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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Food fight ahead?: City council asked to consider ban on mobile vendors near Los Altos High


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up at a food truck parked on the back side of Los Altos High School last week.

Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Superintendent Barry Groves is seeking the city’s assistance in changing the dietary choices made by some of his students.

Groves is asking the Los Altos City Council to consider creating a city ordinance that would ban mobile food vendors on the city’s residential streets. The council was slated to discuss the matter at its Tuesday meeting – past the Town Crier’s press deadline.

Groves outlined a request to discuss the matter in an email to the council last week, noting that some food trucks parked near Los Altos High School serve unhealthful menu items at lunch.

“Currently, our students are eating food from these vendors that cannot be served on our campus because it is unhealthy – high in sugar, fat and salt, all contributors to childhood obesity,” said Groves, noting that his concern was shared by some residents living near Los Altos High.

Restrictions for food trucks?

Groves told the Town Crier that food trucks can be found daily near the school’s tennis court along Jardin Drive. He added that mobile food vendors’ presence near the campus increased when the school boosted its healthful food options.

However, unlike the popular gourmet food truck trend often seen in metropolitan areas, the mobile vendors near the high school sell items to students that can’t be found on campus – candy bars, sugary sodas, quesadillas and more. Groves said he would rather see students who leave campus for lunch patronize downtown businesses.

NEWS FoodTrucksLAHS MB2A6108
Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Healthy or not?  Scool district administrators think that food truck items like quesadillas are unhealthy.

“Some of the choices within walking distance (downtown) offer healthier choices, whereas the mobile food vendors offer none,” he said, adding that the district stands to lose approximately $40,000 in school lunch revenue annually because of the mobile food vendors’ presence near campus.

Groves said he hopes the city will consider an ordinance similar to one passed earlier this year by the city of Mountain View. The Mountain View ordinance prohibits mobile vendors on certain roadways, including portions of Castro and Dana streets. The ordinance also contains a distance restriction requiring mobile vendors on the public right-of-way to stay 100 feet from school boundaries.

Stemming the rise in obesity

Groves added that school districts throughout California are now offering healthful food items as a means to quell a rise in childhood obesity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the percentage of obese adolescents ages 12-19 in the U.S. more than tripled – from 5 to 18 percent – between 1980 and 2010. In addition, a 2011 national Youth Risk Behavior study found that 13 percent of high school students nationwide were considered obese by CDC standards.

“One thing we do know is that if students are overweight and make bad (dietary) choices during their formative years, they’ll continue to make those same choices later in life,” said Groves, who conceded that convincing students to adopt healthier eating habits can be an uphill battle at times.

Still, Groves said vending machines on the Los Altos High campus no longer contain sodas and offer food items like baked potato chips as alternatives. While the campus does serve more teen-friendly items such as pizza, all foods sold on campus must meet or exceed federal and state nutrition standards, he added.

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