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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Letters to the Editor

LAH needs board for architectural review

I appreciated the Town Crier’s article on the Los Altos Hills planning process (“LAH planning permits anything but fast track,” July 25).

I am one of the neighbors who objected to the structure on Sunset Drive and would like to offer a neighbor’s viewpoint that is different from what was communicated in the article. The article said the applicant’s design fulfilled town ordinances; these are the numerical and mathematical formulas needed to gain approval.

However, the clarification that should really be in the article is the following. The city council on the night of the hearing indicated that this project would probably not have been approved if there had been an architectural review board. This house does not fit the spirit and intent of any of the Los Altos Hills planning guidelines regarding size, placement of structures and following the natural grade of the lot. But the council approved it anyway because the members felt bad for the applicant.

This is really a terrible situation. The neighbors were correct in their objection to the project as it pertains to the spirit and intent of guidelines, yet the council approved it anyway. Why did the council not feel bad for the neighbors who have lived there for many years? They felt bad for the applicant who spent 18 months there, but not for the longtime residents of the neighborhood.

So, in effect, the applicant gets away with building something that does not merit being built in the neighborhood. And the neighborhood will be permanently left with a structure that didn’t make sense to build.

I certainly appreciate Councilman Jean Mordo’s recommendation to consider establishing an architectural review board. I am very hopeful that something like this is implemented. It’s too late for our neighborhood, but maybe it will help make for a better process for all involved in future developments.

Mark Solle

Los Altos Hills

How would 50-year plan for Los Altos look?

A comprehensive 50-year plan for Los Altos would avoid the risk of solving one problem and adversely affecting others. If you start with the primary focus that dual-income families with school-age children and the 50+ individuals are two primary constituencies, then what follows is one alternative.

Schools: Top-performing schools is a core value for Los Altos and what attracts young families. The city needs to work aggressively with the school district to turn Hillview into a school.

50+: A 50+ Center/Campus should be built that incorporates social, intellectual and educational opportunities for a more vibrant aging sector.

Library: Build a new library downtown (e.g., Third Street between Main and State streets). There is a lot of energy right now to make Los Altos a town people want to go to shop, eat and hang out. More than 500,000 people enter the library each year.

Parking: The city should issue municipal bonds to build two parking structures between Main and State. A downtown library solves the library parking issue, and as developers expand properties, payments for additional required parking could eventually eliminate this low-cost debt.

David Smith

Los Altos

Packard Foundation sorry for wrong info

In a July 11 Letter to the Editor (“Public turned away from Packard open house”), Lou Wolner expressed his concern about not being given access to The David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s new building when he arrived the afternoon of June 29.

Wolner was apparently given incorrect information from someone at the foundation, and we regret that error.

However, all other promotion efforts for the community tours contained correct information.

The correct information: We offered tours to the community 9-10:30 a.m. June 29, and we hosted more than 100 people who preregistered for those tours. On the afternoon of June 29, the foundation hosted a private ribbon-cutting ceremony primarily for foundation leadership and our employees. Wolner unfortunately appeared for the ribbon-cutting ceremony instead of registering for the tours.

We are delighted by the interest in our new building shown by individuals like Wolner, and we are making our best efforts to accommodate the demand and interest from the community in touring the inside.

In the meantime, we appreciate people’s patience and understanding as we continue to focus on this and on supporting our many grantees both near and far.

Minna Jung

Communications director

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

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