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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Once-A-Year Day: A Piece of My Mind

Everyone’s entitled to be wild/ Be a child/ Be a goof/ Raise the roof/ Once a year.

– “Once-A-Year Day” from “The Pajama Game”

On the last Sunday in June, it seemed as though everyone had taken this old Broadway song to heart. It was Gay Pride Day in San Francisco, and 1.5 million people were celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision earlier that same week invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. Eighty unisex couples had married the previous day at San Francisco City Hall. The party on Sunday was, in the words of a San Jose Mercury News reporter, “like the biggest, happiest wedding reception you could imagine.”

My husband and I rode BART up to the city to attend a San Francisco Symphony program, and we were swept up in the festivities as we walked from the Civic Center BART station to Davies Symphony Hall.

As we threaded through the crowd, a conservatively dressed middle-aged fellow with a well-trimmed beard spoke to me. “Are you two a couple?” he asked, gazing from me to my husband, both in our Sunday Symphony best.

“Yes, we are.”

He broke into a beaming smile.

“It’s so great to have people like you here in support! This is such a great day! I never thought I would see this day!”

I didn’t tell him we were there for the symphony, but I wished him a wonderful afternoon.

“It will be!” he replied, as the crowd separated us.

I grabbed a Pride Guide to the festivities from a street stall and perused it while waiting for the symphony to begin. The performance was terrific – the first concert performance of the complete musical, Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story,” led with gusto by Bernstein’s friend and protégé, Michael Tilson Thomas. The lead singer, minor TV star Cheyenne Jackson, has an amazing vocal range and great ability to sell a song. He was also listed in the Pride Guide as one of the Celebrity Grand Marshals of the Gay Pride Parade.

At intermission, we wandered out to the balcony, from which we could see a corner of the celebration still going on at United Nations Plaza. Traffic was at a standstill on Van Ness Avenue, and people in costumes, carrying balloons, flourishing signs and holding hands were crossing below, waving up at us on the balcony. We waved back.

After the concert, we made our way through the packed throng to the BART station. We passed a group of people shouting and dancing along with a rap group on one of the side stages. We walked by another side stage where a cheerleading squad was performing acrobatic flips and pyramids.

The BART station was solid people, a big friendly mob – no pushing, no elbows, just laughter at our common sardine-hood. We inched our way to the turnstiles, where a guard was assisting people with Clipper cards – we made it through. I have never seen a BART train so crowded, but a young couple in cutaway jeans and pink tank tops jumped up and offered us their seats.

It was a party. It was raucous and joyful and sweet. There are different opinions about the Supreme Court decision and about what marriage means, but it is hard to resist something that made so many people so plainly, euphorically, unreservedly happy on a gorgeous San Francisco afternoon.

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