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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LAH Council Briefs

The Los Altos Hills City Council took the following actions at its Oct. 17 meeting. The next council meeting is scheduled 6 p.m. Tuesday at town hall, 26379 W. Fremont Road.

Trust lowers cost of sewer connections

When the Malavalli Revocable Trust signed onto a sewer reimbursement agreement with the town in June 2011 – fronting the costs for the estimated $2 million, mile-long Natoma Road Sanitary Sewer Main Extension – the trust’s representatives drafted a plan for 25 future users to share in the cost of the project. Several years later and with no other users signed on for a sewer connection, the trust’s representatives approached the council with a proposal to entice more users to sign up for sewer connections.

According to an amendment presented to the council, offering a month-long “discount incentive” would reduce each future user’s share of project expenses or usage fee from $85,000 to $35,000, plus administrative fees and a percentage of the construction cost index. With no cost to the town, councilmembers approved the request, recommending that the trust extend the discount window from 30 days to 90 to allow potential users more time to assess the full cost of a sewer connection.

The council directed staff to create a template to advise future sewer-connection applicants who may not be aware of all the steps and fees involved in the process.

Council approves variance, sticks homeowners with bill

After much back-and-forth, the council voted unanimously to approve a variance allowing an illegally constructed 10-foot-by-12-foot utility shed to remain on a residential property.

According to a staff report, when the homeowners built their 3,200-square-foot house in 2003, they were required to dedicate an additional 30 feet of right-of-way along Moody Road as well as 0.52 acres of their property for conservation easement. During a staff inspection of the property in January following heavy December rains, staff discovered the shed and reported it to the town.

Noting the half-acre for conservation, the council approved the variance and decided that the property owners should pay the $7,800 variance fee, bucking the Los Altos Hills Planning Commission’s 4-1 vote in favor of waiving the fee. Councilmembers expressed reservations about absolving the property owners from paying the fee, as it would condone violating the town’s planning and building codes.

Public invited to weigh in on Page Mill project

When Caltrans signaled its intention to install traffic lights at the north- and southbound off-ramps at Page Mill Road and Interstate 280 to improve safety for motorists, Los Altos Hills recommended additional safeguards for non-vehicular traffic.

In collaboration with the city of Palo Alto and Santa Clara County, Los Altos Hills staff drafted two preliminary design proposals – a long-term “ultimate” plan and an interim “concept” plan. With the goal to make the intersection safe and functional for all users, including motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians, the plans propose design modifications, additional striping and a bike lane, among other elements.

The town plans to present the recommendations to Caltrans after soliciting feedback from the community. Local residents can review the designs and add input at a meeting scheduled 6 p.m. Nov. 12 at town hall.

To view the concept plans and submit comments to the town online, visit losaltoshills.ca.gov/announcements/491-signals-i-280.

Arastradero Trail opens Nov. 1

Los Altos Hills trail users will be connected to their neighbors in Palo Alto after the $1.19 million Arastradero Trail Improvement Project opens next month.

Funded by Stanford University, the project includes the rehabilitation of existing town pathways and the construction of a new one to link the intersection of Purissima and Arastradero roads in Los Altos Hills to the Pearson-Arastradero Preserve in Palo Alto.

A dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting are scheduled 9 a.m. Nov. 1 at the footbridge near the Park and Ride lot at Arastradero and Page Mill roads.

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