Wed09172014

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

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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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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Solo guy dances to his own beat on MVHS Color Guard


Photo By: PHOTOS BY ELLIE VAN HOUTTE/TOWN CRIER
Photo Photos By Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Andrew McCormick, center, enjoys the challenge of being the only male member of the Mountain View High School Color Guard.

Andrew McCormick is easy to spot on the grassy practice field at Mountain View High School. The junior is tall and slender – and the only male member of the school’s color guard squad for the 2012-2013 school year.

“It can be challenging,” said McCormick of being the only guy on the team. “Sometimes I have to watch what I say.”

But the disproportional ratio of 30 girls to one boy doesn’t bother him, and female color guard members pay little notice of him during team practices.

Color guard combines visual elements – such as dance and flag spinning – to complement the school’s marching band. With experience playing the alto sax and more than 12 years of dance lessons, joining the color guard as a freshman seemed like a natural fit.

“It was more fun than being in the band, and I didn’t want to memorize music,” McCormick joked.

His commitment to the activity is strong, despite a time commitment averaging 13-20 hours per week and weekend road trips to competitions during color guard and winter guard seasons.

Diane Corbett Esparaza, the team’s captain head, called color guard the “most well-known unknown” activity. It’s not a secret society anymore, she said, as the group has grown in popularity and prestige during the four years she has coached the team at Mountain View High.

“Color guard is not all about learning to spin equipment, but also about telling stories through the body,” she said.

Spectators in the stands at a football game may not recognize the hard work that goes into being a member of a color guard team – it fosters a strong work ethic and skills that carry color guard graduates far in life.

McCormick said he almost quit color guard after his first three weeks, as he struggled to learn flag tossing, but he kept practicing and eventually mastered the skill. Color guard reinforced the virtue of not giving up on something that doesn’t come easily.

With months of practice behind them, the Mountain View High Color Guard team earned the Silver Award at the California Color Guard Circuit Competition and first place at last year’s Cupertino Band Review.

McCormick isn’t resting on his squad’s laurels, however – he’s more concerned with how the team’s rendition of “Les Misérables” will come together for the Community Thank You show Oct. 6. He said he’s especially excited to perform to the song “One Day More,” a tribute to a classmate who has struggled with bone cancer.

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