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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LA Council Briefs

The Los Altos City Council took the following actions at its July 9 meeting.

Civic center options on the docket in August

The council will likely kick off discussions in August on redeveloping or replacing some of the city’s aging civic center facilities.

According to Los Altos City Manager Marcia Somers, the council is expected to begin an “ongoing conversation” regarding alternative civic center redevelopment options – including associated costs and potential tradeoffs – at an Aug. 13 study session.

In March, the council agreed to reassess portions of the city’s Civic Center Master Plan, calling for a study session in the summer to further review various feasible scenarios.

At the time, a city staff report presented the council with three options: (1) Move forward with the originally approved four-phase master plan as is; (2) include the renovation and expansion of the police station and city hall at their current locations, plus the demolition and replacement of the community center; or (3) only renovate and expand the three areas.

The council opted to examine alternatives after the city originally sought a $65 million bond measure on the November 2012 ballot to fund 80 percent of the Civic Center Master Plan’s first phase. The previous council withdrew plans for the measure after a survey of residents revealed less support than needed to achieve a two-thirds vote.

Somers noted that the August discussion is one of many the council will have on potential civic center redevelopment options in the near future.

“I really do believe this will be an ongoing discussion with the council, because this is a really signature project for them,” said Somers, who added that initial discussions will include providing background into the city’s 2008 Civic Center Master Plan process for new councilwomen Jeannie Bruins and Jan Pepper.

Among the most important elements that will be discussed, noted Somers, is the direction the city council should take in replacing or redeveloping Hillview Community Center.

“That’s the element that’s probably most important to the council,” she said, adding that the city ultimately has to “move forward because the facility has some real deficiencies.”

Council approves new sculpture installations

The council unanimously approved the installation of sculptures at Lincoln Park and the corner of State and Fourth streets.

According to a city staff report, the bronze and stainless-steel sculpture “The Bird,” by Santa Rosa artist Riis Burwell, is slated for installation at Lincoln Park, across from the Safeway construction site. The 11-foot-high sculpture, valued at $55,000, is “an homage” to jazz musician Charlie Parker, according to Burwell.

“The Guardian,” a 6-foot-tall cast bronze sculpture, will be installed at State and Fourth streets in a landscaped area next to the Costume Bank. The $59,000 sculpture by New Orleans-based artist Karen Cauvin Eustis will be on loan to the city for five years (as opposed to the standard two-year period). It was previously slated for installation in Waveland, Miss., on the same day Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city’s beachfront.

The two art pieces were among the winning entries in the city’s 10th Competitive Sculpture Search in 2012, coordinated by the Public Arts Commission. Each artist will receive a $1,000 stipend from the city for the loaned sculptures.

– Diego Abeloos

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