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News

LAH measure could boost sewer rates significantly

The Los Altos Hills City Council’s approval of a series of sewer service rate increases means residents could soon see a hefty jump in their tax bills.

There are 1,749 single-family residential units within Los Altos Hills and each currently p...

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Schools

MVLA foundation recounts first year of Learning in the Cloud

MVLA foundation recounts first year of Learning in the Cloud


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Robert Barker, Los Altos High World Literature teacher, demonstrates how students use online discussion in class.

Technology is no longer seen as a distraction in the classroom, as students in the Mountain View Los Altos ...

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Community

Faria and friends unite to raise funds for cancer research

Faria and friends unite to raise funds for cancer research


Courtesy of Joseph Faria
Supporters of last month’s Relay For Life event in Mountain View include, from left, Los Altos residents Matthew Aufricht, Connor Chu, Matthew Demele and Dominic, Eileen and Joseph Faria. The Los Altos Relay For Life is sla...

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Sports

Right  on track

Right on track


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High sophomore Rachael Estell leaps for the win in the girls long jump Friday at the CCS championships.

As far as locals go, the underclassmen overshadowed the seniors at the Central Coast Section track and ...

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Comment

Coffee with cops? We'll drink to that: Editorial

The recent “Coffee with a Cop” event proved a good public relations move for the Los Altos Police Department. It also provided a great opportunity for residents to ask questions and converse with several officers, including the police chief, in an in...

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Special Sections

Deciphering the irksome sounds cars often make

Ahh – the troublesome, telltale auto noise. It’s that squeak, screech, squeal, groan, grind, hum, hiss, rattle, knock, clicking or ticking that drives drivers crazy.

Even with all the technology in modern cars, the sounds our cars make t...

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Business

Local couple launches downtown restaurant

Local couple launches downtown restaurant


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
The Turn Bar & Grill crew prepares for the restaurant’s impending opening.

Jim and Julie Otis are prepared to realize their longtime dream.

The couple – lifelong Los Altos residents – wanted to ensure ...

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Books

Horan's 'Loving Frank' offers fictionalized account of famed architect's illicit affair

Horan's 'Loving Frank' offers fictionalized account of famed architect's illicit affair


In the 1920s, two married people fall in love, leave their spouses and children and set about living and traveling together. Affairs of this sort were considered shocking at the time. But the scandal was heightened given that the man was Frank Lloy...

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People

DR. WALLACE IRA SAMPSON

DR. WALLACE IRA SAMPSON

     

Dr. Wallace Ira Sampson, 85, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 25, at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. He leaves his wife of 59 years, Rita (nee Landry) Sampson, brother Sandy, sons Robert, Paul (Suzanne), Buck (Kathryn), ...

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Travel

Flying south for the winter: Antarctica trips are not just for the birds

Flying south for the winter: Antarctica trips are not just for the birds


Photos Courtesy of Dave Hadden
Los Altos residents Dave and Joan Hadden watched the scenery from the large boat and a smaller Zodiac.

Standing on the beach with hundreds of thousands of penguins is “the experience of a lifetime,” according to Ga...

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Stepping Out

Kushner's 'Angels' arrives at Foothill

Kushner's 'Angels' arrives at Foothill


David Allen/Special to the Town Crier
Harper Pitt (Sophia Naylor) describes her life to Joe Pitt (Dan Martin) in “Angels in America,” playing in the Lohman Theatre at Foothill College through June 14.

The Foothill Theatre Arts Department’s produ...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

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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