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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Voters renew annual library district tax


Town Crier File Photo
Voters last week approved renewal of a $33.66 annual tax for the Santa Clara County Library District, which includes the Los Altos main, left, and Woodland libraries.

A mail-in ballot measure to renew a Santa Clara County Library District tax overwhelmingly passed last week. Needing two-thirds approval, Measure A received 81 percent of the vote.

More than 48,000 residents in 267 precincts within the library district voted in favor of the renewal Aug. 27, which extends for 20 years an annual $33.66 tax per single-family home. Specific voting results for Los Altos and Los Altos Hills were not available by the Town Crier’s press deadline.

In late June, the Los Altos City Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution supporting the measure, five days after a similar symbolic vote – also unanimous – by the Los Altos Hills City Council.

“(The vote) shows that all the people who use the library system throughout the county appreciate what we have,” said Los Altos City Councilwoman Jan Pepper, the council’s representative on the library district’s Joint Powers Authority Board.

Los Altos librarian Jane Cronkhite added that the favorable vote was a crucial step in the library district’s ability to maintain its level of service.

“I think we have excellent services at the library, and I’m just happy we’ll have them for another 20 years,” Cronkhite said. “I’m just really grateful to the community.”

Cronkhite delivered a presentation to the city council in June outlining the effects on the district library system if the measure failed to meet its two-thirds benchmark for renewal. Among other things, Cronkhite noted at that time, some libraries would have been forced to reduce staff and hours of operation, while also facing the possibility of eliminating the district’s book mobile and youth reading programs.

In addition, Cronkhite said at the time, all Measure A tax dollars raised within a particular city are “returned for the benefit and operation of the local library in that city.”

Locally, Cronkhite added, the loss of Measure A funding would have eliminated offerings like the library’s summer reading program, which had more than 1,000 participants – children and adults – this year.

“Those are the types of things that keep people reading and keep families reading together,” she said, noting that the annual tax funds approximately 18 percent of the library district’s annual budget.

Los Altos Library Commissioner Darwin Poulos, also a member of Friends of the Library of Los Altos and Community, told the Town Crier that the library group was confident the measure would pass the test with Los Altos and Los Altos Hills voters.

“There was no genuine concern at all about Los Altos and Los Altos Hills – we knew (local voters) would pass this,” he said. “Our concern was with some of the other communities in the district, who maybe saw this as another tax. That’s why it was important to stress to voters that this was just a renewal.”

Pepper concluded that the vote showed that residents consider the library system a boon for their communities, noting that “it’s great that we get to maintain what we have here.”

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