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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Former Los Altan, secretary of defense, discusses U.S., Russia's quest for peace

Four years ago, a job in Washington, D.C., lured William Perry out of his Los Altos residence. That job was secretary of defense, head of the most powerful military force in the world.

Fresh from four years in the Clinton administration, Perry has returned to the Peninsula. He shared his experiences last Wednesday before a packed house at Woodside Priory School in Portola Valley.

As secretary of defense, Perry said he faced numerous challenges, including work on an agreement to reduce the expanding nuclear arsenal.

"Some have said that war is too important to be left solely to the generals. Preventive defense says peace is too important to be left solely to the politicians," Perry told his audience.

After the World War II, the emergence of nuclear weapons created a crisis for many nations and the "concept of deterrence" was adopted as a means of defense, Perry noted.

He was involved with the nuclear weapons reduction agreement between the United States, Russia and the Ukraine, the third largest nuclear power in the world.

Perry helped supervise the Ukraine's nuclear site dismantlement. When he visited the Ukraine, on invitation, he went underground to the Ukraine mission control. Two men controlled 600 nuclear warheads - every one of them directed toward the United States.

Perry went back four times to watch the nuclear site being dismantled.

With the Cold War over, Perry helped build a partnership of peace with the 16 NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) members. Today, NATO members and 26 other countries conduct military training together. Perry cited Fort Polk, La., where the United State hosted American, Latvian, Poles, and Ukrainians training together and being instructed on peacekeeping exercises.

One of the results of this training was a joint endeavor to keep the peace in Bosnia.

"It didn't matter how many countries joined in this endeavor as long as Russia joined," Perry said. "The Russians were not willing to be under a NATO command, but would join under an American Command. In February 1996, a Russian brigade served as part of our first armed brigade. Bosnia still has social problems, but the killings and atrocities have stopped due to NATO's influence."

Perry discussed NATO and how the alliance is undergoing radical change. Among the changes considered are the creation of a new task force to fight outside traditional European grounds, allowing Europeans rather than Americans to command those forces and how to extend security to other parts of Central Europe.

"Russia's public hostility to NATO's enlargement goes back in history, but progress is emerging and may have continued when President Clinton met Boris Yeltsin in Helsinki (last week)," Perry said. "Sensing that Russia may become more realistic and flexible, there is a chance a deal can be made before the alliance meets in Madrid in early July.

"When they meet in July, one of the proposals is NATO expansion. The alliance would like to add seven or eight more nations, but probably only three will make it because Russia thinks adding new members is a bad idea. Probably, Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia will be the favorites," Perry said.

Perry, 69, grew up in Pennsylvania, but received his education at Stanford University. During the time he was professor at Stanford's School of Engineering, he and his family lived in Los Altos. He said he regretted selling his Los Altos home.

"I'm sorry I did," Perry remarked after his speech. "I could sure use it now."

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