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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Sculpture shapes Los Altos’ public image


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The installation of Mircea Paul Goreniuc’s “Space Dance for Peace” in Lincoln Park launched Los Altos’ public art program in 1986.

While driving or strolling through Los Altos, visitors will inevitably catch sight of a few sculptures. From the multicolored "ZooScapes" creatures outside the main library to the life-size "Olympic Wannabes" at Village Park, public art weaves its way through downtown, the civic center area and local parks.

Los Altos’ first sculpture appeared in 1986 when the Public Arts Commission inaugurated the sculpture project. The city selected Mircea Paul Goreniuc’s "Space Dance for Peace" as its first piece of public art. Nearly three decades after its installation, the sculpture still calls Lincoln Park home.

Although some artwork is on loan from the artists, the city now owns more than half of the 30 pieces in its collection, thanks to donations from local residents.

"We’re bringing art to the city in the least costly way," said Faye Chapman, chairwoman of the Public Arts Commission. "Art really adds a lot and shows that the city really cares."

Members of the Public Arts Commission handpick and review the sculptures. When selecting works for display, members take into consideration the artistic talent invested, visual appeal and compatibility with the environment.

Artists often loan their pieces to the city for two years at a time and in return gain media exposure, public recognition and the opportunity to sell their work to local art lovers. When the two-year period expires, the artist may choose to donate the piece, take it back or renew the contract.

To find new sculptures, the commission releases a call for art and contacts more than 300 artists to find suitable additions to the growing collection. After selecting a sculpture, it takes approximately a year before it reaches public display. Commission members compare their search for the right sculptures to finding a needle in a haystack.

"We need something that won’t be a safety hazard and fits in with its surroundings," said Chapman of the commission’s criteria. "I see some sculptures and I can just imagine someone climbing all over it, or kids getting their fingers stuck in the cracks."

Chapman noted that sculptures may only be placed on land owned by the city, the primary reason so many are located at Lincoln and Shoup parks. Narrow sidewalks and limited public space downtown constrict the number of sculptures the city can display.

A number of sculptures await installation, including "The Guardian," a life-size bronze work in the shape of a fairy by New Orleans artist Karen Cauvin Eustis. "The Guardian" will stand watch in the open space near the Costume Bank at the corner of State and Third streets.

Santa Rosa artist Riis Burwell’s "Bird" - an 11-foot-tall bronze and stainless-steel abstract tribute to the late jazz musician Charlie Parker - is slated to land in Lincoln Park soon.

Once construction on First Street is completed, Chapman said an additional three sculptures will decorate the landscape.

In addition to the city’s sculpture collection, the Public Arts Commission plans to introduce other forms of public art - bike racks, murals and more - with support from the city council.

For more information, visit losaltosca.gov/publicartscommission/page/public-sculpture. n


Sculptures in Los Altos - Photos By Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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