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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Reach Potential Movement Parent Project proves successful


courtesy of Reach Potential Movement
Reach Potential Movement sponsors the Bookshelf in Every Home Project, advancing literacy among children.

When the directors of Reach Potential Movement (RPM) learned of The Parent Project – a training program to empower parents raising difficult or out-of-control children – they knew it would be a perfect fit for their Sunnyvale nonprofit agency, which works with low-income families throughout Silicon Valley.

“The court will often refer parents of kids who are in the juvenile justice system to this program because there is so much results-based evidence that it makes an impact,” said Christy Tonge, who co-founded RPM with Rob Schulze five years ago. “It shows some real turnaround in the youth and in the parent-youth relationship.”

But there was a problem – The Parent Project was only taught in English, and the families RPM serves primarily speak Spanish. RPM remedied that by having its bilingual director of leadership development, Aimee Lopez, become a certified instructor.

RPM first offered The Parent Project last spring. The program proved so successful that Lopez is leading it again this fall. The three-hour sessions run Monday nights for eight weeks at the Gateway Neighborhood Center, where RPM is based.

“We tell the parents, ‘Give us 24 hours of your time and we will guarantee a change in your family,’” Lopez said. “It’s not just parenting tools, but an opportunity to give them hope.”

In the first session, the 15 parents enrolled in the current program learned how important it is to show their children they love them and ways to express it. Other sessions include subjects like active supervision (paying attention to such things as who their children are friends with, what they watch on TV and how to monitor Facebook), drug use and gangs.

Lopez said feedback from participants, who receive a certificate upon completing the program, has been extremely positive.

“In the last session, we had parents in tears saying, ‘Thank you, thank you,’” she said. “It’s exciting to hear that they’re seeing changes in their homes already.”

RPM changes homes in a different way through another popular program. The Bookshelf in Every Home Project not only provides a useful piece of furniture for Mountain View and Sunnyvale families with kindergartners, but also includes reading material. Aided by scores of volunteers, RPM built more than 500 bookshelves this year, according to Tonge, and doled out a bevy of books.

For youngsters struggling to grasp the words in those books, RPM offers a Reading Readiness Program aimed at kindergartners and first-graders falling behind in class. Referred by teachers, the students are tutored by RPM volunteers after school four days a week.

“It’s gratifying and rewarding to see these kids make progress when they get individual help,” said Tonge, who added that more tutors are needed to accommodate students on the waiting list.

When these children and their classmates get a little older, they can participate in RPM’s Dream4College program. It involves taking fourth- and fifth-graders and their parents on a field trip to Stanford University.

“Many of them aren’t thinking about college,” said Lopez, referring to the students and their parents, many of whom did not finish high school. “We try to plant that seed in their heads.”

To reinforce that, Dream4College includes a parent education workshop and classroom-based college and career activities.

For more information, visit reachpotential.org.

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