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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Giving thanks lifts the mind and body over Himalayan pass

My wife and I had already purchased our tickets to Nepal before grasping entirely what we’d committed to: an 18-day trek through the Himalayas including an ascent up Thorung La – at 5,416 meters (17,769 feet), one of the world’s highest mountain passes.

Sure, we had experience hiking to the top of some pretty big hills. But even our one-day trot to the top of California’s Mount Whitney, the tallest peak in the lower 48, couldn’t compare to what was in store for us.

The first few days of the trek were about as carefree as they come as our small group of adventurers (seven clients, seven porters and two guides) slowly but surely made its way through the balmy jungles, alpine forests and hillside rice paddies of the Marsyangdi River Valley. However, the closer we came to Thorung La, the more aware I was of the potential health risks involved with high-altitude trekking.

I’m sure this had less to do with my physical environment than it did the surrounding mental atmosphere – an atmosphere clouded by the concerns of so many others traveling in this region who, like me, were finding themselves in a situation practically guaranteed to push us, willingly or not, beyond our presumed limits.

Mind you, this wasn’t because of any fearmongering on the part of our Nepali guides and porters. In fact, quite the opposite. Rarely have I found myself surrounded by such supportive individuals whose constant and sincere expectation of good provided a much-needed and much-appreciated boost of energy. Not once did I hear any of them express even the slightest doubt about our collective abilities to make it over the pass.

Nevertheless, in the days leading up to our big climb, I began to experience some mild symptoms of altitude sickness.

By the time the big day arrived (morning temperature: between 0 and 10 F), I was feeling considerable pain in my lower neck, though nothing serious enough to warrant postponing our departure. However, I did take some time to consciously let go of any fears I’d been harboring about the day ahead, a process made much easier thanks to a conversation I had with my wife.

We discovered that the night before, we’d both been thinking specifically about the things we appreciated about each member of our little climbing clan: qualities of thought, unique talents and so on. And then it hit me – I realized that it wasn’t just the expectation of good, but also the conscious gratitude for the good we’d already experienced that was making me feel a lot better. In fact, well before we reached the summit, I felt absolutely no pain and was walking at a surprisingly quick pace.

I suppose there are many ways to explain my recovery. Some might call it positive thinking or just plain luck. As I see it, though, it was the natural result of prayer, a word that describes – at least in this instance – a conscious effort to identify myself and others with the physically transformative presence of God-given good.

For me, prayer isn’t so much an appeal to God to do something out of the ordinary (“Please make me feel better despite this crazy situation I’ve gotten myself into”), but the recognition of what God has already done and continues to do for all of us.

Not only has this kind of gratitude-based approach to health care proved to improve our outlook, but it improves our bodies as well – in a variety of ways and, apparently, at all elevations.

Eric Nelson’s columns on the link between consciousness and health appear weekly in a number of local and national online publications. He serves as media and legislative spokesman for Christian Science in Northern California. This article originally appeared on Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com and is used with permission. For more information, visit norcalcs.org.

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