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News

West Nile fogging commences Sept. 2

West Nile fogging commences Sept. 2


Courtesy of the Santa Clara County Vector Control District
Fogging commences Wednesday within the highlighted area.

The detection of West Nile Virus-infected mosquitos means that Santa Clara County officials will begin mosquito fogging operations...

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Schools

LASD trustees reopen negotiations with Los Altos Teachers Association

The Los Altos School District Board of Trustees last week directed staff to reopen negotiations with the Los Altos Teachers Association, a move intended to shore up the district’s financial picture.

According to the district’s current co...

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Community

LA teenager crowned Miss Golden State, advances to national pageant in Florida

LA teenager crowned Miss Golden State, advances to national pageant in Florida


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Alexandra McCarthy, crowned Miss Golden State Teen in July, earned “Ms. Personality” honors from her peers.

Alexandra McCarthy has a ways to go before reaching her coveted role as a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Bu...

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Sports

After rough year, Eagles aim to soar once more

After rough year, Eagles aim to soar once more


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High senior running back Patrick Vargas snares a pass in practice last week.

Don’t dismiss the Eagles. Coach Trevor Pruitt is adamant that his Los Altos High football team will be better than expected.

&#...

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Comment

Car spotting 2015: A Piece of My Mind

When I was a kid, September was exciting, almost like Christmas, because that was when the Big Three automakers would reveal the new models for the upcoming year.

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Special Sections

Loving on the Edge

Loving on the Edge


Courtesy of Ford
The Ford Edge has been redesigned for 2015. Ford lengthened the wheel base and added cargo space, among other things. The Titanium model sells for approximately $42,000.

Once in a while, a vehicle we test-drive is just right for our...

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Business

Wine bar aims for October opening

Wine bar aims for October opening


Rendering courtesy of Honcho
Honcho, the wine and beer lounge on First Street, expects an October launch. A rendering of the space reveals the interior layout, which includes bar and lounge-style seating.

A downtown libations lounge that anticip...

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People

LOIS CAROLINE WALLES

LOIS CAROLINE WALLES

November, 1928

Lois lost a long and courageous battle with a prolonged illness on July 14th, 2015. She passed away knowing how well she was loved. She was always the life of the party and loved bringing everyone to her home for dinner or an event,...

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Travel

Carmel Valley Ranch unveils upgrades

Carmel Valley Ranch unveils upgrades


Courtesy of Carmel Valley Ranch
Carmel Valley Ranch recently upgraded its Vineyard Oak suites, which feature sweeping views, rocking chairs and private outdoor tubs for soaking under the stars.

Things are heating up at Carmel Valley Ranch, with 30 n...

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Stepping Out

'Dead Man' comes alive at Bus Barn

'Dead Man' comes alive at Bus Barn


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” includes, from left, Marjorie Hazeltine (as Hermia), Kristin Walter (Jean) and Adrienne Walters (Carlotta).

Los Altos Stage Company opens its ...

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Spiritual Life

Inside Mountain View

MV actress/playwright Garvin wins NY festival award for

MV actress/playwright Garvin wins NY festival award for "Corners Grove"


Courtesy of Undiscovered Countries
Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin received a New York arts festival award for a featured role in “Corners Grove,” a play she wrote.

New York recognized that one of Mountain View’s own can “make it there” when the Planet C...

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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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