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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LA grad Johnson makes MLB debut


Erica Caldwell/Charlotte Knights
Erik Johnson pitches for the Charlotte Knights approximately a month before his Major League call-up. He made his first start with the Chicago White Sox Sept. 4.

Just hours before making his Major League Baseball debut Sept. 4 at Yankee Stadium, Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Erik Johnson reached out to someone who could relate to the thoughts racing through his mind.

The 23-year-old called his coach at Los Altos High, Sandy Wihtol, a former pitcher with the Cleveland Indians who made his MLB debut on almost the same day 34 years earlier.

“I shared with him my experiences,” said Wihtol, whose initial big-league appearance came in relief against the Toronto Blue Jays Sept. 7, 1979. “I told him, ‘It’s just another game – it just happens to be your first – and you’re going to have plenty more games at that level.”

Johnson’s first start wasn’t an easy one – up against a playoff-contending team with a lethal lineup – and he took the loss in a 6-5 decision.

The big righty surrendered five runs, only three of them earned, and seven hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out one.

“It’s a real tough lineup they have over there,” Johnson said of the Yankees in a postgame video interview featured on the Chicago Tribune website. “I thought I could have done a little better job, but overall, I thought it was a good one to start with.”

After getting the first two batters he faced to ground out, Johnson gave up a home run to Robinson Cano. Two walks and a hit followed, but Johnson escaped the bases-loaded jam by striking out Ichiro Suzuki.

The 2008 Los Altos High graduate kept the Yankees in check the next two innings, and the last-place White Sox entered the fourth in a 1-all tie. But by the time the inning ended, Chicago trailed by five runs.

After giving up a leadoff single to Alex Rodriguez, Johnson committed a throwing error that enabled Suzuki to reach first base safely. Lyle Overbay followed with an RBI double and Brett Gardner drilled a triple that scored two more. Cano’s infield single then brought Gardner home.

Johnson settled down in the fifth and tossed a scoreless sixth as well before giving way to fellow rookie Daniel Webb.

Johnson’s family was in the stands to see his every pitch.

“I am happy that my son has achieved a dream of his,” father Roy Johnson said. “I might have preferred his first game not be against so many (future) Hall of Famers, but I am sure he loved it.”

Wihtol wanted to be there, too, but he was on his way to Arizona to play in a golf tournament with friends from high school.

“I’ll get out to Chicago to see him,” Wihtol said. “I’m really proud of him. It’s wonderful to have a guy from the community with so much talent who is so humble and has worked so hard to get where he’s at.”

Johnson, a 2011 second-round pick out of Cal, started this season at Double-A Birmingham and was promoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June.

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