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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Almond fifth-graders debate taxes


Photo By: Courtesy of Corinne Finegan Machatzke
Photo Courtesy Of Corinne Finegan Machatzke

Fifth-grader Genna Landi states her argument on taxes to the opposing team during Almond School’s recent debate.

Bostonians in 1773 provided an answer to the question “Should Great Britain have taxed the colonists?” via the Boston Tea Party. More recently, before the April 15 filing deadline for U.S. taxes, fifth-graders at Almond School explored both sides of the issue through a series of formal debates conducted gradewide as part of their social studies curriculum.

Many students reported that studying colonial taxation via debate, as opposed to more traditional means, helped them to better understand that period in American history. They said they found it eye-opening to debate a point of view that they didn’t necessarily support.

Lead parent and debate organizer Scott Graeser described another outcome of the debates that surprised a fair number of students. They started to understand that Britain had some valid reasons to tax the Colonists, he said, “although perhaps Britain didn’t go about it the best of ways.”

For some, Graeser added, there was also the realization of how different the world would have been today if the Colonists and Britain had sat down and worked their differences out.

Graeser said many of the students were nervous prior to the debates, unsure of what to expect, but afterward they said it “wasn’t that bad” or “was actually kind of fun.”

“Then they started to debate who won the debate,” he said.

Joe Chan, fifth-grade and social studies teacher, agreed with the assessment of the debate’s benefits.

“The debates provided a wonderful opportunity for students to actively engage in and use their critical thinking skills,” he said. “(The debates) provided real-world experiences that the students will use in their everyday lives.”

Chan noted that through the debates, students learned better methods to prepare, organize and present information.

Volunteer parents coached and facilitated the debates, with topics related to the students’ social studies class. The debates aligned with district and Common Core standards in the areas of Persuasive/Argumentative writing, Public Speaking and Social Studies.

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