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...

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

Death becomes me: No Shoes, Please

Last month, my husband – apropos of nothing but the day itself – announced, “Dad would have been 98 today,” to which I nonchalantly replied, “Oh, wow, really?”

If I were a cartoon, the thought bubble hovering over my head would have read, “So? If Abraham Lincoln were still around, he’d be 204; and if my dad hadn’t smoked so much, he might not have gotten cancer and died, therefore he’d be 92. Once a person is dead, you should really just stop counting.”

I understand it’s only natural to think of any loved one alive or dead on birthdays and how tempting it is (if the person is deceased) to imagine what it would be like if he or she remained among the living. But age carries so many weird burdens as it is, I think it’s nonsensical to continue tallying it after – particularly long after – the dearly departed have escaped the cycle of degeneration the rest of us are currently experiencing. I mean, why bother?

The beauty of death is that a lot of things don’t count anymore: age, good looks, material wealth, bad habits and mistakes, even long-standing grudges both held by and held against the deceased, which is exactly why I enjoy funerals. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t waltz into the proceedings happy-go-lucky, ready for a good time. But I do expect to be moved – to witness a level of respect and appreciation that might not have been readily or publicly offered during the lifetime of the person being remembered.

I expect to be surprised – perhaps to learn of some heretofore unknown aspect of a person’s life history during the eulogy. And when mourners offer a final word, their memories and stories can reveal as much about the individual speaking as the one who is being spoken about. After just about every service I’ve ever attended, I have felt enriched in knowledge, connection, understanding or awareness.

But these rituals don’t work for everyone. I once heard a man complain after his sister-in-law’s funeral, “It makes me mad that all those people stood up to say nice things about her when all she really was was a big, fat pig!” OK, point taken.

Maybe death diminishes the bad and embellishes the good to a point of willful deception. But I’d like to think that death or tragedy is also a moment in which you’re given an opportunity to drill down, to look at someone with your own blinders at least temporarily removed or to acknowledge valuable, meaningful contributions that had been previously ignored.

When someone makes the transition to another reality, the responsibility of surrendering to the new normal lies with the living, too. I know another woman whose parents both died at ripe old ages under appropriate circumstances, and on the anniversaries of their respective deaths, she commemorates her orphanhood.

My thought bubble on that one is, “Can you consider yourself a real orphan if you were 59 years old when your parents died? Isn’t there a statute of limitations on that?”

Schools »

Schools
Read More

Sports »

sports
Read More

People »

people
Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

photoshelter
Browse and buy photos