Wed09172014

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

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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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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City Briefs


Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Construction at Foothill Crossing Shopping Center aims to boost traffic flow and safety at the center’s busy intersection, left.

Project aims to install more reflective street signs

A new five-year project is underway to install new, more reflective street signs that are easier for motorists to spot at night.

The project – which has earmarked $25,000 per year for traffic sign replacement – seeks to replace 8,000 of the city’s nonreflective traffic signs, according to Los Altos Transportation Projects Manager Cedric Novenario. That includes approximately 2,000 “noncompliant” stop and speed-limit signs, which the city plans to replace ahead of other signage, he added.

“We’re prioritizing the level of importance for regulatory signs,” said Novenario, who noted that each sign costs the city between $100 and $200. “Stop signs are important, yield signs are important and speed-limit signs are important.”

Novenario added that the five-year project is necessary because of California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) requirements that established new “retroflectivity standards” – or minimum levels of visibility – for regulatory signs in cities in 2009.

“A lot of signs get dull (less reflective) pretty fast. … Some of the older ones don’t have any reflectivity at all,” said Novenario, who added that the city’s maintenance department has been tasked with replacing signs “when they have the staffing and resources to do it.”

The project will eventually replace green “guide” signs, street-name signs and yellow warning signs throughout Los Altos as well, Novenario said.

The city’s regulatory, warning and ground-mounted guide signs must be in full compliance with the MUTCD regulation by January 2015. The city’s overhead guide signs and street-name signs must be in full compliance by January 2018.

Homestead project eyes November finish

The Homestead Road Safety Improvements project will likely be completed on time, according to a city official.

Public Works Director Jim Gustafson said one of the $1.5 million project’s major components – the installation of a traffic signal and a crosswalk at the entrance of Foothill Crossing Shopping Center – is complete. The city, he added, is waiting on a work order to allow PG&E to power the signal’s controller box.

Traffic signal aside, Gustafson noted that the city’s contractor must still complete landscaping and remove large dirt piles from the new median strips constructed as part of the project. Project work also included new storm drainage improvements and the construction of a Class I bike and pedestrian path on the north side of Homestead Road. Overall, Gustafson said, the project is shaping up for a timely finish.

“We still anticipate wrapping this up at the end of November,” he said. “If it’s not on schedule, then it’s very, very close.”

– Diego Abeloos

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