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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CSMA classes serve developmentally disabled, autistic students


Photo By: Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier
Photo Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier

Kyle Sofman, right, accompanies Molly, who grew up in Los Altos, during a class at the Community School of Music and Arts. Donations enable people with autism and developmental disabilities to take CSMA’s music and art classes at no charge.

Jangling musical shakers and smacking mallets on marimbas, students act out a love for rhythm and noise in the Artistic Intelligence Program at the Community School of Music and Arts. The racket they raise, though, has special meaning. For many of the autistic and developmentally disabled participants, sensory experience brings special challenges – and opportunities for success.

“A lot of them come here with issues about being out in the world and the kind of input they have to deal with,” said Linda Covello, director of CSMA’s art school, who explained that the music classroom in Mountain View is “a safe environment where they can react to crazy sounds and different materials.”

The program provides art and music classes for approximately 50 teens and adults who live on the Peninsula and in the South Bay. Students come from the Morgan Autism Center (based in San Jose, formerly in Los Altos), Abilities United (Palo Alto) and AchieveKids (Palo Alto and San Jose). They participate in the classes at no charge, thanks to fundraising by CSMA and partner organizations.

On a recent afternoon, students from AchieveKids and the Morgan Autism Center crooned “What a Wonderful World,” matching illustrations of skies of blue and trees of green to the lyrics as they went. The music class provided a venue for different groups to work together. Covello said CSMA sees the arts as an opportunity to practice the interaction and communication that go into teaming up on a musical piece.

One student who grew up in Los Altos, Molly, jumped up to help lead the class every time she had an opportunity to join teacher Kyle Sofman at the front of the room. Molly provided a one-woman rhythm section as backup for Sofman’s zither, later wielding the lyric cheat-sheet for “Do-Re-Mi.” Molly’s gleeful interest in the musical process reflects the program’s aim to provide a friendly, comfortable place for learning new tunes and showing off one’s choral initiative.

“They get to mix with a larger population,” Covello said. “Much of their world is one-on-one or small group. The social experience (at CSMA) is almost as important as the music and art.”

Covello has watched students move from initial stress from the unfamiliar setting and materials of CSMA’s art class to an excited response. Engaging in the artistic process, practicing self-expression and working with new media give students an outlet worth celebrating, she said.

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