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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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Jeremiah’s Promise assists foster youth in bridging gap to adulthood



Jeremiah’s Promise made all the difference in the world for An Tran, a 21-year-old foster youth who found herself without a home when she turned 18. Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Imagine navigating into adulthood without the warm embrace of a parent’s hug. In a world that spins quickly around them, when foster youth age out and become emancipated from the system that supported them, they often follow a lonely path.

Fate proved different for An Tran, 21, who found her way to California after aging out of the foster-care system in another state. She landed in the supportive enclave of Jeremiah’s Promise – a local nonprofit that provides one-on-one mentoring, college and career support and web-based life coaching to 17- to 24-year-old former foster youth.

“Jeremiah’s Promise helped me see the brighter side of things,” said Tran, crediting her trained adult mentor, a science researcher at Stanford University who gave her the encouragement and direction to complete her GED and enroll in West Valley College to study biomedical engineering.

The journey wasn’t always easy for Tran, who experienced problems within her foster families and felt ignored by the legal foster-care system.

“After you age out, you literally get dumped on the street,” she said.

The Santa Clara County Department of Family & Child Services reports that 150 young adults age out of foster care in the county each year.

Without photo identification or a birth certificate, tasks like opening a bank account and applying for a job became nearly impossible for Tran.

She received invaluable support from Jeremiah’s Promise.

The organization treated her with respect, she said, asking what she needed to improve her life situation. She identified things as basic as a new pair of glasses and school supplies to more sustainable resources like life skills and relationship-building advice.

“The greatest need of our clients is to heal the very damaging emotional and physical scars left from years of childhood abuse or exploitation,” Jeremiah’s Promise founder and CEO Kim Golter said. “The second greatest need is to find people who will support, encourage and challenge them to become the people they were born to be.”

Jeremiah’s Promise volunteer Carolyn Robinson has experience working with foster youth at an area correctional institution. She became involved as a workshop instructor.

“I hear it every day: ‘If only I had this information earlier, I would have done things differently,’” she said.

Together with a dozen regular volunteers, Robinson played an integral role in instructing and mentoring 115 students through Jeremiah’s Promise community college workshops in 2013. The organization also provided donations and support to more than 180 emancipated foster youth and dependents in a local transitional housing program.

With the launch of a new web-based coaching tool that will be accessible to local workshop participants and emancipated foster youth from across the country, Golter sees the impact of Jeremiah’s Promise’s work expanding even more in the future.

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