Tue09162014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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Veteran TV broadcaster Belva Davis shares uphill climb with Rotarians


Photo By: Steve Pomeroy/Special to the Town Crier
Photo Steve Pomeroy/Special To The Town Crier

Belva Davis addresses a crowd at a Rotary Club of Los Altos meeting May 30.

Award-winning journalist Belva Davis addressed members of the Rotary Club of Los Altos May 30, sharing how she overcame tremendous odds growing up in Louisiana to become the first female African-American TV reporter on the West Coast.

Davis’ memoir, “Never in My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman’s Life in Journalism” (Berrett-Koehler, 2012), describes in detail her tumultuous youth as the child of a 15-year-old mother in the segregated South, shuffled among seven families who could offer only temporary space.

One of her uncles sued Armour Meat Packing Co. after an industrial accident ended his ability to work, an unheard-of challenge at that time for an African-American. Her family moved West when she was 8 years old to an overcrowded project in Oakland, with 11 people sharing a two-bedroom apartment.

Despite the difficulties, the family’s move to California was “the best thing that ever happened to me,” Davis said, because she attended Berkeley High School and became the first in her family to graduate.

Davis learned at an early age to stand up for herself, particularly when racism and sexism reared their heads. As early as third grade, when her new teacher “corrected” her given name of Belvagene to Belva Jean, Davis insisted on using her proper name. Such challenges encouraged her to advocate for herself. She learned how to “get along” through such experiences, she said, not through any anger-management courses.

After working her way up to become a disc jockey at KSAN radio, Davis realized she wanted to be a journalist at the 1964 Republican Convention at the Cow Palace, when she and another African-American journalist were jeered out of the venue with racial slurs and thrown garbage. It was scary, she said, but when she witnessed other news people reporting their outrage, she decided she wanted to be like them.

She began writing for Jet magazine, and then the Bay Area Independent newspaper in Oakland. During the turbulent political demonstrations of the 1960s, Davis found ways to advance the causes of equality and black pride, including producing the Miss Bronze Northern California Beauty Pageant.

As the first female African-American journalist to cover many landmark stories, she interviewed Linus Pauling and reported on such high-profile events as the birth of the Black Panthers, the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk and the beginning of the AIDS epidemic.

Over the next two decades, Davis made a name for herself as she worked through the ranks as news anchor at KPIX-TV, KQED Public Television 9 and KRON-TV and as host of KQED’s “This Week in Northern California.” After a career that spanned nearly 50 years, she retired last November.

Davis said that during a speech she gave for Korean journalists, she encouraged them, “Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality.” One of the Koreans responded, “Me and my friends, we don’t dream anymore.”

Her goal in writing “Never in My Wildest Dreams,” Davis said, was to shine a light on the everyday injustices that many African-Americans rose above and to inspire all people to strive to achieve their dreams.

Marlene Cowan is a member of the Rotary Club of Los Altos. For more information, visit www.losaltosrotary.org.

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