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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Mother-daughter duos flourish through National Charity League community service


Courtesy of Jean Ikeda
The National Charity League’s Stanford Hills Chapter, above, has grown from 22 girls and their mothers in 1987 to more than 150 mother-daughter pairs from Los Altos and surrounding areas.

Some consider volunteering a sporadic weekend activity, but for local mothers and daughters involved in the National Charity League’s Stanford Hills Chapter, service is a long-term commitment with a clear intention.

“I would hate to see what my children’s lives would be like if they weren’t in situations where they had to dig deep inside themselves and give back and miss something every now and again,” said Los Altos resident Lisa Carmel, reflecting on the organization’s impact on her two daughters.

When Carmel heard about the National Charity League – an invitation-only nonprofit group that fosters mother-daughter relationships via philanthropy, community service, leadership training and cultural engagement – she was immediately drawn by the opportunity to spend more time with her daughters. The time spent together during activities was a finite resource that she came to appreciate as her girls gained independence in high school and left home for college.

One of 154 chapters nationwide, the Stanford Hills Chapter has grown from 22 local mother-daughter pairs in 1987 to more than 150 pairs today.

Once sponsored by a member and selected by lottery for induction in the organization as sixth-graders, the girls, known as Ticktockers, and their mothers make a commitment to serve in rotating leadership roles and fulfill at least 15 hours of community service annually over the course of the six-year program, which ends when the girls graduate from high school.

Chapter president Jean Ikeda, a Los Altos resident, has two daughters involved in the National Charity League. She noted that the organization’s three pillars – leadership, culture and philanthropy – seamlessly build on one another. Whether supporting the work of national nonprofits or community organizations including The Terraces at Los Altos, the Community Service Agency, Hidden Villa and the Ecumenical Hunger Program, according to Ikeda, mothers and daughters learn that service intrinsically develops character and values.

“NCL has opened my eyes to the poverty and need in my own community,” said Ikeda’s youngest daughter, Krissy, who is in her third year of the program. “I have had experiences that have enabled me to realize how much I can help other people.”

Kristin Link is another Los Altos mother who saw the National Charity League as a tool for instilling a lifelong habit of giving.

“When you live a privileged life, you give back, period,” Link said.

Link added that reading about the underserved in the newspaper is different from coming “eyeball to eyeball” with someone who needs a meal. Participation in the National Charity League offers her and her daughter face-to-face opportunities at shelters and seniors centers.

Despite the normal teenage resistance to waking up early on a Saturday or missing movies with friends because of the service projects, Carmel, Ikeda and Link agreed that the National Charity League experience encouraged their daughters to be more thoughtful and socially responsible.

“It’s fun to see the kids become teenagers and begin driving, to see them embrace it on their own and commit to giving back without you,” Carmel said.

Carmel added that older daughter, now a freshman in college, is evaluating sororities based on how much service they incorporate in their identities – a clear reflection of the mark the organization leaves on participants.

For more information, visit stanfordhillsncl.org.

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