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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LA Council Briefs

The Los Altos City Council took the following actions at its May 14 meeting.

City supports Santa Clara in Super Bowl bid

The council unanimously agreed to send a letter in support of the city of Santa Clara’s successful bid to host the 2016 Super Bowl. National Football League owners voted May 21 to award Super Bowl L to the South Bay city, which will become home to the San Francisco 49ers in 2014. The team is currently constructing a $1.2 billion 68,500-seat stadium near Great America theme park.

Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw told the Town Crier that hosting the Super Bowl would not only have a positive economic impact on Santa Clara, but on surrounding communities like Los Altos as well. Fishpaw cited the potential increase in hotel reservations in the area, among other things.

“Should the 49ers not make it to the Super Bowl (that year) – even though we’re naturally rooting for them – every hotel in Santa Clara County would be booked,” he said. “That’s definitely one area where Los Altos would have a positive benefit.”

In its letter to NFL Senior Vice President of Events Frank Supovitz, the city council called the region “an ideal venue for an event that celebrates athletic strength, strategy and spirit.”

In addition, the letter noted that the 49ers’ new home would “provide an extraordinary game-day experience for fans,” citing the stadium’s “state-of-the-art features and distinctive architectural design.” The letter added that the region experiences 300 days of sunshine annually and an average temperature of 62 degrees in February – when the Super Bowl is typically played.

City approves pact with truck drivers union

The council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution approving a new three-year contract between the city and Sanitary Truck Drivers and Helpers Union Local 350.

According to a staff report, the parties reached agreement April 25 on the new deal, unanimously ratified by Local 350 members five days later. The city’s current contract with the union was set to expire at the end of June.

The new agreement calls for 2 percent increases in employees’ base salaries starting the first full pay period of July 2013 and again in July 2014. A 3 percent increase will take effect in the final year of the three-year pact.

The agreement also provides for increased retirement contributions – totaling 6 percent over the life of the contract – by employees hired before October 2011. As a result, according to Los Altos Assistant City Manager J Logan, employees hired before October 2011 would increase their overall pension contributions to 8 percent.

Employees hired after October 2011 are not affected. Those hired after October 2011 but before Jan. 1, 2013, now pay 7 percent toward employee member contributions and are covered under the lower pension benefit of 2-percent-at-60-retirement formula.

As outlined in the Public Employees Pension Reform Act, state employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2013, are covered under a lower benefit tier and contribute 50-50 to pension plans.

Artistic bike rack policy in the works

The council unanimously voted to direct city staff to develop a citywide policy regarding artistic bicycle racks.

According to a staff report, the city currently allows only black, horseshoe-shaped racks.

n 2012, the Public Arts Commission discussed the possibility of adopting a policy after a Los Altos resident saw artistic bike racks in Long Beach “and thought they would enhance the city of Los Altos,” the report stated. In March, the commission voted in favor of recommending that the city develop the policy.

– Diego Abeloos

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