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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Letters to the Editor

Resident supports bond because of charter school

After following the continuing disputes between the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School, culminating in children being locked out of school, I must speak for hundreds who are tired of this soap opera.

Being affiliated with neither, my personal observation is that Bullis Charter School is one of the most successful charter schools in history.

We are incredibly fortunate to have this dynamic, creative educational force in our midst. Because a well-educated society is a benefit to all, I would have absolutely zero problems supporting a bond to benefit the charter school.

District officials demonstrate brazen impudence in attempting to impose policy on the charter school under the guise of facilities negotiations. That is blackmail.

Time and again, the district has fallen on its face in court. This circus has to stop. Kudos to Los Altos Hills Mayor Gary Waldeck for bringing sanity to this discussion.

It would behoove the district board to show some humility and learn a thing or two from the charter school, which, frankly, has done a far better job of educating children.

Rajiv Bhateja

Los Altos Hills

Local tap water isn’t safe for everyone

I must respond to the advice given by a Palo Alto Medical Foundation physician, Dr. Amy E. Gilliam (“Getting the red out: How to manage your child’s eczema,” Sept. 18), who recommended various medications and treatments.

Those of us who are made sick by our tap water recommend first trying spring water.

I recall some years ago the Town Crier had a front-page article with a photo of a young man with debilitating eczema living in Los Altos Hills. The article mentioned a group, Citizens Concerned About Chloramine, which had formed because others in the area had gotten eczema from the local tap water after chloramine was added. Others had asthma attacks if they took a shower. Some people have gastrointestinal problems if they drink or cook with tap water. Some must avoid swimming pools.

Before starting medicines, for a month try drinking, bathing and handwashing only with bottled water, which is spring water without chloramine. Note that not all bottled water is without chloramine. I do not know which brands to recommend, except I know that Arrowhead Springs, Crystal Geyser and Calaveras Springs work for me.

For bathing, I add vitamin C to my hot tub water and have devised an outdoor shower using that. Dining out, I ask for lemon to squeeze into my glass of water, and I avoid soup, rice, pasta and steamed or boiled vegetables, which absorb the chloramine of the cooking water. At home, I cook with and drink only water that has no chloramine.

All this involves some effort, but it is far less trouble than having asthma, eczema and gastrointestinal problems.

It is hard to believe that public tap water is toxic in the U.S. We hear from Cal Water of Los Altos and San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy water sellers to Los Altos Hills that our tap water is fine for people. But there have been no scientific studies proving that chloramine is safe to add to public water.

For more information, call the president of Citizens Concerned About Chloramine, Denise Johnson-Kula, at (408) 227-5767; email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; or visit chloramine.org.

Marjorie Rauch

Los Altos

A call for a carbon tax

Last Friday, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its Fifth Assessment Report, further solidifying the science of climate change and calling for action.

“The scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change has strengthened year by year, leaving fewer uncertainties about the serious consequences of inaction,” according to the report.

While it may seem like a global or national issue beyond the scope of Los Altos, consider that the Los Altos City Council is actively working to complete the city’s Climate Action Plan. The council and most residents understand the global impacts of our local decisions.

Most people recognize the seriousness of the problem and do what they can in their own lives but worry that there is no good way to tackle the global issue.

Fortunately, there is a simple suggestion being proposed that really could help: a carbon tax. If we add a fee at the point where carbon-based fuels come out of the ground (or enter the country) that reflects the true cost of burning those fuels (environmental damage, health effects, etc.), then everyone downstream will make choices that move us toward a sustainable energy economy and prevent the full ravages of climate change. The time to enact this is now.

Karl Danz

Los Altos

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