Tue09302014

News

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Two candidates have filed to run for the District 7 seat on the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors in the Nov. 4 election. The water district, established in 1929, oversees and protects water resources in Santa Clara County....

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Schools

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Suzanne Woolfolk, assistant principal at Los Altos High, teaches a leadership course for Associated Student Body leaders.

Suzanne Woolfolk – new assistant principal at Los Altos High School – said she is happy...

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Community

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival


Courtesy of Los Altos Chamber of Commerce
The petting zoo is a highlight of the Los Altos Fall Festival. This year’s event is slated Oct. 4 and 5.

The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its 23rd annual Fall Festival 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oc...

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Sports

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High halfback Sean Lanoza looks for running room against Burlingame in Saturday’s home opener.

The opening drive of Saturday’s game against Burlingame couldn’t have gone much better for the Los Altos High fo...

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Comment

Does Los Altos have a parking problem, or is it a symptom? : Other Voices

Yes, and yes. It appears that the downtown Los Altos parking problem is a symptom of the city’s “Sarah Winchester” approach to planning that instead of resulting in staircases to nowhere resulted in a hotel without parking required by code.(1)

From ...

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Special Sections

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market


Courtesy of Matthew Anello
The Shoup House dining room, above, features original elements. The 100-year-old house on University Avenue earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, a nod to its legacy as the home of city founder Paul S...

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Business

Longtime banker readies for retirement

Longtime banker readies for retirement


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Joanne Kavalaris is retiring at the end of October after spending the past 25 years of her banking career in downtown Los Altos.

A longtime Los Altos banker is calling it a career in a few weeks.

Joanne Kavalaris, Bank o...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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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

Pear builds wonderful 'House'

Pear builds wonderful 'House'


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Betsy Kruse Craig portrays Trish in the Pear Avenue Theatre production of “House,” which closes Oct. 5.

Mountain View’s Pear Avenue Theatre is staging an unusual theater-going experience – producing two plays...

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Spiritual Life

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 add ...

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The Talon explores undocumented student

Undocumented immigration affects several students at Los Altos High School and their families. The school’s student newspaper, The Talon, investigated the topic to provide information about what it means to be an undocumented student in the area. Below is the account of one undocumented student at Los Altos High.

At the age of 7, Lily watched her mother make a decision that would forever change her family members’ lives. Lily, her sisters and her mother left their home in Puebla Tejarta, Mexico, to meet up with Lily’s father, who had left for the United States two years before.

“I didn’t have a choice whether or not I wanted to go,” Lily said. “It’s because my father was here in the United States, and my mother couldn’t live another day without my dad. After my father had left, all I remembered would be his phone calls, as he would call for my birthday or for my sisters’ birthdays.”

With Lily’s father in mind, the remaining family members set off to cross the border. Guided by “coyotaje” smugglers, they along with others hiked the distance across the border to the United States.

“A total of 15 people were in my group; we all walked three days, straight through the desert,” Lily said. “There was no airplane, no nothing. That experience, it scarred all of us. For three years, my sisters were scared of helicopters. They would hide under a tree every time we would go out.”

The border crossing was rough. Statistically speaking, the U.S. Border Patrol estimates that more than 5,600 people have died crossing the border illegally since 1998.

“Of the 15 group members, only 13 of us made it to America,” Lily said. “One of the people who died was elderly. Since there was no water, he drank his urine and he died.”

Because of the treacherous journey, the group was unable to hang on to their possessions.

“We took a bag of clothes, but we left it behind in the desert,” Lily said. “When it came time to cross the border, we just couldn’t take anything with us.”

However, her physical journey paled in comparison to the hardships she would face in her new country. After finally settling on American soil, the family had to work hard to make ends meet.

“I remember that we didn’t have to worry about paying for rent and for school events in Mexico,” Lily said. “Here, I feel like we go through struggle after struggle just to make ends meet.”

While Lily’s family worried about money and rent, Lily spent the next few years acclimating to her new environment. Language barriers coupled with her lack of proper identification left her feeling alienated and alone.

“When I came to school for the first time, I came in the middle of the school year, so the other students all knew each other,” she said. “Since I didn’t know a single drop of English, I was completely lost. Thank goodness my teacher was bilingual.”

Lily’s experiences were not unique. The Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends Project estimated that in 2008, 13.5 percent of all K-12 students in California were the children of undocumented immigrants.

“For me, coming to America is just about having the opportunity to further my education and further my family and to learn and live,” she said. “Coming to America meant not being scared. In Mexico, there are a lot of really bad things happening over there. I would love to go back home, but not to Mexico the way it is right now.”

Lily is a senior; she plans to attend a four-year college after graduation.

For more of The Talon’s coverage on immigration, visit immigration.lahstalon.org.

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