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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Author touts joys, advantages of 'prime time' fatherhood


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Len Filppu reads from his new book, “Prime Time Dads: 45 Reasons to Embrace Midlife Fatherhood,” at Linden Tree Books.

When Len Filppu became a first-time father at the age of 49, he was nervous about it.

“I worried about falling asleep at Little League games, drooling like Homer Simpson,” he told a Nov. 8 gathering at Linden Tree Books in Los Altos.

Filppu, author of the new book “Prime Time Dads: 45 Reasons to Embrace Midlife Fatherhood (Bright Lights Press, 2013),” appeared at Linden Tree to sign books, read excerpts and offer his off-the-cuff, humorous perspective on later-life parenting.

While he acknowledged that fatherhood at an older age isn’t for everyone, Filppu called having children later in life the “absolute best thing that ever happened to me.”

The retired corporate communications specialist, now 62, pointed to his daughter, 13, and son, 10, in the Linden Tree audience.

Prime-time fatherhood worked for him, Filppu said, because focusing on his career in his youth allowed him the financial security to raise a family later.

“I was able to travel around the country,” he said. “Had I had children in my 20s and 30s, I would have been inhibited from doing that.”

Filppu said the life experiences that come with maturity are a big plus for raising children.

“You know more about people,” he said. “You know more about your own shortcomings.”

Another advantage, he noted, is losing the pretense and not being afraid to “act like a clown.” He recalled playing Captain Hook on the playground.

“My son immediately joined in the game,” he said, adding that before long, another 30 kids were playing with them, raising the eyebrows of curious parents. “I worried they might think I was the local pervert, but I sensed a touch of private admiration.”

Other benefits involve a change in attitude and philosophy. Being older, Filppu said, made him say yes to his children’s requests rather than “maybe later,” because time was more precious – and later might never come.

“When they ask me, ‘Dad let’s shoot baskets,’ instead of putting it off, I get myself up to do it,” he said.

Later-in-life fatherhood also inspired him to stay in shape – hike, do yoga – because he wants to be around as long as possible for his kids. Or as he puts it, “It gets me out of the rocking chair and keeps me rocking.”

Former CNN broadcaster Larry King, who had two sons when he was in his 60s, can relate. He provided a testimonial for Filppu’s book.

“The best thing that ever happened to me in life is being able to be a later in life dad,” King wrote. “I’m 77 years old, I have three grown children, and the lights of my life are my 11- and 10-year-old boys. Later life fatherhood keeps me young, keeps me vital, and makes me feel relevant each and every day. I urge you to read ‘Prime Time Dads.’ Its point of view is young and vital and relevant each and every page.”

“Prime Time Dads” is available through major online retailers both as a print book for $14.95 and as an e-book for $9.99.

For more information, visit primetimedads.com.

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