Mon09152014

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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Jennings faces challenges as Owls’ new coach


Short on players and time, Richard T.J. Jennings has a tall task ahead of him coaching the Foothill College women’s basketball team.

When he began his one-year temporary assignment Sept. 27, Jennings had only six players and eight weeks to prepare the Owls for their season opener.

If that wasn’t daunting enough, Jennings has some supersized shoes to fill. He’s taking over for the most successful coach in the program’s history, Jody Craig, who was granted a one-year leave of absence in June and is now an assistant coach at Concordia University in Irvine.

“Replacing someone as successful as Jody is going to be very difficult, especially without the ability to practice as a team over the summer and play in a couple of summer showcases,” said Jennings, head coach of the Porterville College men’s basketball team the past four seasons. “We will implement a new system in a short amount of time that will allow us to focus on the strengths of the players that we have.”

The 31-year-old expects to have more players by the start of the season – his goal is to increase the roster to 10 – and he made progress last week.

“I was able to get some commitments from some girls playing other sports, so I would say we are up to eight,” Jennings said.

Forward Margaret Sun is the lone returnee from a squad that last season went undefeated in the Coast Conference North Division and 25-5 overall but was banned from the playoffs due to an enrollment violation.

With so much turnover, the Owls surely won’t be favored to win the division, though Jennings holds out hope that they can repeat the feat.

“It will not be easy, but I believe it is possible,” the Oakland native said. “Every time we step on the court, the goal is to win each play, each half and each game. If we play team basketball, limit our turnovers and rebound the basketball, we will have a chance to compete for a title.”

Jennings was voted Central Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 2012 after leading Porterville to its first winning season in more than a decade. Prior to coaching the Pirates, Jennings was the lead assistant for the Reedley College women’s basketball team for two seasons. He began his coaching career in 2004 at Fresno Pacific University, where he was the lead assistant for the women’s team.

“I would like to think that I am a players’ coach,” said Jennings, who played basketball at Fresno Pacific and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees there. “I want the players to be able to learn the game so that they are able to make smart decisions and adjustments when necessary.”

In a press release announcing Jennings’ hiring, Foothill athletic director Susan Gutkind said the coach “has hit the ground running and already impressed us with his immediate contributions to the women’s program. Our team is building its momentum in anticipation of its first game at the Merced Tournament Nov. 21-23. I’m excited that this season our players will experience Jennings’ strong commitment and ability to help them stay motivated in their classes and on the court.”

Although Jennings was hired for only one year, he could remain at Foothill longer than that if Craig chooses not to return; she told the Town Crier in July that she would “never again set foot on the Foothill campus” with Gutkind as athletic director. But Jennings would have to reapply for the full-time job – which includes teaching physical education and kinesiology courses – next year.

“I would like to return as head coach beyond this season and build on the legacy Jody has built here at Foothill College,” said Jennings, who is relocating his family from Hanford. “Foothill College has welcomed me with open arms and I love the area, the people and the support for women’s basketball.”

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