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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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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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