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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Food-truck restrictions not necessary: Editorial

The Los Altos City Council, at the behest of the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District, directed staff to draft an ordinance that prohibits food trucks from operating near Los Altos High School. The rationale, from the district’s point of view, is that the trucks offer junk food, defying the district’s efforts to fight poor student diets and obesity.

We respect the district’s commitment to support healthful eating, but an ordinance that would require a food truck to move 100 feet away from where it currently operates (as is the city of Mountain View’s requirement at Mountain View High) seems like it would have little impact beyond simply wasting council and staff time in drafting the proposal.

As reported in last week’s Town Crier article by Eliza Ridgeway, lunch programs in place at Los Altos High offer relatively inexpensive, nutritious food. Opinions on whether the food is satisfying differ from student to student, but there is considerable effort to provide choices and keep costs down. Government subsidies help make food available to all, regardless of financial means. They’ve even eliminated those specially marked lunch cards that could cause embarrassment for low-income students whose lunches are subsidized. Rich or poor, all students have access to the cafeteria.

Still, we’re a free country – and the high school is an open campus, with students free to leave in search of lunch alternatives. Certainly, time is a factor, but if students want to patronize a food truck, Carl’s Jr. or Spot Pizza, that’s their prerogative. We just don’t see student choices varying much if a food truck were required to move 100 feet down the road. In terms of fairness, targeting the food truck affects only those students who want an off-campus dining option but are poor and don’t own a car.

The only rationale we see for a food-truck ordinance is the impact on residential neighbors. If the noise, traffic and trash from food-truck service become quality-of-life problems for surrounding homeowners, then a restrictive law makes sense. But it only makes sense if the trucks move completely out of the neighborhood, not a mere 100 feet as in Mountain View.

The solution for a healthier student community does not lie in moving a food truck out of the neighborhood. It’s about awareness, knowing that choices have consequences. Students have that knowledge and are more aware than ever. The rest is up to them.

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