Mon09152014

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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All-in Eagles find success in first year : Los Altos leads league


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Los Altos High’s Ian McColl, right, and Nathan Smith go up for the block against Cupertino last week. The Eagles won the match.

The Los Altos High boys volleyball team may lack experience, but the Eagles don’t have commitment issues.

Team members played a major role in the formation of the first-year program, raising funds after administrators told them there was no money in the athletic budget for the sport. And they train at 6 a.m. because the badminton and gymnastics teams occupy the gym after school.

“They didn’t like it at first, but they’re getting used to it,” coach Dave Radford said of the predawn practices. “They’re always there.”

That dedication seems to have served Los Altos well in its inaugural season. With two regular-season matches remaining, the Eagles find themselves atop the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino Division standings at 10-2.

If Los Altos wins tonight at Saratoga (5-5 league) and Friday at home against Fremont (8-3), the team is assured the division title and a berth in the Central Coast Section playoffs.

Did Radford ever imagine the upstart Eagles (10-6 overall) would be in such a position?

“I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “But after the preseason, I sat down with each player and told them where they fit in and asked them what their goals were, and they all said their goal was to win league – that’s been the mindset.”

Not even a slow start deterred Los Altos. The Eagles dropped four of their first five matches, but only one was within the division.

“The guys knew more about the league than I did,” Radford said. “They were confident that when we got into league, we’d face challenges but still be victorious in most of our matches.”

Both of Los Altos’ league losses went five games. The Eagles avenged the loss to Cupertino – sweeping the Pioneers last week – and hope to pay back Fremont Friday in a match that may decide the league champ.

“It’s going to come down to will and who makes more smart plays and the least amount of mistakes,” Radford said.

The coach tries to reduce his team’s mistakes by stressing volleyball IQ and noted that his players are getting smarter by the match.

“They’ve gone from elementary kids to seniors in college as far as learning the game,” Radford said.

Perhaps no player has improved more than senior middle blocker Ian McColl.

“He’s woken up the last five or six matches,” Radford said prior to last week’s home win over Cupertino, in which the 6-foot-4 McColl notched 13 kills. “He’s seeing everything in front of him.”

Radford praised assistant coach David Moore for his work with McColl and fellow senior Spencer Simonides, a 6-8 middle blocker who’s also playing tennis for Los Altos this spring.

The Eagles are not only imposing in the middle but can do damage on the outside as well. Opposite hitter Alex Blackburn, a senior, tops the team in kills and outside hitter David Stien is second. Stien, a freshman, recorded a team-high 15 kills against Cupertino April 24. “He’s done great,” Radford said.

Another ninth-grader, setter Nathan Smith, has surpassed 500 assists.

“He’s running the offense with flying colors,” Radford said. “I couldn’t have asked for more from a freshman – or a senior.”

Three seniors not previously mentioned have contributed to the cause as well – outside hitter John Dai and defensive stalwarts Mathias McAfee and Paul Bergevin. The coach said Dai has racked up 74 kills (despite missing four weeks with an injury), libero McAfee “has become our defensive guru” (team-best 241 digs) and Bergevin has “lit up the back row” in limited action.

In honor of Senior Night, Los Altos created a theme for Friday’s finale against Fremont (6:45 p.m. start). Titled “Stash Bash,” the players are trying to grow mustaches for the occasion and may hand out paper ones to fans, according to Radford, who said his facial hair will be “in full bloom.”

For more photos of the Los Altos High School boys volleyball team, click here.

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