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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Abandonment issues: Read it or leave it?


When one thinks of abandonment, it is likely to bring to mind being jilted by a lover, or being left alone as a child. Generally, it is not thought of as a good thing.

But I contend that sometimes, knowing when to leave – and then actually following through on it – can be a very good thing.

I am referring to the shameful behavior of choosing not to finish a book you started. There are those among us who would consider that downright promiscuous behavior, equating an uncommitted reader to that of an unfaithful lover. I am, however, not one of those people. Quite the opposite, really.

Of course I want to honor the author, who no doubt sacrificed much of his or her life charting a plot and carefully structuring sentences that might provoke readers to neglect their jobs and families so they can read just one more page. I have been that person, and I have read those books – but I could count them on one hand.

And the thing is – those riveting books are different for everyone. An engrossing page-turner for one person may provoke a ho-hum response from someone else. I have read some disturbing and totally unsatisfying best-sellers, like “The Tale of Edgar Sawtelle” (Ecco, 2009) by David Wroblewski, and also read some little-known books that changed my life, such as “The Difference Maker” (Nelson Business, 2006) by John C. Maxwell. It’s best not to judge people by what they like to read.

What do you do when you eagerly pick up a new book and want so much to fall in love with the story, but 100 pages into it, you still don’t feel that gush of euphoria you so desperately need to get you through your otherwise unhappy life? (That is a lot of pressure to put on an author!)

Well, my advice is to abandon it. And I don’t mean just drift away from it, wallowing in a mire of residual guilt. I mean decide that you will seek happiness elsewhere. Don’t keep it around the house as a constant reminder of your inability to commit and your wavering loyalty. That, my friend, is the gateway to years of therapy in an effort to resolve your eroding self-image.

I realize that there are at least two camps on this subject: those who will happily walk out of a bad movie or get rid of a book, with the attitude, “It’s bad enough I threw money at this, I am sure not throwing my time at it as well” (moi), and those dedicated to summoning the effort to complete everything they start, proudly displaying great intestinal fortitude.

I’m just saying … I really do applaud those never-give-up readers and in some ways wish I were more like them. It’s kind of a catch-22 – neither way seems totally admirable. In fact, the book “Catch-22” (Simon & Schuster, 1961) by Joseph Heller, according to the website Goodreads.com, is the book most commonly not finished by readers. I think that’s kind of ironic.

Sharon Lennox-Infante, a Los Altos resident, is contributing editor for Book Buzz.

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