Tue01272015

Schools

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on a proposal to exempt ninth-grade student-athletes from taking PE. Students take part in a physical education class at Mount...

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Community

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF


From Midnight Express Instagram
A group of millennial-aged Santas celebrating a night on the town prepare for a safe ride from San Francisco to their South Bay homes, courtesy of Cory Althoff’s new Midnight Express shuttle.

It’s no understatemen...

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Comment

More open than ever: Editorial

One of the Los Altos City Council’s objectives for 2015 is implementing an open-government policy. The title of the policy may be somewhat misleading, because it’s not as if the city has had a closed-government policy. But the new proposal goes beyon...

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Business

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Cassidy Turley, which has offices at 339 S. San Antonio Road, is combining with DTZ following its recent acquisition.

Commercial real estate services companies DTZ and Cassidy Turley have joined forces to operate as a sin...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

JUDY HOFFMANN

JUDY HOFFMANN

Judy Hoffmann passed away unexpectedly October 17, 2014 in New York City. It was only fitting Judy would be traveling and enjoying special adventures in so many different places until the very end.

Judy has lived since 1969 in Los Altos with her h...

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Travel

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill


Courtesy of Raúl Cañibano
Cuban photographer Raúl Cañibano is set to appear at Foothill College tonight. His work – including the image “Series: Guajira’s Land, Viñales, 2007,” right – is on display at the KCI Gallery t...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View


Suellen Fitzsimmons/Special to the Town Crier
Christopher Tocco stars in TheatreWorks’ “2 Pianos 4 Hands,” which opened last week.

TheatreWorks’ production of “2 Pianos 4 Hands” is scheduled to run through Feb. 15 at the Mountain View Center fo...

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Spiritual Life

Start something great by ringing in the new year with prayer

There is a tradition, which I’m told originates in the Midwest, that calls for people to pray in the new year. A few years ago, I was invited to a friend’s house and a number of people stayed up until midnight (approximately two hours pa...

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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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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