Sun09142014

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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Aggressive coyotes concern longtime local hiker


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Los Altos Hills resident Stephen Grant said he has been seeing coyotes out and acting more aggressively lately. He and his dog, Rocky, left, have encountered coyotes while hiking at Byrne Preserve three times in a two and a half week period.

Los Altos Hills resident Stephen Grant wants to spread the word that coyotes are acting more aggressively than he has ever experienced.

The avid trail walker has personal experience to prove his point. When approached by three coyotes on a Byrne Preserve trail behind Westwind Barn Oct. 21, it marked the third time in the past two and a half weeks he and his dog, Rocky, had been confronted by the animals at the same spot on the trail.

Neither Grant, a 19-year Los Altos Hills resident, nor his gentle Labrador Retriever have been harmed in the encounters, but he doesn’t want to press his luck nor does he want other hikers to press theirs.

“I’m not going to be going down there anytime soon,” said Grant, who had been walking the trail virtually every week since moving to the area. Although the town had posted two small signs on a fence at the preserve border along Altamont Road, Grant doesn’t think that’s sufficient warning. He also noted that the vagueness in the message leaves hikers with no idea when the signs were put up or when the danger might pass.

City Clerk Deborah Padovan said the town would add signs with more specific wording that discourage hiking with dogs on the trails for the months during coyote pup-rearing season – April through October.

Investigation of coyote sightings in nature preserves is the purview of the California Department of Fish & Game. Santa Clara County Vector Control handles sightings in urban environments. Padovan said she’s received additional recent calls about coyotes.

“We always want people to call 911 when it’s happening,” she said. “It’s hard to find the coyotes (after the fact).”

Jose Colome, a community resources specialist with vector control, said his records show one coyote sighting in the Bryne Preserve area reported last month. If requested, Colome said a vector control technician would inspect the area to confirm the number of animals and evaluate if they are behaving abnormally. His agency would then contact Fish & Game, which has jurisdiction.

Colome said coyotes, while normally shy, would act more aggressively to protect other pack members.

He advised hikers to be careful with trash, which attracts animals and to educate themselves about coyote hazing. Similar to run-ins with bears or cougars, hazing amounts to scaring the animals by making eye contact, loud noises and waving arms to convey a threat.

Grant said he did exactly that, in addition to blowing a whistle, but the coyotes were slow to move away. He added that he would like local authorities to take the issue more seriously.

For more information, visit sccvector.org.

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