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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CSA nutrition program nourishes community members in need


Photo By:

Although Los Altos and surrounding areas are affluent communities, not every local resident can afford life’s basic necessities, including food – particularly around the holidays.

“Last year, I wouldn’t have been able to have a turkey to share with my family,” said Barbara, a mother of two originally from Los Altos who found support from the Food and Nutrition Center at the Community Services Agency (CSA) when she encountered unexpected life challenges. “What’s Thanksgiving without a turkey? I can’t imagine the disappointment.”

The Food and Nutrition Center plays a pivotal role in making the holidays brighter for local families in need. LaDrea Clark, nutrition and health education assistant, said the center distributed 600 turkeys and boxes of packaged and fresh food for Thanksgiving this year – fulfilling its mission to serve as a year-round safety net for Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View.

In addition to its food store, where people can select fresh and packaged foods donated by local stores and farms, CSA’s 14 programs support clients with emergency housing assistance, medications, computer access, social services and staff referrals to partner organizations in the community.

Poverty is frequently associated with less affluent communities or more urban environments, but CSA Executive Director Tom Myers said there are more people struggling with basic needs in the area than one might expect.

“There are pockets of poverty that are often invisible,” he said.

According to Myers, in any given year, the center serves an estimated 400 homeless people in Mountain View and Los Altos.

“We have people who never in their wildest dreams could imagine coming to us,” he said.

In addition to the working poor and homeless, CSA also serves young people, seniors, widows, women in domestic violence situations and people who encounter job loss, health problems or other unexpected circumstances.

Elba Landaverde, CSA emergency assistance program director, attributed the growing need in the community to the economic downturn and the cost of living in Silicon Valley. Her team handles approximately 120 emergency cases per week, including a growing number of domestic violence situations that leave people financially vulnerable and in need of housing and other support services.

She added that helping people makes her feel her work matters.

“I was ashamed at first. … I had a great job,” said Barbara, noting how difficult it was to admit her need for CSA services. “It’s not something you want to do.”

The staff’s kindness and respect was humbling, said Barbara, adding that CSA’s support was a lifesaver for her family during the experience.

“I’m so grateful for the little things,” she said. 

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