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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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Senior sensations Moldaw Singers perform concerts for local audiences


Ron Griggs/ Mirror Image Photography
Linda Mankin, 85, leads the Moldaw Singers in concert. The choral group comprises seniors in their 80s and 90s, including former Los Altos residents Henry and Lottie Burger.

The Moldaw Singers performed “A Biblical Songfest” concert at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto last month, an auditory and visual showcase that included a slideshow.

The group comprises nearly 40 singers in their 80s and 90s, including former Los Altos residents, who live at Moldaw Residences, the retirement community in Palo Alto.

Singing on key

Linda Mankin, 85, who earned a master’s degree in music composition from Stanford University, works hard to ensure that seniors in the Moldaw Singers choral group are on key and having fun.

The 12 songs featured at the concert were based on Bible stories, including “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho,” “Little David Play Your Harp” and “Sit Down, Sister,” some performed in Hebrew and Latin.

Resident Council President Henry Burger, 87, a former Los Altos resident and member of the Moldaw Singers, said he and his wife, Lottie, were excited to bring the show to the JCC’s Cultural Arts Hall, next door to Moldaw Residences.

“My wife and I love performing with the Moldaw Singers,” Burger said. “Our group leader and Moldaw resident, Linda, works so hard with us and really helps us prepare, even though some members have never sung before. Our practices and performances are just other ways for everyone to get together and enjoy each other’s company – and that’s important.”

Mankin assumed leadership of the group two years ago and has experienced success with the senior singers. She continues to attend conferences that inspire her and give her ideas and tips to share with the group. She recently attended a conference in San Francisco hosted by the Acoustical Society of America and came back with renewed enthusiasm to help improve the group’s performances.

“Witnessing the progress of this group has been confirmation of my belief that music can be a lifelong source of pride and pleasure,” Mankin said. “I would encourage anyone who used to sing or play an instrument to never give it up. It could be one of the greatest pleasures of your life.”

Standing room only

The Moldaw Singers include eight to 10 male vocalists and approximately 30 women. Mankin noted members’ increased sense of loyalty and dedication over time as they rehearsed and performed together. The group practiced every Monday night for nearly two hours, and what started as few participants has grown into a popular performing group whose shows are typically standing room only.

The concert theme “A Biblical Songfest” came naturally to Mankin. For a number of years, she has attended weekly Torah classes at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills. Mankin said she finds the stories fascinating and the songs written about them beautiful. Believing that people of all ages and religions can relate to them, Mankin added that she chose the theme with confidence.

“We’d been excited to show the community how hard we’ve been practicing and how talented our group is through such special songs with this biblical theme,” Burger said.

The Moldaw Singers are gearing up for their 2014 season, with Mankin planning to incorporate techniques she learned at a recent conference to help the senior singers produce more tone.

“According to several presenters,” Mankin said, “there is a tendency among some seniors to think that they sound louder than they do, which may be due to the feedback they get from their hearing aids or to the natural decline in the production of their vocal chords.”

Mankin said conference presenters suggested that she pass around a hand-held personal recorder, a smartphone perhaps, and allow the seniors actually to hear themselves. For those more visually oriented, an app shows a picture of the soundsignal as they sing, giving them input on the strength of their sound versus time.

“We never stop learning,” she said, “and I’m anxious to share these new methods with the group.”

For more information on Moldaw Residences, call 433-3600 or visit moldaw.org.

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