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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Try California brews in the German style to mark Oktoberfest


Derek Wolfgram/Special to the Town Crier
California brewers experiment with German styles this autumn.

Pale ales and India pale ales continue to dominate the craft beer market in California and across the U.S. However, a number of California breweries also produce beers in traditional German styles or using traditional German ingredients, but with a West Coast twist.

As the season shifts from summer to the cooler evenings of autumn, many beer lovers enjoy Oktoberfest lagers and other German beer styles. Following are a few California-brewed options to quench your Oktober thirst.

• Calicraft Brewing Co. is based in Walnut Creek, but its Cali Cöast Kölsch-style ale is contract brewed at San Jose’s Hermitage Brewing Co. Kölsch, the traditional beer style of Cologne, is a straw-colored and lightly hopped ale, with a crisp, clean finish. Cali Cöast is crystal clear, highly carbonated and very dry, vaguely reminiscent of an Extra Brut sparkling wine. Both the aroma and the flavor boast hints of white bread and almost-ripe pear. The brew is quite refreshing and well suited to one of the few remaining hot days of the year.

• Gordon Biersch is probably the best-known brewer of German beers in the Bay Area. It offers several seasonal options throughout the year, including its annual FestBier release for Oktoberfest. FestBier tastes moderately sweet, with a bready malt flavor and slightly spicy finish from the traditional German Hallertau hops. The bottled version lacks some of the malt complexity of the best-known German Oktoberfest lagers, though a fresh pint on tap at the Palo Alto or San Jose brewpubs has more character.

• For those seeking additional local Oktoberfest brews, several area brewpubs offer options. BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse (with locations in Cupertino, San Jose and San Mateo), Faultline Brewing in Sunnyvale, Los Gatos Brewing Co. in Los Gatos and San Jose, and Rock Bottom Brewery in Campbell all offer seasonal Oktoberfest lagers, available exclusively on draught at their respective brewpubs.

• Farther afield in California, San Diego’s Stone Brewing Co. is known for its hoppy beers. The company decided to put a twist on its anniversary special release this year by brewing its Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung IPA with German hops and pilsner malt. The beer includes the German hops Herkules, Hersbrucker, Magnum, Merkur, Opal and Smaragd, and is dry-hopped with Sterling, an American hop with German lineage, and French Strisselspalt hops from across the Rhine in Alsace.

The German IPA approach works remarkably well, with pronounced citrus and floral hop aroma, sturdy bitterness and a lemony, spicy hop flavor that lasts well into the finish. Remarkably smooth and drinkable for its 9.5 percent alcohol by volume, Götterdämmerung IPA is definitely a unique hybrid of the best of what both German and Californian beers have to offer.

• Port Brewing Co. in San Marcos produces an unusual spring seasonal brew called Hot Rocks Lager, which you may still be able to find in local bottle shops – but you may want to wait until spring when a fresh batch is released.

Steinbier is brewed using a 19th-century technique in which heated granite was dropped into wooden barrels of wort to boil the liquid. Smooth and relatively full-bodied for a lager, Hot Rocks has aromas of caramel and toffee resulting from the caramelization of malt sugars by the hot stones. On the palate, the predominant flavor is dark cocoa with a hint of smoke. And because Port Brewing makes Hot Rocks, a pleasant hoppy finish balances the sweetness.

Derek Wolfgram is chief communications officer for the Silicon Valley Sudzers Homebrew Club. For more information, visit sudzers.org.

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