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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Clef Hangers bring the joy of song: Los Altos resident leads choir on quest to coax smiles


Courtesy of Carol Park
The Peninsula Clef Hangers are set to embark on another season of entertaining local seniors.

The Peninsula Clef Hangers, a women’s chorus of approximately 40 volunteers, perform to bring smiles to the faces of seniors during their December and April holiday concerts at retirement facilities and nursing homes in the Los Altos area.

Directed by Los Altos resident Joan Sprague since 1991, the Peninsula Clef Hangers will soon restart rehearsals and are recruiting new members. Members must be available for Tuesday evening rehearsals in Menlo Park. No prior choral experience or audition is necessary.

The choir was formed 40 years ago when a group of community volunteers wanted to bring entertainment and holiday joy to the senior community. Some chorus members are musically trained, some are not. The group rehearses for 10 weeks between September and December, performs approximately 15 concerts in two weeks and then breaks before renewing practice for the April concert series. Each concert season finishes with a party, and the singers gather for several potluck suppers during their May to September vacation.

Members of the choir sing its praises.

During a performance of Christmas tunes at a convalescent home, a silent resident (due to a stroke) began singing along. When tears rolled down his cheeks, his wife cried with joy, said Los Altos soprano Helene Hills. In another instance, a comatose senior started tapping her feet.

The choral performances trigger profound emotion in the singers as well as their audiences.

“It’s a feel-good thing to go and sing for our audiences,” said alto Margo Harris, a Los Altos resident. “A lot of the seniors don’t have family or anyone visiting them. The music talks to them.”

Another Los Altos choir member, Mary Ann Balkenhol, recalled that musical performances were the highlight of her mother’s days at an assisted-living facility.

Balkenhol said joining the Peninsula Clef Hangers has helped her handle loneliness and sadness. After her husband died, she realized that she needed to expand her world.

“Though I have only an average voice, I love to sing,” she said. “I saw the information about the Clef Hangers in the Town Crier and decided to give it a try. I like filling one evening a week – the time I feel most lonely. I particularly like the fact that the commitment is not so all-encompassing as to make me feel guilty if I miss a rehearsal or performance. I enjoy our potlucks and the socializing before choir begins.”

For more information, call Teri Waldman at 964-9127, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit home.comcast.net/~zbyte/clefhangers.html.

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