Wed09172014

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

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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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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City Council Briefs

The Los Altos City Council took the following actions at its Sept. 24 meeting:

Historical house conversion approved

The council approved by a 4-1 vote a permit application allowing the conversion of a single-family Milverton Road home listed on the city’s Historic Resources Inventory into an accessory structure. Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw cast the dissenting vote.

The Costello family, owners of the property, plan to convert the nearly 100-year-old home into an accessory unit by removing the kitchen. The conversion would allow the construction of a new home on the property. The Los Altos Historical Commission designated the home, built circa 1916, as a Historic Resource in 2011.

In the late 1890s, members of the Costello family purchased several plots of land at what later became Costello and Covington roads, according to the city staff report. Some members of the family played a role in establishing and operating the San Francisco department store O’Connor, Moffatt & Co. – now known as Macy’s.

The historical home in question currently sits on a family-owned plot of more than 2 acres – designated as Lot 12 – bordering Adobe Creek. The land is part of the larger Morningside Planned Unit Development, created in 1985 with the addition of 10 townhome-style condominium units, the staff report stated. As part of its approval of the development at that time, the city restricted the Lot 12 site to only one single-family dwelling on the property.

The council voted in favor of the Costello family’s request despite objections from some Morningside residents about potential privacy concerns related to a new home development on the site.

Councilwoman Val Carpenter supported the historical home’s conversion because the alternative could mean demolishing it.

“The owners absolutely have a right to have one home on this private property of over 2 acres,” said Carpenter, who noted before the council’s vote that just 1 percent of the city’s buildings were listed on its Historic Resources Inventory.

“To me, it’s important to preserve these reminders of our past,” she added.

Directional signs OK’d

The council unanimously approved the installation of directional signs that would point highway motorists toward downtown Los Altos.

At a cost of $5,000, the signs will be installed at the northbound and southbound approaches to the El Monte Avenue/Road exit on Interstate 280. The council approved the installation after a city staff report indicated that it “is a common practice for cities to have highway signage indicating which exit leads to their downtown.”

The report noted that though there are existing signs along 280 marking exits for the city of Los Altos and Foothill College, there are none on the highway or the exit ramp specifically directing drivers toward the downtown area.

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