Mon09152014

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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Until next summer: The Rockey Road

It’s 2 a.m. and I can’t sleep because one of my children will be leaving in two days and I won’t see him for a year. Or so it seems.

In January 2012, I read an email that said, “Marceau is 13, lives in France and is looking to stay as an exchange student.” I thought it would be fun for my son to have someone around who also enjoys sports and is the same age. I spoke with my husband, who agreed, and immediately responded to the email.

Two months later, Marceau and his family were at our front door to meet us. They were a lovely family, and while Marceau was quiet and just learning to speak English, I could tell he was a sweet boy, as described in the email. They returned to France, and via Skype and email we planned for his stay with us in the coming summer.

July 2012 brought warm weather, my son’s birthday and Marceau. The morning Marceau and his parents arrived, I learned that my friend was moving out of the neighborhood, and I knew deep down that the friendship was also moving out of my life. But in some cosmic way, one relationship was being exchanged for another.

I remember Marceau’s mother’s face as she said goodbye to her son. Leaving her child in the home of perfect strangers rendered her excited, but sad and unsure. Just as they were about to walk away, I told her that I would care for him as if he were my own and that he was in good hands. I watched as relief washed over her face, and that was when my attachment to Marceau took root.

We were excited to show Marceau as much as we could while trying not to cram too much American culture down his throat. At first I tried to figure out things he liked to do and eat, but I quickly realized that he just wanted to experience life as we do.

Each day unveiled more of his personality, and each day wove him closer into our family. The morning kisses I delivered to my children were followed by cheek kisses, one side then the next, to Marceau. And each night ended the same way.

We were bonding with this sweet-natured boy. With very few words spoken between us, we could feel the connection that would be undeniably difficult to let go in the coming weeks. But the time came to send Marceau back to France. At the airport, we checked him in and stayed until the flight escort arrived. Walking through security, he looked back often while our hearts grew heavy with sadness for missing him.

We kept in touch with Marceau and his family through Skype and invited him to stay with us again this summer. As the day of his arrival approached, I felt as if my child were coming home.

It’s incredible that people living nearly 6,000 miles apart, who have spent only a few months together, can love each other like family. I didn’t know what to expect when I answered the original email – I took a chance – but I certainly wasn’t expecting to feel this way about another child. It’s not easy for me to let another soul close to mine, but once the bond is made, it’s nearly impossible to break.

Marceau leaves for France in two days. His English has improved, and I know he feels at home with us. I will miss him and his sweet laugh. Several days will follow before we adjust to our home without him, but in my motherly heart, there will always be a spot reserved for Marceau.

It’s 2:50 a.m. I should try to get some sleep.

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