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News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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Berlin’s museums offer an island of culture


Photo By: Thomas Wolf/SPecial to the Town Crier
Photo Thomas Wolf/Special To The Town Crier

Museum Island on the River Spree in central Berlin is home to five museums that offer a treasure trove of art and artifacts.

The German capital of Berlin, known primarily for its cabarets and nightlife, is more than just a party animal. It’s also the domesticated home to several world-class museums.

Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999, houses five buildings on an island on River Spree in central Berlin that merit a visit.

Los Altos Hills resident Cathie Perga, an inveterate traveler who loves museums, has visited India, Belgium, Cairo, Gaziantepe, Izmir and Istanbul, among others places. She loves to immerse herself in history.

Perga, a widow, said that when her husband was alive, she would suggest a trip and it “would just happen.”

“It’s hard to find someone” with that kind of travel chemistry, she lamented.

She jumped at the chance to travel to Berlin in February with her daughter and son-in-law. They found comfortable accommodations for 80 euros a night through Airbnb (www.airbnb.com), a website that matches vacationers with private homes and rooms.

Perga said their kitchen was compact but efficient, in the European style, but “it had all that I needed.” She added that she would recommend the Airbnb option to anyone.

“It was close to where (Chancellor) Angela Merkel lives, too,” she said.

During the day, the group wandered through Berlin’s museums. From the bust of Queen Nefertiti at the Neues Museum to the Altar of Zeus at the Pergamon Museum, everything seemed an amazing treasure, Perga said.

The five treasures of Museum Island

• King Friedrich Wilhelm III ordered the Altes Museum (Old Museum) built to house the royal art collection. He thought that cultural education should be available to the public, too, and not just to royalty. The architect, Karl Schinkel, designed the neoclassical public museum. The first dedicated museum building in Berlin, it opened in 1830.

The Altes Museum resembles the Stoa in Athens because King Wilhelm IV underscored a classical influence. Since 1904, the museum has housed Germany’s entire classical antiquities collection.

Luise Henriette of Nassau, Friedrich Wilhelm’s Dutch wife, developed the museum’s adjacent Lustgarten (Pleasure Garden) in the 16th century. With help from a landscape gardener, she turned it into a formal yard with fountains and paths. After German reunification in 1990, officials commissioned a landscape designer to restore the Lustgarten in the spirit of the original park.

• The Neues Museum (New Museum) took a long time to build – from 1843 to 1855. It closed in 1939 at the beginning of World War II, heavily damaged in the bombing of Berlin. During the Cold War, the museum divided its inventory between East and West Germany.

English architect David Chipperfield oversaw the restoration of the original edifice, and it finally opened to visitors again in 2009.

The colorful and most famous bust of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti is housed at the Neues Museum, which boasts extensive prehistory, early history and Egyptian collections.

• The Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery), opened in 1876, stores the largest assortment of 19th-century paintings and sculptures in Germany, as well as the works of a few French Impressionists. The museum houses masterpieces by artists such as Caspar David Friedrich, Adolph Menzel, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir and Auguste Rodin.

Friedrich August Stüler designed the original building, shaped like a Greco-Roman temple. The building, heavily damaged in Allied air raids during World War II, underwent an extensive renovation between 1998 and 2001.

• Originally named the Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum in 1904 in honor of Emperor Friedrich III, the Bode Museum was renamed for its first curator, Wilhelm von Bode, in 1956.

Closed for renovations from 1997 through 2006, the Bode’s extensive European sculpture collection is unparalleled. It includes Coptic Egyptian and Byzantine art, as well as pieces from the Orient, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

The Bode also possesses one of the world’s most comprehensive coin and medals collections, with more than 500,000 items dating from the seventh century B.C.

• The final museum in the complex, built 1910-1930, the Pergamon Museum, remains the focus of some controversy between Germany and Turkey over who owns the art. Turks claim that some important artifacts should be returned to them because they were discovered in Turkey.

German engineer Carl Humann noticed ancient ruins being used as a marble quarry during a visit to Pergamon, Turkey, in 1878. He immediately asked for permission to excavate and unearthed the Altar of Zeus, a masterpiece of Hellenistic art created in 2 B.C. Archaeologists also uncovered the Market Gate of Miletus, a colossal two-story monument believed to have been built under Emperor Hadrian’s rule.

Both items were shipped to Germany and reconstructed for the Pergamon Museum. The museum is also home to the enormous Ishtar Gate of Babylon.

For more information, visit whc.unesco.org/en/list/896.

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