Wed09172014

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

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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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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Roy and Penny Lave reminisce about 50 years in Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Penny and Roy Lave share a laugh recently outside the Los Altos Community Foundation’s office on Hillview Avenue.

By Paul Nyberg

Town Crier Publisher


Roy and Penny Lave, Los Altos residents since 1964, have the rare distinction of both serving as mayors of the city. Roy’s recent retirement from the Los Altos Community Foundation, which he co-founded in 1991, and the couple’s nearly half-century of service prompted the following “e-terview,” the first in a series.

    TC: In the early 1990s, Roy, you teamed up with some others in town to form Los Altos Tomorrow, the upstart of what later became the Los Altos Community Foundation. What was the mission of the organization?
    Roy:The mission of the Los Altos Community Foundation has been all these years to build community in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and the surrounding areas. Because the term “building community” is not obvious on its face, we adopted the writings of Dr. John W. Gardner as our guide. Gardner participated in several of our events and became an honorary founder.
    Four activities support the community-building mission: sponsorship of public benefit programs; grant making to local nonprofits and scholarships to college-bound, first-in-family-to-attend-college teens; management of philanthropic funds for individuals, families and organizations; and convening the community to address opportunities and issues.
    TC: What is the foundation’s proudest achievement these past 20 years? Biggest disappointment?
    Roy: I think survival for 22 years – made possible by many regular supporters, hundreds of volunteers and talented staff members – is the proudest achievement. Many of our programs have made a difference, but maybe my favorite is E3 Youth Philanthropy, which gives teenagers training and experience in philanthropy. The most visible accomplishment is the two houses saved – the Community House and Neutra House.
    I am disappointed that I have been able to convince only approximately 600 families that the Los Altos Community Foundation is an essential ingredient in the community. I’d like it to be 6,000.

    (Note: Joe Eyre has succeeded Roy as executive director of the Los Altos Community Foundation, an appointment that meets with Roy’s hearty endorsement. Look for further comment on the transition in next week’s issue.)
    TC: You both got your start in life in the Midwest. What brought you to California, and when did you arrive?
    Penny: I grew up in Lansing, Mich., where my mother’s family lived for many generations. I attended public schools and went to Wellesley College near Boston for my freshman year, then transferred to the University of Michigan and graduated from there in 1959. I met Roy at a Big Ten student conference in Ann Arbor my junior year.
    Roy: I grew up in Homewood, Ill., a small Chicago suburb of 5,000, and attended high school five miles away in another suburb. I thought high school was terrific. When thinking about college began, my dad told me that I was getting an engineering degree followed by a master’s in business. And I did. I picked Michigan because it was close, inexpensive and had a combined engineering and business program.
    Penny: Stanford University offered Roy a fellowship for graduate work. He was still in Ann Arbor and I was living with my parents in East Lansing. Sounded good to me. We were married in June, spent our entire $6,000 of savings on a honeymoon trip and a Porsche, which we drove for 10,000 miles through Europe. We returned to the Midwest and drove an old station wagon to California in September for the start of the school year.
    Roy: California held a fascination for as long as I can remember. My mother had told me that perhaps I could go to college there. That did happen finally, thanks to Stanford and a willing spouse.
    TC: Roy, you have always been rather modest about having a doctorate from Stanford University. Why is that?
    Roy: A Ph.D. has been called the credential for teaching and research at the university level. When I was teaching and later doing contract research, the credential was relevant. It isn’t relevant for community work. I do, however, insist that my daughter and son address me as Dr. Dad.
    TC: Meanwhile, Penny was raising your two children and keeping busy in city activities. Which years did you each serve on the city council and as mayor?
    Roy: My council term was 1974 to 1982, and I served as mayor for two terms from 1976 to 1978, the last mayor before the adoption of, and perhaps the cause of, the annual rotation policy.
    Penny: I was on the city council 1985 through 1993. I served as mayor in 1989 and 1993. After both our children were in school all day, I joined the Palo Alto Junior League and became more involved. The year of the Bicentennial, Roy was the Los Altos mayor and I was Junior League president. It was a hectic but fun year.
    While the children cycled through Ford Country Day School, Covington, Egan Junior High and Los Altos High, I volunteered for school activities like the PTA. My favorite high school activity was always Grad Night, which I chaired in 1984. The children graduated in 1982 and 1984, and we found ourselves empty-nesters.
    I always enjoyed Roy’s work with the city vicariously, and after he finished his second term, I applied for the Planning Commission. I was appointed, but after several years, some folks recruited me to run for the city council and I did in 1985.
    TC: What motivated you to run for city council, Roy?
    Roy: I held elected offices in high school and at Michigan, but I had no aspirations for council membership.
    In the early 1970s, our neighborhood was activated by a proposal for development for much of the Jesuit retreat lands, and we fought the proposed development. The eventual development of townhouses rather the single-family houses was ultimately approved with the permanent dedication of a good deal of open space. A number of environmentalists then recruited me to run for the council.

    Look for part 2 of the Town Crier’s e-terview with the Laves next week, focusing on the recent changes in downtown Los Altos.


Roy and Penny Lave

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