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

Show appreciation for Roy and Penny Lave

In the past few years, I joined a long list of people who have had the pleasure of working with Roy and Penny Lave – first on the Investment Committee of the Los Altos Community Foundation and then in the LEAD program, organized by the foundation.

The Town Crier’s Aug. 21 interview with the Laves (“Roy and Penny Lave reminisce about 50 years in Los Altos”) told me more about both Penny and Roy’s history. Having known them only recently, I especially enjoyed the picture of Roy on the city council in the 1970s – love the facial hair, Roy!

I encourage readers to show their appreciation for the Laves by visiting the foundation’s website at losaltoscf.org, by donating in their honor and/or by signing up to attend the foundation’s gala Sept. 9.

Amy Pearl Parodi

Los Altos

Commute times longer on San Antonio Road

In the Aug. 21 Town Crier, an article states: “High-density apartments are under consideration for the 420 San Antonio Road and 2580 California St. properties” (“San Antonio area headed for trouble?”).

How do we stop this?

I live off Los Altos Avenue and it is gridlock around school hours from parents who don’t want their kids to cross El Camino Real as it is. I can imagine how horrible the traffic will become when couples move into these new apartments, have kids and send them to Santa Rita and Egan Junior High schools.

Mountain View should not be allowed to add a single new housing unit until the city has a school on the other side of El Camino for the kids, so traffic can return somewhat to what it was before all the new building began.

San Antonio Road is gridlocked during commute times. When I moved here 19 years ago, it took six minutes to drive to Highway 101 in the morning from my house. If I left before 7 a.m., I could drive to work (Hewlett-Packard in San Jose on Trimble Road at First Street) in 12 minutes. These days, it is a 12-minute trip from my house to 101 during noncommute times (between 2 and 3 p.m.).

I feel that politicians are selling off our quality of life to developers in exchange for campaign funds. The subsequent zoning variances allow the developers to get rich packing people in like sardines.

Kirk Lindstrom

Los Altos

Reader lauds wisdom of TC columnist

While I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting her in person, I feel that I know a lot about Jackie Madden Haugh through her fabulous columns in the Town Crier.

To be completely honest, when I open the paper each week, her column – “Haugh About That?” – is the first thing I look to read. Her writing style is natural, somewhat whimsical and always enjoyable. She tastefully blends the human element with a touching and meaningful close.

No, God makes no mistakes (to quote her father in her last column), and He certainly made no mistake leading her to inspire our community with her wise words.

Jean Hephinger

Los Altos

Speed-limit rule a reasonable guideline

I noticed in an Aug. 21 Town Crier article (“Slow down: LA City Council rejects proposed speed-limit increases”) that Los Altos City Councilwoman Val Carpenter characterized the state’s 85 percent rule as “the real villain,” a policy that “lets the fastest drivers set the speed limits.”

I think a closer look at the 85 percent rule might be in order to avoid misconceptions.

The 85 percent rule has been used by California and communities all over the world for nearly 50 years as a useful tool to determine safe speeds. Far from letting the fastest drivers set the speed limit, the 85 percent rule effectively lets the large majority set the limit, which strikes me as a very reasonable guideline. Research has shown that accidents tend to go up when speed limits are set below the 85 percent rule.

Gary Brauch

Los Altos Hills

Paint disposal proves complicated

Have you ever tried to dispose of two half-gallons of used, oil-based paint legally? Here are the results of my attempt.

First, I asked an employee of our garbage company, who told me to set it next to our garbage tote on the day the regular trash is collected. On trash pickup day, the driver did not take the cans. He told me that they pick up water-based paint, not oil-based paint.

I would need to drive from Los Altos to the Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Station in Sunnyvale. There are two stations near that location. I have used one of them before, so I decided to leave the two paint cans there.

The lady in charge was smiling as I lifted out the two cans of paint. She said, “Stop right there, we don’t accept oil-based paint. You need to go about two blocks farther down the road, where there is a big sign: “Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Station.”

So I got back in my car to travel the two blocks on Carl Road. When I arrived, I was informed that they only accept hazardous materials on the third Saturday of each month. I couldn’t believe it.

What a day! Sometimes it is difficult trying to be a good citizen.

Donald M. Rauch

Los Altos

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