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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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Tape the pieces: The Rockey Road

Let’s try something. Grab a piece of paper and write your name on it in big letters. Around your name, list things that make you happy: an activity, a person, a place, whatever you’d like.

Next, ask someone – a co-worker, a family member, a stranger on the street, anyone – to suggest things that might upset you, for example, if someone criticized you or put you down or if your team lost because of something you did or did not do.

Some of the ideas mentioned may bother you and some may not. If one of them might have a negative impact and really upset you, tear off a sizable piece of the paper. If something might bother you a little, tear off a small piece. After five to 10 scenarios, ask the person to suggest things that might have a positive impact. If anything mentioned would make you feel better, tape a piece of torn paper back onto the sheet: a large piece for something important to you and a small piece if it matters, but not too much.

What you now have in your hand is a representation of yourself: once whole, then torn and then put back together. You may look a little different, maybe some of the pieces don’t fit exactly and maybe some are still missing.

As we go through life, bits of who we are inevitably get torn off along the way. When big pieces are ripped off and we’re left with a gaping hole in our souls, it can feel as though no tape in the world would be strong enough to put us back together. But we have to find a way. If we don’t, we will continue to live with anger, frustration, sadness, embarrassment or whatever it was that caused us to come undone.

Finding peace within you usually takes a fair amount of understanding and forgiveness. You have to recognize what’s important and choose your methods for mending accordingly. Although the scars may be hard to hide, they are the bonds that remind us of our achievements.

So how is it that some people seem to carry tape around and some never seem to have any? Well, the truth is that everyone has tape on them. You just have to know where to find it and how to use it properly.

I can’t tell you exactly where yours is, but I do know that you have to focus to find it. However you choose to focus is up to you. It helps to get into a zone, tune the world out and concentrate on one thing, whether it’s a physical exercise, something artistic or perhaps simple deep breathing. Whatever you do, you have to be mindful of that intention and allow whatever has wounded you and blurred the vision of what’s important to you to be obliterated and dismissed. Only then will you have a clear view of the big picture, and only then will you find your tape.

We are all walking around in a taped-up state, some more than others. It’s what gives us character and compassion. I’m glad for my tape, and I don’t mind if the seams show, because I know they give me strength.

If you are looking at your piece of paper, you’ve completed an exercise in self-esteem that was administered in a seventh-grade class a few weeks ago. When my daughter explained this to me, I asked if there were a take-home message.

“Yes,” she said. “It was to show that we might get our feelings hurt and torn, but we can be put back together, and even though we may not look the same, at least we’re still in one piece.”

It seems to me that all of us – seventh-graders and grownups alike – could benefit from this nifty little exercise.

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