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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Author touts joys, advantages of 'prime time' fatherhood


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Len Filppu reads from his new book, “Prime Time Dads: 45 Reasons to Embrace Midlife Fatherhood,” at Linden Tree Books.

When Len Filppu became a first-time father at the age of 49, he was nervous about it.

“I worried about falling asleep at Little League games, drooling like Homer Simpson,” he told a Nov. 8 gathering at Linden Tree Books in Los Altos.

Filppu, author of the new book “Prime Time Dads: 45 Reasons to Embrace Midlife Fatherhood (Bright Lights Press, 2013),” appeared at Linden Tree to sign books, read excerpts and offer his off-the-cuff, humorous perspective on later-life parenting.

While he acknowledged that fatherhood at an older age isn’t for everyone, Filppu called having children later in life the “absolute best thing that ever happened to me.”

The retired corporate communications specialist, now 62, pointed to his daughter, 13, and son, 10, in the Linden Tree audience.

Prime-time fatherhood worked for him, Filppu said, because focusing on his career in his youth allowed him the financial security to raise a family later.

“I was able to travel around the country,” he said. “Had I had children in my 20s and 30s, I would have been inhibited from doing that.”

Filppu said the life experiences that come with maturity are a big plus for raising children.

“You know more about people,” he said. “You know more about your own shortcomings.”

Another advantage, he noted, is losing the pretense and not being afraid to “act like a clown.” He recalled playing Captain Hook on the playground.

“My son immediately joined in the game,” he said, adding that before long, another 30 kids were playing with them, raising the eyebrows of curious parents. “I worried they might think I was the local pervert, but I sensed a touch of private admiration.”

Other benefits involve a change in attitude and philosophy. Being older, Filppu said, made him say yes to his children’s requests rather than “maybe later,” because time was more precious – and later might never come.

“When they ask me, ‘Dad let’s shoot baskets,’ instead of putting it off, I get myself up to do it,” he said.

Later-in-life fatherhood also inspired him to stay in shape – hike, do yoga – because he wants to be around as long as possible for his kids. Or as he puts it, “It gets me out of the rocking chair and keeps me rocking.”

Former CNN broadcaster Larry King, who had two sons when he was in his 60s, can relate. He provided a testimonial for Filppu’s book.

“The best thing that ever happened to me in life is being able to be a later in life dad,” King wrote. “I’m 77 years old, I have three grown children, and the lights of my life are my 11- and 10-year-old boys. Later life fatherhood keeps me young, keeps me vital, and makes me feel relevant each and every day. I urge you to read ‘Prime Time Dads.’ Its point of view is young and vital and relevant each and every page.”

“Prime Time Dads” is available through major online retailers both as a print book for $14.95 and as an e-book for $9.99.

For more information, visit primetimedads.com.

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