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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Approval for Immigrant House relocation excites supporters


Photo By: Photos Courtesy of Mary Kay Marinovich
Photo Photos Courtesy Of Mary Kay Marinovich

Volunteers including firefighters and city councilmembers, top, pitch in May 30 to clean up the site at 771 N. Rengstorff Ave., future home to the Immigrant House.

The Immigrant House has a home.

In the wake of the city’s recent $3 million purchase of a property at 771 N. Rengstorff Ave., the Mountain View City Council May 21 approved relocating the small 1880s-era house to the site.

Although the council has yet to formally approve the newly purchased land for park use, its action with Immigrant House points in that direction. The property’s owner, Frances M. Stieper, sold the 1.22-acre property to the city with the preference that it be used for either a park or affordable housing.

Although Immigrant House is tiny at 400 square feet, it looms large in the life of Los Altos resident Mary Kay Marinovich, who founded Friends of Immigrant House to campaign for a reprieve for the historical structure. It was home to family members who came to America from Croatia in search of a better life – thus leading to its name, Immigrant House. Through her efforts, the house, formerly located at 166 Bryant St., was saved from demolition earlier this year and moved to the city’s Municipal Operations Center until a new site could be found.

“We will be putting the house in the new park,” Marinovich said. “It will be a representation of what Mountain View was like to live in at the turn of the century.”

Major hurdles remain, however – namely, moving the house to the new location and renovating it. Costs are estimated to range from $50,000 to a city staff estimate of $225,000.

In light of the community support that has stepped forward, cost estimates remain uncertain. Marinovich May 30 rounded up several volunteers, including Mountain View Mayor John Inks, to clear out debris at the Rengstorff property – overgrown brush and trash that had accumulated over decades as the owner could no longer could keep up with maintenance.

Former Los Altos mayors Roy Lave and Bob Grimm also have helped. Lave, executive director of the Los Altos Community Foundation, said the foundation would act as a fiscal sponsor for Immigrant House fundraising.

The foundation can accept donations on its behalf, sparing Marinovich the hassle of founding her own nonprofit group to handle funds.

Members of the Kiwanis Club of Mountain View have provided funding and support for the relocation, and Mountain View firefighters are assisting in the effort.

Councilmembers selected the Rengstorff location from several options, including Shoreline Park adjacent to the historical Rengstorff House and Deer Hollow Farm, run by the city of Mountain View.

The relatively small park location suits some Immigrant House supporters just fine.

“It would be kind of lost in a bigger setting,” said Carol Lewis at the May 21 meeting. “It deserves a location of its own, by itself, where children can appreciate it more.”

Although noting that the city would provide oversight, the council placed the responsibility of fundraising on Friends of Immigrant House volunteers. The group is charged with raising money for such items as architectural drawings and materials.

City Manager Dan Rich said the effort has “evolved into a partnership” between the city and the volunteers. Marinovich said she plans to schedule an event Aug. 19 to celebrate the Immigrant House and its history.

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