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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Lording over the competition: Los Altos K9 cop places first in police dog trials


Courtesy of Julie Ognoskie
Los Altos Police Officer Julie Ognoskie puts K9 cop Lord through his paces at a recent competition. Lord won first place at the event.

The lone four-legged member of the Los Altos Police Department recently added some hardware to his trophy case.

That’s because Lord, the department’s 6-year-old police dog, placed first among 23 competing canines at the annual K9 Witmer-Tyson Trials. The competition, held Oct. 16 and 17 in La Honda, pitted the all-black German shepherd against police canines from neighboring agencies, including Palo Alto and Sunnyvale.

Los Altos Police Officer Julie Ognoskie, Lord’s handler, said the first-place award is a point of pride for her, also. The competition not only judges the precision of the dogs as they’re put through the paces, but their handlers as well.

“When they announced my name (for first place), I was actually really shocked,” she said, noting that several other teams at the event also had strong performances.

Lord has competed in the trials for four years, said Ognoskie, who became Lord’s handler in 2009, one year after she joined the department. Prior to his first-place finish this year, Lord had placed as high as second in the competition, which tests dogs in a variety of scenarios they might encounter on patrol.

The dogs and their handlers are tested in obedience and obstacles, in addition to search and protection. The protection competition, Ognoskie noted, can be particularly challenging because it demands that handlers control dogs in what she called a simulated “high-drive” environment – chasing after and catching suspects.

“He knows when he sees the guy wearing a full K9 Bite Suit, ‘Oh, I’m going to get to play with that,’” Ognoskie said with a chuckle, noting that Lord took just 23 seconds to sniff out his target in a simulated search drill as well.

Ognoskie added that confidence and trust are two key components in handling Lord while on patrol. That trust extends to other environments as well, including those with children. Her K9 companion is popular with children when visiting local schools to promote safety initiatives.

“He’s very good around kids, and we need that here in Los Altos,” she said.

Her partnership with Lord extends beyond the duties within the Los Altos Police Department. Being a handler is a lifetime commitment that includes taking Lord home and caring for him when off-duty. Once he retires, Ognoskie said she’d purchase Lord from the department and keep him as her own.

“He’s my partner, he’s my pal and he’s my kid,” she said. “It’s definitely a position in the department where you always take your work home with you – but with him, I really don’t mind.”

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