Mon09152014

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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Simitian discusses bad timing in Los Altos Rotary Club presentation


Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian described his political career as “bad timing all around” in an Aug. 29 appearance at the Rotary Club of Los Altos.

Simitian faced a number of challenges during his previous term on the Board of Supervisors, 1997-2000; as assemblyman for the 21st District, 2000-2004; and as state senator for the 11th District, 2004-2012.

His examples of “bad timing” included serving during the state’s energy crisis, budget crisis and recall of former Gov. Gray Davis. To top it off, in his first six weeks in Sacramento, a driver crashed his truck into the State Capitol building, setting it ablaze.

Once again elected to the Board of Supervisors last November, Simitian and fellow supervisors must address the potential imminent bankruptcy of the ambulance company that serves the area and the possibility its collapse could endanger reliable response to 911 calls.

“Nevertheless,” Simitian joked, “it’s great to be home.”

Simitian summarized his three primary areas of responsibility on the county board: safeguarding the fiscal strength and stability of local government; preparing county residents for the Affordable Care Act’s Oct. 1 enrollment and Jan. 1 operation dates; and solving problems in the 10 cities he represents.

In determining priorities, Simitian said he asks himself, “Does it make a difference in the daily lives of the people I represent?”

According to Simitian, local problems include homelessness, transportation, education, elder abuse, highway safety and prison realignment, a plan that would transfer many state prisoners to county jails.

During a question and answer session, an audience member raised the state’s challenge in funding $1.8 billion in state employees’ pensions and health care. Simitian agreed that unfunded liabilities might be the county’s most pressing problem.

To address the pension problem, Simitian said the Board of Supervisors recently voted to move $100 million from reserves to the CalPERS Employers’ Retiree Benefits Trust to generate a 7.5 percent return rate. In addition, 60 percent of new redevelopment funding will be applied to unfunded liabilities. Simitian said San Francisco lawmakers tackled a similar problem a few years ago in a collaborative way and suggested that Santa Clara County take the same approach.

Marlene Cowan is a member of the Rotary Club of Los Altos.

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