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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Local brewmaster describes his inspirations


Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
Santa Clara Valley Brewing Co. brewmaster Steve Donohue, right, and Jake McCluskey of Market Beer Co., center, listen at a July 9 release party as former San Jose Mayor Tom McEnery discusses the history of the Peralta Adobe, the oldest building in San Jose and namesake of Donohue’s Peralta Porter.

Santa Clara Valley Brewing Co. introduced its first beer, Electric Tower IPA (India Pale Ale), on local taps and in bottle shops throughout the Bay Area in mid-May. The brewery has generated significant buzz – no pun intended – among beer lovers in the area.

The company has a unique branding approach tied into the history of Santa Clara Valley. Brewmaster Steve Donohue has an excellent reputation, earning medals at the Great American Beer Festival every year from 2008 to 2011 while he was brewmaster at the FireHouse Grill & Brewery in Sunnyvale.

I recently conducted an interview with Donohue, who describes his inspirations and his products.

What inspired your brewery’s focus on the history of San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley in your names and labels?

My business partner, Tom Clark, and I have a great appreciation for the rich history of the Santa Clara Valley. We also felt that the South Bay needed a brewery that showcased this history. All of our beers will be named after something from the history of the Valley.

What initially got you into brewing beer? What’s the favorite

brew you’ve ever created?

I started brewing completely on a whim while in college at Chico State. A friend and I were bored one day and decided to make some beer. We went to the local homebrew shop, bought everything we needed and brewed. As for the favorite beer I’ve created? That’s a tough one. I’m proud of all of them, but the Belgian IPA I brewed at another establishment was quite good, in my opinion. Although, I’ve really been enjoying our new Electric Tower IPA lately.

With all of the IPAs available these days, what makes Electric Tower distinctive?

True, there are tons of IPAs on the market at the moment. I think what makes ours stand out is the balance that our beer has – it’s not just hop juice. It has a definite malt backbone that balances the bitterness and the extreme hoppiness.

Following the successful launch of the Electric Tower IPA and Peralta Porter, what beer do you expect to release next?

We released our draught-only Little Orchard Saison in late August. After that, we’ll have a rotating seasonal draught-only selection. I’m just not sure yet what will be after the Saison.

When you became the brewmaster at Stoddard’s Brewhouse & Eatery in 2000, could you have imagined a Silicon Valley Beer Week?

Man, the year 2000 seems like it was a whole lifetime ago. The craft-brewing industry has changed a lot since then. Fortunately, so have the consumers. They’re more educated about beer now. And thank God for that. So, no, I don’t think I could have fathomed a Silicon Valley Beer Week back then. I’m really glad there’s one now, though.

What has been the most challenging part of starting a new brewery?

It’s been relatively easy so far. Because we are currently brewing under contract, we haven’t had to deal with the process of building out a brewery yet. That should be forthcoming within the next year or so. I’m sure I’ll have much more to add once we start building our brewery and taproom. Hopefully, we’ll be up and running by late 2014.

Derek Wolfgram is chief communications officer for the Silicon Valley Sudzers Homebrew Club, which meets the first Friday of each month at a home in Los Altos Hills and welcomes both new and experienced brewers and beer enthusiasts. For more information, visit www.sudzers.org.

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