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

New Safeway poses little competition

With the grand opening of and all the excitement for the new super Safeway in The Village at San Antonio Center in Mountain View, I needed to see for myself the likely impact it would have on downtown Los Altos.

Some doomsayers claimed that it would pull away many residents in north Los Altos to enjoy the ambience and wider selection at the new market.

Alas, my visit allayed any such concerns. The ambience is great, but the cavernous setting reminds me of why I really enjoy the charm and coziness of many of our downtown stores, including the grocery stores.

Next, I looked for certain high-quality products that our comparatively small Draeger’s Market carries in multiple varieties, but I either could not find them or the new store carried them only in a limited variety.

Finally, many of us may be just lazy enough that we really prefer not crossing El Camino Real unless there is a really good reason to do so. For me, the new Safeway is simply not a good enough reason.

Without doubt, the Safeway executives are very smart and needed to provide a competitive alternative in Mountain View to Costco and Walmart. And indeed it is a great alternative to those stores.

But for now, I’m sticking to Draeger’s and our Safeway, and hoping that when Safeway replaces its store on First Street downtown, it becomes a real competitor to Draeger’s, not just a mini version of the Safeway at San Antonio Center.

Ron Packard, former mayor

Los Altos and Mountain View

Civic center deserves renewed support

I was pleased to read that the Los Altos City Council plans to review the Civic Center Master Plan at a study session this summer (“Council revisits Civic Center Master Plan,” April 3).

Our city is in need of a unifying project that would improve the community and rally all generations to work toward a goal that could benefit all its residents.

Hopefully, the city staff suggestion, designated as option 2, will be selected. Replacing the rundown Hillview Community Center as the first and foremost need would send a positive message. While the police station and city hall may require some renovation and expansion, the primary focus should be building a new community center.

Public support for the bond measure took a downturn when it was revealed that the community center would not be started until after the police and city hall projects were completed. When I attended the first presentation by the consultants, the community center was the primary focus.

An honest and forthright picture of the new building, accompanied by an accurate timeline for completion, should renew residents’ attention. A reasonable budget projection for each of the projects would help clarify the need for the bond measure.

Los Altos needs a boost to regain its once-proud community spirit. Placing a high priority on the civic center may be just the stimulant the city needs to restore that spirit.

Janet Dobson

Los Altos

Resident warns of Redwood Grove hazard

I’m writing to report a fire hazard/nuisance issue that I now see repeatedly occurring at Redwood Grove, most recently two weekends ago.

My alarm regarding this issue is raised particularly because of my awareness that fire trucks can’t access this location within the park, as they would have to drive over a bridge that won’t support their weight.

It seems that people have been using this area of the park as a party spot, as is evident from the abundance of garbage – cigarette butts, burned matches, rolling papers, marijuana, etc. – left behind.

While I was able to photograph the larger garbage, unfortunately, my camera wasn’t able to take clear pictures of the smaller items.

My question: Can this misuse of the area be prevented, or must we remove the existing bridge and build a bigger one so that fire trucks are able to reach the area in time to prevent a potential tinder box from igniting?

Peggy Hennessee

Los Altos

Fallen Leaf Lane ill-suited for trail

The Stevens Creek Trail Joint Cities Feasibility Study Task Force is eyeing Los Altos streets to connect existing multiuse trail segments in Mountain View and Cupertino. Fallen Leaf Lane is one of several options.

While I support the goal of connecting the trail, I believe this street should be removed from consideration because it is ill-suited and unsafe for trail purposes.

Fallen Leaf Lane is a quiet, tree-lined street, representative of Los Altos neighborhoods. Residents have 50-plus years of investment in landscaping, flowers and more than 200 mature trees. These would need to be removed for the proposed bike lanes.

Even with “improvements,” safety is far from assured, as trail users would have to navigate 100 driveways and 11 side streets along this 1.1 mile route.

This task force – comprising Los Altos, Mountain View, Cupertino and Sunnyvale – wants to use the city’s right-of-way to remove up to 9 feet of our residents’ front yards on both sides of the street.

Los Altos officials have yet to protest this concept, which is in direct contradiction to our General Plan.

We cannot let outsiders repurpose our streets or our front yards. Please help us oppose this scheme by contacting the Los Altos City Council.

For more information, visit FallenLeafLane.org.

Michael Eiger

Los Altos

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