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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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Mother-daughter duos flourish through National Charity League community service


Courtesy of Jean Ikeda
The National Charity League’s Stanford Hills Chapter, above, has grown from 22 girls and their mothers in 1987 to more than 150 mother-daughter pairs from Los Altos and surrounding areas.

Some consider volunteering a sporadic weekend activity, but for local mothers and daughters involved in the National Charity League’s Stanford Hills Chapter, service is a long-term commitment with a clear intention.

“I would hate to see what my children’s lives would be like if they weren’t in situations where they had to dig deep inside themselves and give back and miss something every now and again,” said Los Altos resident Lisa Carmel, reflecting on the organization’s impact on her two daughters.

When Carmel heard about the National Charity League – an invitation-only nonprofit group that fosters mother-daughter relationships via philanthropy, community service, leadership training and cultural engagement – she was immediately drawn by the opportunity to spend more time with her daughters. The time spent together during activities was a finite resource that she came to appreciate as her girls gained independence in high school and left home for college.

One of 154 chapters nationwide, the Stanford Hills Chapter has grown from 22 local mother-daughter pairs in 1987 to more than 150 pairs today.

Once sponsored by a member and selected by lottery for induction in the organization as sixth-graders, the girls, known as Ticktockers, and their mothers make a commitment to serve in rotating leadership roles and fulfill at least 15 hours of community service annually over the course of the six-year program, which ends when the girls graduate from high school.

Chapter president Jean Ikeda, a Los Altos resident, has two daughters involved in the National Charity League. She noted that the organization’s three pillars – leadership, culture and philanthropy – seamlessly build on one another. Whether supporting the work of national nonprofits or community organizations including The Terraces at Los Altos, the Community Service Agency, Hidden Villa and the Ecumenical Hunger Program, according to Ikeda, mothers and daughters learn that service intrinsically develops character and values.

“NCL has opened my eyes to the poverty and need in my own community,” said Ikeda’s youngest daughter, Krissy, who is in her third year of the program. “I have had experiences that have enabled me to realize how much I can help other people.”

Kristin Link is another Los Altos mother who saw the National Charity League as a tool for instilling a lifelong habit of giving.

“When you live a privileged life, you give back, period,” Link said.

Link added that reading about the underserved in the newspaper is different from coming “eyeball to eyeball” with someone who needs a meal. Participation in the National Charity League offers her and her daughter face-to-face opportunities at shelters and seniors centers.

Despite the normal teenage resistance to waking up early on a Saturday or missing movies with friends because of the service projects, Carmel, Ikeda and Link agreed that the National Charity League experience encouraged their daughters to be more thoughtful and socially responsible.

“It’s fun to see the kids become teenagers and begin driving, to see them embrace it on their own and commit to giving back without you,” Carmel said.

Carmel added that older daughter, now a freshman in college, is evaluating sororities based on how much service they incorporate in their identities – a clear reflection of the mark the organization leaves on participants.

For more information, visit stanfordhillsncl.org.

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