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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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The aftermath of an accident: A Piece of My Mind

My brother had an accident. He was working overtime on the weekend, on a 10-foot ladder. The ladder slipped backward from under him and he fell with it onto a wood-composite deck. He broke both wrists, his shoulder blade and every bone in his face except his lower jaw.

Day 1: He is in an induced coma in intensive care in critical but stable condition.

Day 2: My brother is in surgery for nine hours, first for a tracheotomy to enable breathing, because his nose and sinus cavities are shattered, then to reassemble his face. The reassembly requires 11 titanium plates and 93 screws.

Day 3: The doctors bring my brother out of the induced coma to test for possible spinal injuries. As he regains consciousness, according to a family member in the room, “He made a sound of such excruciating pain that no human should have to make. He won’t remember it, but his son and his fiancee, who were in the room, will never forget it.” The doctors put my brother back into a coma while they “adjust the painkillers.”

Day 4: With better pain management, my brother comes out of the coma. He is able to respond to questions with eye blinks, head shakes and nods. A feeding tube and tracheotomy limit his speech.

Day 5: His son brings in a whiteboard. Holding a marker between two numb fingers, my brother can write a wobbly word or two. His first word: “Mom?”

Day 6: My brother is out of intensive care. The doctors have found no damage to his spine, brain or vision. However, when he first puts his feet to the ground, he discovers another injury – a broken toe that had gone unnoticed earlier.

Day 7: My brother goes home from the hospital. Both arms are in splints, and his jaw is wired to prevent chewing, which might dislocate his carefully reassembled face. He loses 20 pounds in the three days before doctors insert the feeding tube.

Day 15: My mother and I fly up to help the caregiving team. We are apprehensive about what that new face will look like, but to our delighted surprise, my brother’s new face looks pretty much like his old face – maybe the nose is a little shorter, a little straighter.

My nephew shows me a picture of what his dad’s face looked like shortly after he was brought in to the emergency room – like a puddle of lemon Jell-O with red eyes floating in the middle. Amazing.

Day 19: I take my brother to see the facial surgeon who had put him back together. A lady in the waiting room notices his arm casts and comments, “I thought they only did facial surgery at this office.” With her attention drawn to the twin casts, she had not noticed anything odd about his face.

My brother’s family thanks God for his recovery.

I’m grateful, too, but I can’t help thinking, “God, what a waste of your time! It would have been so much more efficient if you had just steadied that ladder!”

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