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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Filmmaker looks to Los Altos friends for support


Photo By:
Szymanowski

Longtime downtown Los Altos business owner Elizabeth Szymanowski has an acclaimed filmmaker in the family. Her son Matt is working on a new movie, “The Purple Onion.”

The screenplay merited recognition from the Sundance Screenwriting Lab, and the filmmakers have received development support from the San Francisco Film Society.

But transforming the screenplay into a movie won’t be easy. The film’s launch party was held Nov. 11 in Los Altos Hills at the home of supporter Mary Myers. She and other supporters are currently trying to raise $30,000 to cover preproduction and initial production costs. Their fundraising deadline is Dec. 16.

“That movie’s going to happen,” said Elizabeth, who has run Salon Elizabeth on First Street in downtown Los Altos the past 24 years. “It’s going to be fantastic.”

Set in San Francisco and named after the recently closed historical San Francisco comedy club, the tragicomic story follows hapless amateur comedian Johnny Lee at his dead-end job as a restaurant dishwasher. Clashing with his live-in mother, the comedian is prepared to leave everything behind. When his mother finds solace in a lonely and oddball neighbor, Johnny realizes he’s pushed away the one person in his life who cares the most.

The movie is based on a good friend of Matt’s, co-writer Edwin Li, who is tapped to play the main character. Matt said he was moved by the story.

“I woke up in the middle of the night and texted him, ‘We’re going to make a movie,’” Matt said of breaking the news to his friend.

Matt recognizes the parallel between the comedian’s struggles and his own as a film artist.

“It’s a modern-day Sisyphus,” he said. “He’s pushing a boulder up the hill forever and ever, and he keeps on doing it. He asks, ‘What am I doing this for?’ But he still hopes to get to his goal.”

The Purple Onion, founded in 1952, was one of the oldest venues for comedy in North America. The club showcased some of the most influential comedians from the early days of stand-up comedy, including Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen and Phyllis Diller.

Matt hopes “The Purple Onion” will prove a positive addition to his career credits, which include producing content for CBS’ award-winning CHOW.com; media agency MKSHFT’s clients Toyota, Gizmodo and HTC; the documentary “Nine Days That Changed the World”; and various local music videos.

His short film “History of Solitude” played at the San Francisco International Festival and was presented in Poland, France and Albania. It won the Jury Award at The European Independent Film Festival in Paris.

To contribute to the film, visit www.indiegogo.com/thepurpleonion.

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