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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Child Advocates: Providing guidance for youth in foster system


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Jacqueline Moreno, right, a teen in the foster-care system, receives support from Los Altos resident Jeannie Conner through Child Advocates of Silicon Valley.

In and out of the foster-care system from the age of 2, Jacqueline Moreno did not experience a carefree childhood.

In eighth grade, she attended school when her mother would allow. Usually, Moreno was too busy taking care of her four younger siblings while her mother slept off a night of partying.

But Moreno, now 18, was blessed with persistence and a desire for a better life. Although she attended only a quarter of her middle school classes, she graduated with straight As and received the only scholarship her school awarded.

After eighth grade, Moreno and her siblings were once again forced into foster care. The foster-care system is complex, with many different therapists and social workers appointed to oversee the welfare of the child.

Child Advocates of Silicon Valley pairs adults with children in the foster-care system to provide a voice for children in the courts and to guide them through the complicated process of being a dependent of the state.

A little more than a year ago, Child Advocates volunteer Jeannie Conner, a Los Altos resident, walked into Moreno’s life and helped her deal with a difficult problem regarding her living situation. They ended up in court, with Conner offering Moreno support through the process. But their relationship has blossomed beyond their courtroom collaboration.

“A lot of foster youth don’t really have a person they can go to,” Moreno said. “A lot of them don’t have relationships with parents or their families. It’s hard because you are alone a lot. So having an advocate fills in that hole, and you actually have someone you can go and talk to.”

Moreno explained that though there are many people looking out for children in the foster-care system, they are paid to do so. Conner is different because she volunteers to help, Moreno said, making their interactions more “comfortable.”

Moreno moved around a lot during her high school years, with Conner beside her to shepherd her through her graduation and help her transition to college. Moreno currently attends Foothill College.

“She can help me make decisions,” Moreno said of Conner. “It is so easy to make the wrong decision. I know she is there because she wants to be, and I know she will give me the best advice because she really does want what is best for me. I’ve learned a lot from her.”

And the relationship isn’t one-sided, either – Conner said she has benefited from her time as a Child Advocate as well.

“I love watching how well she is doing,” Conner said of Moreno. “It is such a pleasure getting to know her. Knowing what she has gone though, she is an inspiration to me. She is very much a part of me, and I think she will be for many, many years.”

Child Advocates plans to use contributions from the Town Crier Holiday Fund to help recruit and train new volunteers like Conner, with an aim to serve more children in Santa Clara County.

For more information, visit BeMyAdvocate.org.

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