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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New wheels on local streets : Los Altos Police get updated look with 2013 patrol vehicle


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier

The Los Altos Police Department’s new Interceptor Utility vehicle serves as a mobile incident command post.

The Los Altos Police Department last week rolled out the newest member of its agency – albeit one on four wheels instead of two feet.

The agency’s new 2013 Ford Police Interceptor Utility began patrolling Los Altos streets May 21. And if the department’s new patrol car looks slightly different to local residents, there’s reason for it.

According to Los Altos Police Chief Tuck Younis, Ford Motor Co. opted earlier this year to discontinue production of its trademark Crown Victoria police cruisers, which Younis called “legendary” vehicles commonly used by numerous law enforcement agencies across the United States.

“That Crown Victoria was a workhorse for years and years in our profession,” said Younis, whose department received two of its final Crown Victorias earlier this year – before being discontinued – and has a total of nine patrol vehicles in service.

The department opted to move forward with the Ford Police Interceptor Utility – built on the same platform as the Ford Taurus, but with the look of a Ford Explorer. Younis noted that the new utility vehicle is the same one chosen by the California Highway Patrol, which previously used V8 Crown Victorias as well.

Younis added that the new vehicle is the first of its kind for the department in more than cosmetic ways. The new V6 Interceptor Utility comes equipped with a “command package” that allows it to serve as the department’s first mobile incident command post.

The vehicle will also be used for larger in-progress criminal investigations and special events. Among other amenities, the vehicle contains special officer safety equipment and “less-lethal” weaponry, such as beanbag projectiles. The new Interceptor also includes more standard police performance features such as all-wheel drive and a heavy-duty braking system to “meet the demands of police work,” Younis noted.

“For this particular vehicle, it’s critical for us because of the command package we’ve added,” Younis said. “We previously didn’t have a mobile incident command post, so a lot of times the coordination during a multiagency response was done on the hood of someone’s patrol car. … This is really an extra benefit for our organization that we did not have before.”

Younis noted that by choosing the same vehicle as the CHP, the department was able to “piggyback” on the state’s negotiated bid price with Ford and purchase it for approximately $40,000.

“The equipment we put on it and the installation is a part of that (price),” he added.

With the Crown Victoria now a thing of the past, Younis said residents should see more of the new Interceptor Utility vehicles on the road in the coming years. Because of the continual use of its patrol vehicles, the department typically replaces three cars annually.

“These cars are used heavily day and night without much of a break,” Younis noted.

Younis said the department’s next batch of Interceptor Utility patrol vehicles in 2014 will include more standard features typically seen in patrol cars, such as screening partitions for prisoner transport.

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