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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Bold strokes on State Street draw colorful reaction


As passersby crossed the intersection at State and Fourth streets in downtown Los Altos last week, they found it difficult to overlook a new addition – “Cross Hatch,” the vibrant street painting by artist Jessica Stockholder that metaphorically pops off the pavement.

Some pedestrians stood pensively along the edge of the enlarged canvas on first encounter, trying to determine whether they should step on the colorful compilation of lines and shapes. Others jogged or drove by without missing a beat.

“I haven’t seen anything like this,” said Jim Wilson of the unique artwork he stumbled on during his visit to Los Altos from Fairfax, Va.

Wilson noted that the creation was different from anything he had encountered during years of international travel. His friend, Pam Yavorsky, chimed in that the artwork “gives a little town a lot of character.”

Los Altos resident Cyrus Heidari echoed Wilson’s and Yavorsky’s sentiments, adding that the aesthetics were pleasing and that the artwork “is not too expensive if it lasts.”

Stockholder’s project is the first of six installations for “Project Los Altos,” a collaboration between the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the city of Los Altos. The intersection transformed from asphalt to art in under 48 hours.

Although appearing random in both its emergence and physical location, Los Altos City Clerk Jon Maginot explained that the installation is quite intentional.

“SFMOMA and the artist proposed the installation and worked with city staff, including Public Works, to come up with something that would be safe as well as clearly marked for drivers and pedestrians,” he said. “The intersection was also chosen because of the relatively low amount of traffic that this location gets compared to other downtown intersections.”

In Stockholder’s “Cross Hatch,” sharp, abstract shapes extend onto the sidewalk and into the parking plaza driveway and Community Plaza, where royal-blue paint conceals swaths of grass.

The artwork bleeds across boundaries so much that some cars have veered across the sidewalk, leaving evidence via curbside tire marks. Maginot said the city is addressing safety concerns by working with the artist to incorporate additional visual cues to delineate the driveway. In the interim, orange safety cones dot the entry to the parking plaza.

Although safety hazards may not be part of Stockholder’s artistic vision, she uses the technique of extending her canvas in unexpected ways in many of her site-specific creations.

According to SFMOMA officials, how people and other elements interact with the artwork is part of Stockholder’s vision. Bleachers on the perimeter of the artwork reinforce the notion that the elements of intersection – people, cars, layers of leaves and even weathering – are an intentional addition to the two-dimensional base paint, providing an opportunity for observation and engagement.

With additional “Project Los Altos” installations scheduled November through March, residents can expect to see more modern-art surprises downtown.

For more information on “Project Los Altos,” visit sfmoma.org/exhib_events/exhibitions/572. For a full guide to "Project Los Altos: SFMOMA in the Silicon Valley," click here.


SFMOMA Project Los Altos - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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