Tue09302014

News

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Two candidates have filed to run for the District 7 seat on the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors in the Nov. 4 election. The water district, established in 1929, oversees and protects water resources in Santa Clara County....

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Schools

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Suzanne Woolfolk, assistant principal at Los Altos High, teaches a leadership course for Associated Student Body leaders.

Suzanne Woolfolk – new assistant principal at Los Altos High School – said she is happy...

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Community

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival


Courtesy of Los Altos Chamber of Commerce
The petting zoo is a highlight of the Los Altos Fall Festival. This year’s event is slated Oct. 4 and 5.

The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its 23rd annual Fall Festival 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oc...

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Sports

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High halfback Sean Lanoza looks for running room against Burlingame in Saturday’s home opener.

The opening drive of Saturday’s game against Burlingame couldn’t have gone much better for the Los Altos High fo...

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Comment

Does Los Altos have a parking problem, or is it a symptom? : Other Voices

Yes, and yes. It appears that the downtown Los Altos parking problem is a symptom of the city’s “Sarah Winchester” approach to planning that instead of resulting in staircases to nowhere resulted in a hotel without parking required by code.(1)

From ...

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Special Sections

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market


Courtesy of Matthew Anello
The Shoup House dining room, above, features original elements. The 100-year-old house on University Avenue earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, a nod to its legacy as the home of city founder Paul S...

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Business

Longtime banker readies for retirement

Longtime banker readies for retirement


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Joanne Kavalaris is retiring at the end of October after spending the past 25 years of her banking career in downtown Los Altos.

A longtime Los Altos banker is calling it a career in a few weeks.

Joanne Kavalaris, Bank o...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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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

Pear builds wonderful 'House'

Pear builds wonderful 'House'


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Betsy Kruse Craig portrays Trish in the Pear Avenue Theatre production of “House,” which closes Oct. 5.

Mountain View’s Pear Avenue Theatre is staging an unusual theater-going experience – producing two plays...

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Spiritual Life

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 add ...

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Remembering the mysterious Tom Clancy

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p>As you may know, popular and respected author Tom Clancy died recently at age 66. I confess, I have not read his books, but I have really enjoyed the movies based on his books, including, “The Hunt for Red October” (1990), “Patriot Games” (1992) and “Clear and Present Danger” (1994).

Clancy was deep into technology, military tactics and geopolitical maneuvering – things best shown to me on the big screen rather than recounted in detailed writing. (I would just glaze over, thrilling as it is.) His final book, “Command Authority” (Penguin Books, 2013) is due out in December.

I especially related to Clancy because he wasn’t a best-selling writer from the get-go. In fact, for a while, like myself, he was an insurance salesman. He wrote “The Hunt for Red October” (Naval Institute Press, 1984) in his spare time and sold it to a publisher for $5,000. The story goes that he had hoped to sell 5,000 copies and was thrilled when it sold 45,000 copies. And then it gets really good. President Ronald Reagan picked up a copy and called it “my kind of yarn,” which sent sales through the roof. (I hope he had a good royalties clause written into that book contract!)

There are still a few outstanding mysteries in Clancy’s backstory that will probably be recounted in due time. Where did he get all that intricate military knowledge? The Naval Institute Press had to cut 100 pages of technology from his first book. He joined the Army Officer Training Corp but was ultimately unable to serve because of his nearsightedness.

Following his initial literary success, he developed friends in high military places, but, frankly, I try not to picture them giving him sophisticated, detailed military information. Maybe he had a mole. OK, that’s just me being jealous of his brilliance. Forget I said that.

And then there is the mystery of his rather sudden death and the secrecy surrounding the cause. His adoring public doesn’t technically need to know the cause, but reassurance that he wasn’t murdered for his conservative political views might help those of a like mind sleep a little better. What if he himself became “a clear and present danger?” Now I’m scaring myself. (I’m done with the Internet on that topic.)

On a lighter note, did you know that quite a few famous people (that we know of) started out in the insurance industry? To name a few, television producer Mark Burnett once worked in an insurance office. Anne Rice, the queen of vampire literature, including her novel “Interview with the Vampire” (Ballantine, 1997), worked as an insurance claims processor before writing her first best-seller. Harland “Colonel” Sanders’ was also once a very successful insurance salesman. Olympian Bruce Jenner held a job selling insurance outside of training hours, which supported him in the years prior to winning at the Olympics.

I’m just saying ... it’s comforting to know that sometimes really talented people have to straddle two worlds to become famous in one. Salespeople everywhere, take heart! Make your quota early and then devote yourself to your passion. When Plan A doesn’t work out, it’s good to have Plan A/B in place.

Sharon Lennox-Infante is a Certified Life Coach who lives and works in Los Altos. For more information, visit SharonLennox.com.

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