Wed09172014

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

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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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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Trapped: Haugh About That?

Searing heat swirled in a whirling mass, engulfing my soaking body like an overzealous sauna even the devil couldn’t handle. Looking into the mirror, penny-sized droplets of perspiration trickled down my face. Choking from the intensity, I was sure I was about to die.

It started as a typical Wednesday morning in July. Not wanting to miss a minute of our precious time together, I rode along with my daughter, Michelle, to her various business appointments in Los Angeles.

“Mom, are you sure you’re going to be OK?” my sweet child asked, parking the car. “You can come in with me.”

“Yeah, honey,” I responded confidently. “I have calls to make. Just leave the window open.”

“So, you’ll watch my purse?”

As I tipped an affirmative nod in her direction, she closed the door, aimed her key in my direction and jaunted off.

At first, a cool breeze tickled my head and lazily danced with my hair. But 15 minutes later, I found myself wondering how much longer she was going to take. The Southern California sun was now blazing directly overhead, turning the car’s interior into a firebox.

“Man, I’m getting hot,” I stewed. “Maybe I should get out.”

Just 4 feet away, a bright forest of multicolored impatiens flourished in the cool shade of the towering building. Flipping the button to release the lock, I recalled something about a purse and Michelle pointing her key at the car. Sure she’d armed it, I knew a horrendous sound would blare if I opened the door, so I changed my mind.

“Oh, God! Now what do I do?” I cried, liquefying further into a puddle of profuse sweat.

Fifteen minutes became 30, then 45. Thoughts of being incinerated slapped me silly as I poured bottled water down the front of my dress and shoulders. No sooner did it hit my skin than it evaporated into the sweltering air.

Believing I’d go completely loony if I didn’t do something quickly, I pulled my upper body through the window, but the high-noon temperature was just as hot outside as it was in. Sliding back in, the feeling of entrapment terrified me. Just as I was about to have a panic attack, I noticed Michelle casually exiting the building.

“Hurry!” I screamed. “Unlock the door. I can’t stand it any longer.”

Now, I’ve been told I’m crazy at times, but the look on her face said I was certifiable.

“What’s the matter?” she yelled, running to let me out. Tumbling first into the gutter, I quickly ran for shade.

“Mom, the car was unlocked this whole time!” she giggled.

“What? But I saw you lock it,” I yelped, horrified.

Bursting into laughter, she wiped the drenched wisps of hair out of my eyes, and said, “I was unlocking it. I thought you might want to walk around.”

Driving away with the air conditioner blasting my face, I thought about all the times I’ve allowed myself to get trapped either emotionally or physically just because I didn’t want to bother someone. Worrying about my effect on another has a debilitating way of crippling my decisions, thus blocking me from reaching my highest potential. A need for change was overdue. While I can’t control what others may think, I can be true to myself.

To reach my divine destiny, I have to be authentic to my God-given wings. It’s possible some nerves may be wrangled with the way I flutter, but if I can soar among the flowers of life’s beautiful garden, in and out of the shade, then it’s well worth it.

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