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News

Street crack-sealing project begins Monday, May 4

The City of Los Altos is beginning a city-wide street crack-sealing project on Monday (May 4).

City officials said the traffic impact for this project will be minimal. No streets will be closed and vehicles can resume normal traffic flow shortly aft...

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Schools

Homestead students use projects  to solve environmental problems

Homestead students use projects to solve environmental problems


Alisha Parikh/Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High School junior Maya Dhar, a Los Altos resident, left, and classmate Carolyn MacDonald support the school’s AP Environmental Science classes at the Arbor Day Festival April 23.

As summer app...

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Community

CHAC appoints new leader

CHAC appoints new leader

Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, LCSW, has been named the new executive director of the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC). A seasoned nonprofit leader, Nakano-Matsumoto is scheduled to assume duties July 1. She takes over for outgoing executive direct...

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Sports

St. Francis swimmers shine

St. Francis swimmers shine


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Benjamin Ho competes against Sacred Heart Cathedral Thursday. The junior swam on all three victorious relays at the home meet, which the Lancers won easily.

Flexing its power in the pool, host St....

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Comment

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices


Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in ...

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Special Sections

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal


Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of...

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Business

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca is coming to 400 Main St. with a grand-opening celebration scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

If natural health and beauty products are your cup of tea, expect to find them – and hot tea – this weekend at the gran...

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Books

People

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

October 30, 1924 - April 8, 2015

Jane Butterfield Pringle Lynd, daughter to Liebert and Elise Butterfield of San Francisco, passed away quietly at her home in Palo Alto surrounded by her family, following a short illness. Jane was a proud third ge...

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View


Ray Renati/Special to the Town Crier
The Pear Avenue Theatre production of Paul Braverman’s “Birds of a Feather” stars Troy Johnson as mafia boss Sean Kineen, left, and Diane Tasca as private eye Frankie Payne.

Pear Avenue Theatre’s world premi...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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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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