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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MV proceeds with own day worker ordinance

The city of Mountain View is in the process of enacting a no-solicitation ordinance aimed at the hundreds of day workers who have congregated for more than 10 years along or near El Camino Real and San Antonio Road.

A similar ordinance, already passed by the Los Altos council last July almost immediately forced the workers from the Los Altos side of El Camino to the Mountain View side. The Los Altos day worker ordinance, and one considered by Mountain View, forbids prospective employers to stop by the roadside and solicit work.

The laws are the result of years of complaints among Los Altos and Mountain View businesses and residents about large groups of day workers who stand on the roadside of El Camino Real, hoping to find work from people who drive by.

The Los Altos ordinance went into effect in September. Although the city could not prevent the workers from congregating on the sidewalks, a violation of their First Amendment right to assemble, it could restrict their ability to find work by making it more difficult for employers to stop and hire them. Thus far, Los Altos officials said the ordinance has been effective in keeping workers off Los Altos sidewalks.

"The ordinance was supposed to stop the vehicles and pedestrians from soliciting work in the right of way and it did exactly that," said Layne Long, Los Altos assistant to the city manager.

The Mountain View City Council's Neighborhoods Committee proposed a day worker ordinance similar to that of Los Altos at the Dec. 7 council meeting. The ordinance would designate El Camino Real as a no-stopping, no-parking zone from Showers Drive to San Antonio Road, would provide $6,000 for increased day worker-employer education, and would require more discussion on the possible use of city property for a day worker center.

Equally as important as the legal aspects of the ordinance are the city's plans to work with a local day worker center.

The St. Joseph The Worker Center located at El Camino and Jordan Avenue in Los Altos, tries to "help people become familiar with assimilating into our society. Through our center, (the workers) can learn the language, learn about health and learn basically how to be self-sufficient, which includes finding employment." said director Mary Martinez. "The city of Mountain View is excellent in bringing in workers and employers to our center."

A program under the St. Vincent de Paul society, the center provides both day-to-day and permanent job opportunities, health education, English as a second language classes, and emergency services. To increase the effectiveness of the center, Martinez hopes to raise community awareness. "The cities should try to educate the community more so that we can better utilize the center. If more employers and residents make use of the center, people will understand why it is there," she said.

As of now, according to Mountain View assistant city manager Alex Terrazas, the day worker issue has been referred to the Mountain View City Council Neighborhoods Committee. The Committee, which is currently made up of Councilmembers Sally Lieber, chairwoman, Michael Kasperzak, and Mary Lou Zoglin, will meet later this month to schedule a date for a second reading of the ordinance.

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