Mon09152014

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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Face of Cuban fashion flourishes in spotlight


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Cuban fashion icon Natalia “Norka” Méndez, left, discusses the “Korda Moda” photography exhibition with Foothill College students and staff at an Oct. 23 event.

Natalia “Norka” Méndez knows a thing or two about being comfortable in her own body.

As the former Cuban model stood in front of a crowded room of students, instructors and media at Foothill College Oct. 23 on her 75th birthday, her composure offered glimpses of the confidence, perseverance and fiery attitude that helped her forge a place in history through the pages of international newspapers and fashion magazines.

Méndez gained international fame in the 1950s and ’60s as the favorite muse of renowned photographer Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez. Her success, she said, is all about being an “elegant and natural woman.”

Before blowing out the candles on her birthday cake, Méndez shared stories from her days modeling during Cuba’s golden age. With a Spanish father and an American mother, Méndez had a thin figure, a physical attribute that contrasted with the “thicker” image many in the Latino culture considered beautiful. It wasn’t in vogue for young women of her era to pursue creative careers, but her fate was sealed when she met Gutiérrez, the photographer behind “Heroic Guerrilla” – the iconic photo of Che Guevara the Victoria and Albert Museum identifies as the most reproduced image in the world.

“Being an artist was the last option to my family,” Méndez said.

Two artists, one heart

In what Foothill College photography and digital imaging instructor Ron Herman called the union of “two artists with one heart,” Méndez and Korda – the name Gutiérrez gave himself to mimic the sound and spelling of Eastman Kodak Co. – married and enjoyed success in the days before the Cuban Revolution.

But when Fidel Castro assumed power in 1959, extravagance and luxuries disappeared, along with fine fabrics and opportunities in fashion and modeling. After giving birth to two children, Méndez emigrated from Cuba to Germany, where she recalls struggling day-to-day to find work. She eventually made her way to Paris – fortuitously during a model strike, a circumstance that landed her the opportunity to model again.

In the years that followed, Méndez returned to Cuba to be with her family. Although many of Gutiérrez’s film negatives were destroyed in the Revolutionary Offensive of 1968, Foothill College Photography Department recently spent five months restoring some of the remaining images. It was during this process that the team organized Foothill’s “Korda Moda” exhibition, showcasing 30 of Gutiérrez’s couture fashion photos, including pictures of Méndez.

The exhibition is scheduled for display 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 6 in the Krause Center for Innovation Gallery at Foothill College, 12345 S. El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills. The gallery is closed Sundays and Nov. 11 and 28.

For more information, visit kordamoda.wordpress.com.

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Cuban model "Norka" visist Foothill College - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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