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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Letters to the Editor

Robinson’s story inspires reader

Amid recent articles about bank robbers, scam artists and the continued vitriol in the Bullis Charter School vs. Los Altos School District debate, a heroine emerged who deserves commendation.

Thank you for the inspiring story about a courageous woman, Sarah Robinson (“Rare cancer turns local resident into passionate advocate,” Aug. 14), who is facing a life-or-death struggle with a rare cancer and yet somehow finds the time and energy to help others. This is the spirit that deserves coverage and that inspires us as a community.

Sarah, I wish you permanent remission and many, many years ahead of you to continue your selfless path. You are incredible.

Amy Kull

Los Altos

The Makery a hit with local residents

What a wonderful surprise to walk into the colorful Makery on State Street.

Primary colors of every imaginable craft material are found on the shelves: fabric, yarn, threads, tissue paper, stamps, pre-packaged kits, how-to books and even more. Classes are promised in the near future.

We went in separately and both agreed that we could have spent much more time looking around and getting inspired. Such an exciting addition to State Street. The Makery is sure to become a Peninsula destination.

Barbara Mordo

Los Altos and Lois Adams

Cupertino

BCS lockout furthers LASD political agenda

When you think of the word “teacher,” what are the first things that to come to mind? Most would say: “students,” “schools,” “books,” “learning,” “role model,” “mentor” and a long litany of other positive labels.

One does not think of words such as “shut out,” “ligation,” “fear tactics,” “lack of equitable facilities,” “political agendas,” “deprivation of a civil right.”

Growing up, schools were the safe zone of a community, not a battlefield.

When I decided to go into teaching, the last thing I had ever envisioned for a teacher or a student was being locked out of a school that is ready to open its doors in just eight days. I think about the looks on their faces when I have to tell them that the people who were entrusted by the community with the duty to protect their citizens’ rights to an equitable education have failed them, and failed them miserably.

What message is the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees sending to public school students in the community by locking them and their teachers out of our campus, in order to further their own political agenda?

Jenny Cheng, teacher

Bullis Charter School

Lockout distressing for BCS parents, staff

My child attends Bullis Charter School in Los Altos. I am writing because we need your help. Our teachers have been locked out of their rooms at Blach Intermediate School by the top administration of the Los Altos School District. This is causing unnecessary stress on our staff and parents, who are all aware of what is going on. It is my understanding that district officials are withholding the keys from our staff in order to force our board to sign a faulty lease agreement.

Charter schools were created to promote innovation in education. The innovation at Bullis Charter School has been tremendous. Bullis has thrived despite ongoing battles with the school district and is currently the top-performing charter school in California.

Please help us encourage district officials to treat our staff and children fairly by allowing our teachers into their rooms.

Melissa Nolan

Los Altos

Speed-limit increase poses safety threat

I am concerned about the proposed speed-limit increase on Cuesta Drive between El Monte Avenue and Springer Road.

How does this proposed increase square with the long-term plan to “calm” traffic on a residential street? Raising the speed limit seems like it would be counterproductive to the city’s long-term plan.

How does raising the speed limit increase pedestrian and bicyclist safety? We have many children who bike and walk to the rear entrance to Covington School. Increasing speed limits around a school entrance should be discouraged. A crosswalk should be added on Cuesta at Arboleda Drive.

According to the Los Altos Police, most of the cars on Cuesta in the morning and afternoon hours are commuters taking a shortcut from Interstate 280 to Grant Road/State Route 237. Commuters should be taking Foothill Expressway, as it was designed.

I suggest a “No Right Turn” zone from El Monte to Cuesta during the morning commute hours, and the same in reverse (“No Left Turn” from Cuesta to El Monte) for the afternoon hours.

The truck traffic on Cuesta has increased lately. I believe this is illegal, as they are above the weight limit permitted on a residential street. Police presence needs to be increased to enforce the law.

I encourage the city to implement the City of Los Altos 2011 Collector Traffic Calming Plan for Cuesta. These traffic-calming measures would bring down the speeds on Cuesta, thus eliminating the need to raise the speed limit.

Susan Evard

Los Altos

License plate scanners prompt privacy concerns

The article “Police roll out license plate scanner” (Town Crier, Aug. 7)) should cause Los Altos residents significant concern.

The Los Altos Police Department would be well advised to refuse this “gift” from the Department of Homeland Security immediately. Individual privacy is only one of many issues that implementing automatic anonymous license plate scanning and database tracking of same in Los Altos raises. Few of the benefits of such a practice are positive for Los Altos, the people who live here or anyone else.

Quotes in the article from Los Altos Police Chief Tuck Younis and Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office are so incomplete and (especially) naive as to be laughable.

Maybe I missed it, but did this issue come before the Los Altos City Council? It really should get exposure in open public discussion.

License plate tracking is a much bigger deal than just adding another piece of “free” electronics to a patrol car whilst claiming officer involvement won’t be necessary.

The city council needs to think this through and involve the public.

Bob Perdriau

Los Altos

In search of Good Samaritan

About three weeks ago, my heart caused me to fall in my front yard. Trisha, my daughter-in-law, saw me on the ground and came out to take care of me.

A young man on a bicycle stopped by and asked what he could do to help. Trisha told him to get the neighbor in the house across the street. He did that, and the neighbor came out and called 911. The young man then took off on his bicycle – unfortunately, without leaving a calling card.

I would very much like to know who the young man was, as I’d like to thank him personally for his kindness and help. I hope he reads the Town Crier and will respond to my request.

Barbara Emerich

Los Altos

Parking problem isn’t solved yet

Ted and Jerry Sorensen’s “Other Voices” column (“Three solutions for improving downtown parking,” Aug. 7) was so self-serving that it was sickening.

They say that there’s no parking problem right now. The implication is to let their (unmentioned) project go forward without building adequate parking, and maybe others without building any parking.

With this thinking, there soon will be a problem, which they, as offered in other forums, suggest be solved by bulldozing the trees and small shrubs in our existing parking plazas so that they can be re-striped into narrower slots. Because of the curves of these lanes in our plazas, this will make it even harder to park and perform ingress/egress from our cars. Even this would be a short-term solution, especially if the Los Altos City Council permits more construction in the plazas themselves.

Ultimately, a parking garage will be necessary. My suggestion is for the city council not to approve any more projects without adequate parking. Also, pick a site now for a future garage and protect it so that when the time comes, we are not left with a site without any access to any street whatsoever – i.e., don’t let the city council box us into a corner.

Paul Brooks

Los Altos

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