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News

Local tank drainage concerns water-conscious Los Altos resident

Los Altos resident Frank McKee recently watched water flowing down Valencia Drive and knew something wasn’t right.

The water was emptying from a 30,000-gallon California Water Service Co. tank on Valencia, near Los Altos High School. The water...

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Schools

County board names new superintendent

County board names new superintendent


The Santa Clara County Board of Education voted unanimously July 16 to appoint Jon R. Gundry as new county superintendent of schools, effective Aug. 1.

The sole finalist for the position, Gundry currently serves as superintendent of the Pasadena U...

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Community

San Juan dancers attend national convention

San Juan dancers attend national convention


Courtesy of Jordan Micek
Dancers from the San Juan School of Dance are all smiles as they pose with the trophies they won at the recent American Dance Awards National Convention in Boston.

Nearly two dozen girls from the San Juan School of Dance...

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Sports

Junior All-Stars eliminated from Section 5 tourney

Junior All-Stars eliminated from Section 5 tourney


Courtesy of Bobby Glasspole
The Los Altos & Los Altos Hills Little League Junior All-Stars posted a 1-2 record in the Section 5 Tournament in San Jose after winning the District 44 championship. Front, from left: Case Herbert, Bo Fick, Chris Gi...

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Comment

Guest workers: No Shoes, Please

Last month, I hired a housecleaner for the first time in my entire life, and a good friend of mine exclaimed to me, “Oh, Gracie, you’re going to LOVE it!”

Truth be told, I really don’t. But that isn’t to suggest that this new relationship is anythin...

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Special Sections

Recreation-related concussions on the rise in children

Children are getting more sports- and recreation-related concussions than ever before. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of concussions in children has risen 60 percent during the past decade. Each year, more than...

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Business

Are you ready to retire to South Dakota?

Bankrate.com recently ranked the 10 best states for retirement. The list, which includes such rugged spots as Colorado, Utah, North Dakota and Wyoming, was topped by, of all places, South Dakota.

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

Resident of Palo Alto

Richard Patrick Brennan, journalist, editor, author, adventurer, died at his Palo Alto home on July 4, 2014 at age 92. He led a full life, professionally and personally. He was born and raised in San Francisco, joined the Arm...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

Foothill opens 'South Pacific' this week in Los Altos Hills

Foothill opens 'South Pacific' this week in Los Altos Hills


David Allen/Special to the Town Crier
Emile de Becque (Daniel Cameron) and Nellie Forbush (Madison Genovese) watch the sunset in “South Pacific.”

Foothill Music Theatre’s production of “South Pacific” is scheduled to run Thursday through Aug. 10...

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Spiritual Life

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting


Courtesy of Carolyn Barnes
The newly built Los Altos church in 1914 featured a bell tower and an arched front window. Both continue as elements of the building as it stands today.

Foothills Congregational Church – the oldest church building ...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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SFMOMA’s ’Project Los Altos’ strikes nostalgic chord with LAHS students


Photo By: Courtesy of SFMOMA
Photo Courtesy Of Sfmoma

“Drill Team Homecoming Parade 1974” lives on. A video of the project is scheduled for display during the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s “Project Los Altos SFMOMA in Silicon Valley,” slated to run Nov. 9 through March 2, 2014.

When Los Altos High School teacher Charles Garoian’s art students approached him in 1974 with a performance-art idea they warned might “disrupt” that year’s homecoming parade, he took a deep breath.

“If you do something intelligent, I’m all for it and I’ll support you,” he told his students. “Otherwise, you’re on your own.”

Hired in 1969 by Principal Dude Angius, Garoian believed that conceptual art had an “ironical, paradoxical element that appealed to adolescents.”

After listening to his students’ idea, Garoian opted in, laboring all night on “Drill Team,” a “walking float” based on a visual pun about drilling. Students practiced marching on the football field while he shouted, “Hup one, hup two.”

Nearly four decades later, their project – “Drill Team: Homecoming Parade 1974” lives on. It is scheduled for display during the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s “Project Los Altos: SFMOMA in Silicon Valley,” scheduled to run Nov. 9 through March 2, 2014, in various venues throughout Los Altos.

SFMOMA called Garoian two months ago requesting permission to install a video of the work for “Project Los Altos.” He also plans to give a public talk about his art history classes at Los Altos High, his first teaching job.

Parade performance

The performance work was “started by art students who felt excluded by the pep girls and athletes, the marching bands and drill teams, but who got to march through the Los Altos village that day,” Garoian said. A leading performance artist and now professor of art education theory at Pennsylvania State University, he spoke with the Town Crier by phone last week.

Students marched in cadence in the mile-long parade, sporting chambray shirts and work boots. Each row carried a two-by-four, with two teens in the middle actually drilling into the boards.

The art students landed right behind two brand-new Porsches carrying the homecoming king and queen, creating a further contrast with their sight gag. Garoian told students to look serious and play it straight, because “a comedian never laughs at his own joke.” Plenty of chuckles could be heard from spectators along the parade route, though, and the school’s official drill team brought up the rear.

Garoian taught at Los Altos High for 16 years. He chronicled his experiences in “Performing Pedagogy: Toward an Art of Politics” (SUNY, 1999). He originally intended to use his first teaching job to subsidize his studio art, but he soon found the classroom to be “an extremely rewarding experience in itself.”

The Fresno native introduced “live performance art” to his classes. Springing from the Dadaist and futurist movements, performance art often uses visual puns in an “unannounced happening, sort of like a street performance,” according to Garoian.

At Los Altos High, Garoian said many performances occurred behind closed doors. In particular, he said he exposed students to artist Allan Kaprow’s popular ideas on “Happenings,” which call for using performance art “as a laboratory for experiments.”

Often, performance art occurred when students filed off buses in the morning or into the courtyard as they ate lunch at noon. Garoian said adolescents particularly benefited from conceptual art, which was “exploratory, experimental and improvisational.”

“It got them to take risks, and it got them to experiment in ways other than using drugs,” he said.

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