Sun09142014

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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Construction ends for two projects, ramps up in south Los Altos


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Work on the San Antonio Road streetscape project wrapped up last week after construction crews planted vines for a living wall.

Following is an update on three major Los Altos construction projects.

First Street streetscape

Work on Phase 1B of the city’s First Street streetscape project is set to wrap up – albeit temporarily – to accommodate the annual Arts & Wine Festival.

The project includes widening the First Street sidewalks and corners, installing new storm drains and rain gardens and adding new streetlights and landscaping. The project was broken into phases to allow work along First Street, between State and Shasta streets, to wrap up ahead of this weekend’s festival.

Erica Ray, Los Altos public information coordinator, said work remains on schedule.

Crews have completed sidewalk construction on the northwest side of the street (near Bumble and Area 151) and installed irrigation for landscaping along the block, Ray said. They have completed the curb and gutter demolition in front of Pilates studio Evolve at 106 First St. – on the opposite side of the street. Concrete-pouring was scheduled to begin Monday (after the Town Crier’s press deadline) to form a new gutter and curb in time for the festival.

Ray said all but one drive aisle in Parking Plaza 7 would be open and accessible from First Street when the festival opens. Pedestrians should be unimpeded during the weekend’s activities.

Post-festival, the city is expected to commence streetscape work, which will require closing the State and First streets intersection for six weeks, starting Monday.

The city will open the State Street Green July 18 – a temporary public gathering area with green turf, seating and scheduled events – to occupy the closed-off roadway between First and Second streets.

“It’ll probably be open for people to walk through and enjoy by the afternoon of July 18,” Ray said.

The landscaping and streetlight installations are scheduled after the work at the intersection of State and First streets winds up in late August or early September.

San Antonio Road streetscape

The San Antonio Road streetscape project is essentially finished, according to Ray.

The project, which began in January and experienced delays related to the discovery of lead-tainted soil, called for the widening of sidewalks and curbs along San Antonio to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, new median landscaping and the installation of rain gardens to capture stormwater runoff.

Crews wrapped up the project last week by planting vines along a 4-foot-high living wall along San Antonio. The wall screens views of cars in Parking Plaza 3.

Ray said that for a few days, residents would see construction workers in the area putting the “finishing touches” on the project, including minor crosswalk striping work near curb cuts.

“There may be some traffic cones up once they actually stripe the area, but there shouldn’t be any major lane closures,” she said.

Homestead Road safety improvements

While construction nears an end along San Antonio, work is just beginning at the other end of Los Altos along Homestead Road.

The project, scheduled for completion in November, includes the installation of a traffic signal and crosswalk at the entrance to the Foothill Crossing shopping center. New median islands and landscaping and a Class 1 pedestrian and bicycle pathway will be added on the north side of the road between Foothill Expressway and Belleville Way.

The Homestead Road Safety Improvements project began in May, slightly later than its slated kickoff toward the end of April. Ray attributed the delay to contractor scheduling, but added that residents in the area can expect “to see the project move very quickly.”

The project’s contractor – Pavex Construction – has focused on storm drains and grading for the pathway. The project is still on schedule, Ray added.

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