Tue09162014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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Teenspeak (LOL)

Blach Junior High School seventh-grader Katherine Foley demystifies the secret language practiced by her kind, to the befuddlement of most adults.

I'm not here to betray my kind and give this town the secrets to teenspeak. Oh, no. It's been a constant source of discreet teen communication, after all. I'm just here to reflect on this revolutionary new language, both spoken and used in instant messaging (IM), that occurs in books, movies and real life.

A popular book series is often enjoyed by teens and adults alike when it grabs the public's interest – teens, because they've got a book that's not "boring" and "stupid," and adults, because their teens are reading.

Lauren Myracle has written one of these mutually enjoyed series with her Internet Girls Series (Harry N. Abrams Inc., 2004-2008). Written entirely in the most popular contemporary form of teenspeak, IM or "text-speak," her books were read and enjoyed by teens like myself. Only three books long ("ttyl," "ttfn" and "l8r g8r"), this series does not seem likely to be completely understood by anyone outside our age bracket. (The abbreviation ttyl stands for talk to you later, ttfn means ta ta for now). Of course, there's the author, but not all adults are old and stuffy, right?

Not all the books cited include IM speak exclusively. There is the typical teentalk, where teens actually put down their cell phones and talk – but even this may not be completely normal.

Particularly popular when it first came out, Lisi Harrison's The Clique Series (Poppy, 2004-2009) managed to present the same language identification to slightly younger readers. The girls of this series, seventh-graders and popular girls, live on disses (translation for adults: insults) and their own code, as well as their cell phones. Harrison seems to have a great time going overboard with stories of middle-school popularity. The point is to laugh at these girls, but readers could find themselves wishing to be like the butts of the joke.

Guess how this wish is applied in the real world? By adopting the language of those very girls, their addictive teenspeak.

Stories and narratives aside, teenspeak is habit-forming, used often and annoys the heck out of adults. Understanding is only a factor of your age and whether you ever get out of the house. It's not for adults to speak. Any teen who has ever heard his or her mom say, "Whatever, dude," can understand that.

It's important, because without it, thumbs would be weathered and time would be wasted. If you don't know what I'm talking about, clearly you haven't had to navigate middle school while socializing on a cell phone.

You can find both series at the Los Altos libraries.

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