Thu07302015

News

Cal Water says no E. coli in water; limits boiling advisory area

Cal Water says no E. coli in water; limits boiling advisory area

Cal Water officials said today that preliminary water quality test results were negative for E. coli were negative and "only a single hydrant" in the South El Monte area of Los Altos showed the presence of total coliform. They reduced the "boil your ...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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Give your regards: Local director leads November trip to Broadway


Photo By: Photos Courtesy of Jay Manley
Photo Photos Courtesy Of Jay Manley

Jay Manley, above, founder of Foothill Music Theatre, has scheduled a November tour of New York City that includes attending five or six Broadway shows. Manley’s partner, mixed-media artist Vance Martin, left, plans the tour’s day trips.

Broadway lights shine brightest during the holidays, and Jay Manley and Vance Martin plan a Thanksgiving to remember with their upcoming New York Theatre Tour.

The play’s the thing for those who sign up for the duo’s 33rd New York City theater trip, which will feature five new productions and an optional musical. From Nov. 26 to Dec. 2, theater-lovers will feast on a full menu of first-run plays. It’s the first time in 20 years that the tour will hit New York City on Thanksgiving.

Manley, who earned a doctorate at UC Berkeley, taught theatre arts at Foothill College until his retirement in 2005. He founded the award-winning Foothill Music Theatre and served as artistic director for 25 years.

Manley began the Broadway trips in 1980, combining his love of theater and travel. He knows a thing or two about the genre. Martin, his partner, is a multimedia artist who plans the group’s side trips to landmarks like Christo’s Central Park gates in the snow or the Museum of Modern Art for a behind-the-scenes tour.

Unique to this year’s trip, participants will dine Thanksgiving Day at the legendary Algonquin Hotel, now run by Marriott Corp. The famed dining room once played host to the Algonquin Round Table, an exchange of opinions among the literati that led to the founding of The New Yorker magazine.

Manley said he selects the best available shows, including Tony Award nominees.

Many Los Altos residents agree – they sign up again and again for Manley and Martin’s tours, which include two fully booked New York City tours in May and June and a trip to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland Sept. 2-7.

Encore travelers

A blurb in the Town Crier three years ago inspired Los Altos resident Fran Vella to sign up for a Manley/Martin tour via travel agent Priscilla Repetti at Ligtelyn Travel, which arranges the details.

Vella said she wasn’t a fan of Broadway musicals before the trip, nor had she visited the Big Apple since childhood. After her first experience, she has signed up for multiple tours.

“Jay’s trips are so incredible, because they seem to have this insight into which plays are the best. We don’t have a choice,” said Vella, a writer and editor who runs her business Phrasemaker out of the same Main Street building that houses Ligtelyn Travel.

Vella said she researches the plays on Broadway.com to discover more about the actors ahead of time and appreciates the insider’s view she glimpses on the Manley/Martin tours.

Manley and Martin engage an expert, perhaps a critic, a voice coach or an actor, depending on the relevance to the play, to explain the intricacies of the production for tour-goers.

“We try to find things that the casual visitor cannot find,” Manley said.

Vella goes on the trips without her husband, Mark Winitz, affording her time to explore New York City on her own. On her first trip, she discovered how easy it was to reach Rockefeller Center on foot. During her visit this spring, her goal is to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan to Brooklyn Heights.

Vella is a repeat customer, she said, because Manley gets great rates on play tickets and lodging, and Martin arranges fascinating day trips.

“One day we went to the Chelsea Market and the High Line,” she noted. “Another time they took us to the Cloisters and we cruised up the Hudson. I wouldn’t have known to do that by myself.”

Los Altos resident Penny Oronsky, a watercolorist who enjoys taking trips with her husband now that she’s retired, travels annually with New York Theatre Tour along with four to six girlfriends. They use their free time to shop and have spa treatments.

Oronsky, whose venture-capitalist husband, Arnold, stays behind until the final weekend of the tour, said she loves every minute of the trips. An avid theater-goer, she especially appreciates the wealth of information Manley and Martin send her before every trip.

“Everything that Jay and Vance suggest has been vetted by them personally and nothing is left to chance,” said Oronsky, a New York native.

She also praised them for being “warm and inclusive and instinctively knowing how to make everyone feel welcome.”

Oronsky added that a highlight for her is when an actor from a show conducts a question-and-answer session with the group.

Longtime Los Altos residents King and Ginny Lear met Manley through Ginny’s volunteer work on the Foothill Commission. They have traveled with Manley and Martin four times in the past seven years – twice to New York, once to London and once to Ashland.

According to the Lears, booking a tour with Manley and Martin requires a love for theater, because the schedule includes an extensive selection of live performances – and great seats.

Like Vella and Oronsky, the Lears enjoy learning about what’s behind the curtain.

“Because they have been doing this for so many years – and Jay has such an outstanding reputation of his own as a director – he and Vance can arrange for the groups to have unique talks by actors or backstage people who make a play happen,” the Lears wrote in an email to the Town Crier. “The magic of theater became understood.”

The Lears offer a thumbs-up to Manley/Martin excursions.

“Jay and Vance take care of everyone’s needs as much as possible and are having fun along with us,” they wrote. “We all laugh a lot together.”

Coming attractions

Tour-goers stay at the Renaissance Hotel in Times Square, directly across from where the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade passes a block from the hotel.

“It’s smack-dab in the middle of the Square,” Martin said.

On the November trip, the group will see new musicals like “Big Fish,” based on the 2003 Tim Burton-directed movie; “Diner,” adapted from the 1983 movie about a high school reunion circa 1959, with a score by singer Sheryl Crow; and “The Prince of Broadway,” co-directed by Harold Prince and Susan Stroman. Hugh Jackman will be an added attraction as the star of Stephen Schwartz’s new musical “Houdini,” and Disney premieres “Aladdin,” with local resident James Monroe Iglehart as the Genie. Iglehart starred in Foothill Music Theatre and TheatreWorks productions.

Although he retired eight years ago, Manley considers himself a freelance theater director. He is currently directing “The Sound of Music” for the annual Mountain Play production in the outdoor amphitheater on Mount Tamalpais.

“I enjoy everything musical,” he said.

The Thanksgiving New York Theatre Tour costs $3,372 per person, with a $1,321 single supplement, due Aug. 1. Airfare is not included.

For more information, call Repetti at 948-7996 or visit www. nytheatretour.com.

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