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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As a family, fit reading into each summer day


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos brothers Will and Jack Park read at the Los Altos main library. Longtime educator Elaine Sigal underscores the importance of encouraging children to read.

It almost doesn’t matter what we read as long as we are reading to ourselves and to our children.

Reading is the crux of all education and learning. Without superior reading skills, all other subjects will be harder, take more time to learn and might not interest us.

We read to our children when they are little, so why stop?

One of my favorite days when teaching school was reading a Shakespeare play in prose to my Advanced Placement students. I had them put their heads down on their desks and just listen. After they understood the format of the play and which morals, themes and characters were represented, we were able to read/act the play from a stronger stance.

Why do we stop reading to our children? Why do we not encourage them to read more? Why do we not insist that our children read for as many hours as they play video games?

Please don’t let your children spend a summer without books as their companions. Vegetation belongs in the ground, not in your children’s heads.

Following are a few suggestions to encourage your children’s reading skills.

• Read to them every day – it doesn’t matter how old they are.

• Require that they read at least an hour a day – it doesn’t need to be at one sitting.

• Help them select age-appropriate books they would enjoy.

• Use the library as a family.

• Schedule family reading time each day or night.

• Make it cool – dress up as characters, eat food from the time period, speak in accents. Enjoy it with them – you get to be a child again.

Do you remember the library reading contests? How many books did you read in a summer? Do you remember the star charts? How many of us read just to earn a star? You can offer stars to children of all ages. Encouragement doesn’t need to come in the form of a paper star, but ideally we should urge everyone to read.

I’m frequently asked whether it matters if students read a hard copy or an electronic book. My answer is that it is a personal preference. The advantage of a device is that you can travel with it. The advantage of a hard copy is that you can touch it. It doesn’t matter, as long as we all read.

Elaine Sigal is a Los Altos resident who has been an educator for more than 35 years. She is founder of MindLaunch, a tutoring, academic advising and college counseling company. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit mindlaunch.com.

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