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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 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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