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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Artist Finch brings obsession with light to SFMOMA installation in Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Spencer Finch describes his “Back to Kansas” installation as more of a scientific experiment than a painting.

Artist Spencer Finch divulged details of a project in the works at an empty storefront at 242 State St. a few weeks ago, his creative energy filling the dark room with insight into how his obsession with light will weave itself into his commissioned piece for “Project Los Altos: SFMOMA in Silicon Valley.”

While undergoing renovation, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art organized traveling SFMOMA On the Go displays all over the Bay Area, including Los Altos. With support from the city of Los Altos and Passerelle Investment Co., the multisite exhibition is scheduled to open Saturday and run through March 2.

Finch’s creation is slated for unveiling along with the work of five other artists commissioned by the museum at various Los Altos venues.

‘Back to Kansas’

At first glance, a large wall containing 70 symmetrical squares, each of a different color, may look like an abstract painting, but Finch described his installation as more of a scientific experiment than a painting.

“The idea was to do something in Los Altos where everything is about speed and being able to control images – in this case, the image controls you,” said the artist of his vision for a diachronic creation. “People will sit and watch as the colors disappear. Short wavelength colors disappear sooner, long wavelength later.”

Inspired by how “The Wizard of Oz” bursts from black and white into full Technicolor as Dorothy enters Oz, Finch said he wants his installation to emulate the transformation. Deriving each block of color from scenes found in “The Wizard of Oz” and designing his piece to fit the aspect ratio of a film screen, Finch’s work is appropriately titled “Back to Kansas.”

The canvas of squares is intended for viewing without the use of artificial color, as natural light floods in from the southwest via a floor-to-ceiling facade of transparent glass that illuminates the work. Benches in front of “Back to Kansas” allow visitors to observe the installation for extended times, with the periods before and during sunset the most dynamic. Placards available on arrival invite guests to record when they see the colors fade to gray as the natural light disappears.

“Everyone will see differently,” Finch said, noting how one’s gender and even what one ate for lunch could influence how he or she perceives the colors of his creation.

Although Finch would be surprised if a line of visitors queues up on the sidewalks of State Street to view his installation, he said he would be just as satisfied if his “Back to Kansas” resonates with a few viewers.

“I’m hoping that there are some people who really find it as interesting as I do,” he said, adding that he’s particularly optimistic that the science and technology innovators in Los Altos might understand his vision. “I think if there are two people watching it for half an hour, that’s much more important than 100 people looking at it for two minutes. I hope people are willing to give it a chance.”

For a list of contributing artists and more information on “Project Los Altos,” visit sfmoma.org/exhib_events/exhibitions/572.

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