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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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Unsung heroes


Courtesy of Erin Volk
Local firefighters – from left, Capt. Matt James, Matt White, Justin Stockman and John Rizzi – went beyond the call of duty for Mary Jackson.

My grandparents, Al and Mary Jackson, have lived in Los Altos Hills for the past 40 or so years. They love their town and where they live. My grandmother noticed Jan. 4 that my grandfather was not responding from his living-room chair and called 911. The Santa Clara County Fire Department arrived before she could even think twice about what was happening.

While my grandfather was being cared for, one of the firefighters assisted my grandmother, who was overwhelmed by the thought of something happening to the man she had been with for nearly 62 years. In the chaos of going to the hospital, my grandmother left all of her belongings on the porch, including her purse. The first responders were kind enough to give her a ride to Stanford Hospital, because she was clearly in no shape to drive.

Now comes the part that brings our family to tears: A firefighter named Justin Stockman slipped my grandmother $40 in case she needed anything at the hospital. We later learned that Justin and his wife are expecting twins this summer. For a young man with a family to care about my grandmother’s well-being enough to provide her with that money just melts our hearts.

Sadly, my grandfather passed that day. The following Saturday we had neighbors over for appetizers at 3 p.m. to remember my grandpa – he didn’t want a service. Just as neighbors began to arrive, I saw four firefighters walking up the driveway. When Justin introduced himself, I nearly lost it. We had taken $40 and cookies to the firehouse earlier that week while they were off-duty. Without knowing about the gathering, they had come to check on my grandmother because it was their first day back and they had heard that my grandfather didn’t make it.

It was so special that they just happened to show up right at 3 p.m. and then proceeded to offer help with anything she might need in the next few weeks, including moving. I know that my grandmother will always have a connection with Justin and the rest of his crew.

I needed to write to the Town Crier because he did this without expecting any sort of recognition. Even though it may seem like a small act, it really stood out for my grandmother that day. We couldn’t feel more grateful that she had that support.

All of the response team are true heroes to us, and we can’t thank them enough for going above and beyond on the day that we lost the rock of our family. I was able to get a fabulous picture of my grandma with these men, and I know she will cherish it forever. They are our family’s new heroes.

Erin Volk lives in Idaho.

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