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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Local photojournalist graphically depicts persecution refugees face

COMM dianamatarPhotojournalist Diana Matar captures refugees in a new light.

The Los Altos native attended the Royal College of Arts in London and has worked with the Associated Press and galleries and museums worldwide. She has exhibited and published in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Matar integrates photography and testimony as she focuses on establishing a personal connection with her subjects.

Her work involves a several-part collaborative process: meeting for an entire day, creating a text from the interview and then reviewing the text with her subjects to ensure accuracy.

“Often text produced from the interviews doesn’t have the same meaning,” Matar said. “I always work with my subjects to see if it’s what they mean in that context.”

Matar’s photojournalism is unique in its aim to paint an intimate image of the individual rather than the overall issue.

“I was trying to get away from those images of black-and-white huddling masses crossing borders. I wanted to focus on someone who’s an individual with (his or her) own story and life and background,” she said. “When you’re a journalist, you’re often working on something that is a large, very important issue, and you may use individuals to illustrate that. But my real purpose was to break it down to each individual and not have it be about the issue.”

Much of Matar’s inspiration stems from her personal and universal interest in the cause of world justice. One project, “Leave to Remain,” comprising 50 photographs of refugees in the United Kingdom, is inspired by the press coverage of asylum-seekers.

“The wording of the rhetoric in the press was very problematic to me. ... I was reminded of how we use language to demonize people,” she said. “What I didn’t see were the voices of the people who were being talked about.”

Her powerful, large-scale portraits toured the House of Parliament and 10 museums in the UK.

Matar’s most personal project, a three-part series – “Disappearance,” “Evidence” and “Witness” – prompted by her father-in-law’s disappearance in Libya, portrays that nation’s day-to-day political atrocities. The second section, “Evidence, reflects how specific archaeological sites can become evidence of the missing people for whom there are no records or evidence. In “Evidence,” buildings become metaphors for a Libyan reign of terror and state-sponsored depravity. “Witness,” the third section, features photographs of trees around the world that mark the sites of the assassinations of Libyan dissidents.

“That project came about by historical events unfolding in Libya, but also by very personal events in my husband’s family and how that affected us. It was a project very close to home and very difficult to work on,” Matar said.

The project, which took five years to complete, was on display at London’s Saatchi Gallery and won acclaim from Deutsche Bank and Critical Mass.

“Photography is the way I walk through the world,” she said. “I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to do what I love.”

For more information, visit dianamatar.com.

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