care manuals.

We had been having houseguests with small children all summer. We had childproofed the main rooms with all the breakable gewgaws put away. We had taken the cleaning supplies out of the children’s bathroom. We had the toys in an easily accessible closet and locked the door to the attic.

But we had not hosted a 2-year-old in years.

It started just like they warned it would: “Where’s Joshua?” “I thought he was with you!”

Then the search began. He was not in the kitchen. Not upstairs. Not next door at Grandma’s. Not visible walking up or down the street. Finally, his dad found him – in the master bathroom. It had never occurred to me to make this part of the house off-limits, because no other visiting child had ever ventured into this part of the house without escort. There were about a dozen bright-red ibuprofen pills scattered, some smushed, on the bathroom floor.Never underestimate the tenacity of a 2-year-old.

An unopened box of ibuprofen pills, flaps still glued, had been shut away in a drawer. Joshua had opened the drawer, found the box and ripped it open.

Inside was a “childproof” bottle, the kind where you have to press on the sides at the same time as you turn the lid. No problem for Joshua: He bit down on the lid with his gleaming, white baby teeth and turned. Off came the lid.

The contents were kept fresh by a vacuum-glued, foil-lined seal. Many are the times I have sworn at these seals as I tried to pry them off with fingernails, toenail clippers or scissors. Again, no problem for Joshua. He gnawed through the seal like a roof rat gnawing through an orange.

Then, fortunately, he spilled half of the pills on the floor. His dad found him as he was trying to replace them in the bottle.

He told us that he had not eaten any of the pills. Maybe he was a little scared because he had spilled and smashed some and made a mess. Maybe he knew he was in trouble and told us that he had not eaten any so that the trouble would be less. We all watched him like a hawk for signs of drowsiness, stomach pain, nausea – nothing. Two-year-olds are tough.

There had been other close calls for toddlers in my experience. Once my little brother fell out of the car as it was going around a corner. He just opened the door and – poof! – he was gone. (This was before the days of seat belts and child safety seats.) Once my grandson slipped out of his flotation jacket in the swimming pool and was two feet down before I grabbed him. But these were accidents of poor design, not carelessness or lack of oversight. This time I felt responsible – I should have been more vigilant.

For the rest of the visit, “Where’s Joshua?” became my mantra. Even with my elevated level of surveillance, it was amazing how quickly the 2-year-old could be gone. Once he got as far as the end of the street, down by the unfenced creek. “Where were you going?” “I was just walking.”

Happily, Joshua survived the visit. His curiosity is no longer my immediate problem. But his visit left me with a lot less complacency about the safety of my home and the adequacy of my imagination in recognizing hazards. The next time I have miniature guests, I’ll invest in padlocks.

If the guest is Joshua, he will probably find bolt cutters in the garage.

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