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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Other Voices: Citizen rescuers provide valuable animal services

The Town Crier article on abandoned cats near Los Altos High School missed a golden opportunity to educate the local community about the resources available to help with such situations (“Expert comes to rescue after feral cats litter neighborhood,” Oct. 16.).

The primary role of animal control agencies, such as Palo Alto Animal Services or the Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority, is to ensure the well-being of both animals and people by responding to exceptional situations involving animals, code enforcement and the operation of a shelter and a low-cost spay/neuter clinic. It falls mostly to volunteers, both rescue groups and individuals, to prevent the unchecked growth of the feral cat population through the proven Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) method: The cats are trapped humanely, sterilized so that they cannot reproduce, vaccinated and returned to their home territory, where they are provided food and water regularly and sometimes even shelter against the elements. The person managing a colony knows the cats, recognizes when new cats appear who need to be TNR’d and knows when a cat needs veterinary intervention. The cats that have already been “fixed” are distinguished by having one ear either tipped (the pointed tip is cut off so that it is flat on top) or notched during surgery so that they are not put through the program twice. The cats earn their keep by controlling the rodent population.

For residents of Santa Clara County, the volunteer community established The Cat Resource Center (catcenter.org). Requests submitted via the website for help with cats are routed to experienced cat rescuers who live near the situation and will work with homeowners and their neighbors toward a resolution. The one thing rescuers will not do is make the cats simply “go away,” though they may arrange foster homes for kittens who are young enough to be socialized, all of whom subsequently can be put up for adoption.

Santa Clara County has a voucher program for feral cats that makes the cost of fixing and vaccinating one cat just $10 for a resident. The Palo Alto Humane Society (paloaltohumane.org) has a similar program that covers only surgery costs.

When un-fixed cats appear in your neighborhood, the responsibility to act is yours; there is no government service to summon. You need to arrange for the cats to be fixed, vaccinated and fed regularly so that they can have a reasonable life in the environment they know best. Contact The Cat Resource Center or a local rescue group for assistance. Those of us involved in cat rescue are more than willing to teach others how to trap and get cats fixed.

For a cornucopia of information about feral cats and TNR, visit Alley Cat Allies, a national cat advocacy group, at alleycat.org.

Ivor Durham is a Los Altos resident and volunteer at Fat Cat Rescue. For more information, visit fatcatrescue.org.

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