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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Insiders' Guide to Project Los Altos

11.20.2013 ProjectLosAltosGuideCrowds wielding quarter-page red guidebooks meander around downtown streets in search of artistic gems as part of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s “Project Los Altos: SFMOMA in Silicon Valley.” Although some of the creations unfold on screen or gallery walls, many of the project installations involve visitors in more immersive experiences.

The Town Crier team toured the sites during the inaugural weeks of the project and compiled an insiders’ guide with navigation tips. Readers can clip the guide out, photograph it for cellphone viewing or even memorize it as a tool to impress guests. For a PDF version of our guide, click here.

Whether tackling one or two project installations at a time or all exhibits in one trip, lace up comfortable walking shoes for a modern-art treasure hunt.

“Project Los Altos” runs through March 2. Read the Town Crier for updates on special events scheduled during its stay.

Outdoor installations are open at all times. Indoor installations are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. For additional information visit sfmoma.org/exhib_events/exhibitions/572.

– Text and photos by Ellie Van Houtte

_______________________________________________________________________

Indoor Installations

Costume Bank, 169 State St.

11.9.2013 SFMOMAProjectLosAltos-8190Mike Mills, “A Mind Forever Voyaging Through Strange Seas of Thought Alone: Silicon Valley Project”

• Enter through the Costume Bank, to its back room.

• Inspired by Silicon Valley’s transition, Mills’ installation includes a video of local youth describing their ideas of the future with short biographies and photos of eight people who work or live in the area.

• A copy of the April 1, 1976, Los Altos Town Crier enables visitors to review news events during the year Steve Jobs incorporated Apple Computer. A copy of Apple’s incorporation papers is in the centerfold.

Tip: Mills collected pieces of clothing from the subjects included in his installation and displays the articles on a rack in the corner of the room. Look closely at the labels.

242 State St.

11.9.2013 SFMOMAProjectLosAltos-8171Jeremy Blake, “Winchester”

• Inspired by San Jose’s Winchester House, built circa the 1880s by Sarah Winchester, who also owned the property that became the city of Los Altos. Blake’s three-screen film seems more psychedelic than spooky.

Tip: Allow at least 10-15 minutes for viewing.

11.9.2013 SFMOMAProjectLosAltos-8178Spencer Finch, “Back to Kansas”

• Configured in the shape of a movie screen, the blocks of this colorful grid are inspired by the colors found in the movie “The Wizard of Oz.”

Tip: View Finch’s piece just before and after sunset. As the sun sets around 5 p.m., relax in one of the comfortable sofas as the squares fade to gray. Cards and pencils are available to allow guests to mark the times when the different colors disappear.

271 State St.

11.6.2013 SFMOMAMediaTour-7122Christian Jankowski, “Silicon Valley Talks”

• Comfortable bright-green furniture invites guests to relax as they enter the dim space of Jankowski’s installation.

• Filmed talks by nine local entrepreneurs – ranging from how to write a poem to falling in love and an introduction to fly fishing and vacation – challenge visitors to get lost in the artistic presentation of the spoken word.

Tip: Jankowski filmed the series earlier this month, and the presentation includes local residents.

359 State St.

COMM SFMOMAProjectLosA fmtCharles Garoian

• A Los Altos High School art teacher for 17 years, Garoian’s slide show highlights nine performance-art pieces created with his students during his tenure.

Background article "Former LAHS teacher Garoian inspired a generation of 'misfits'"

11.6.2013 SFMOMAMediaTour-7106Katerina Šedá, “Everything Is Perfect”

• In Šedá’s vision, every Los Altos or Los Altos Hills resident is someone with “ordinary characteristics and talents.” Her installation involves the community as the primary subject of her artistic experiment.

• Unlike most of the other installations, Sedá’s project is a work in progress. A physical desk with submission forms and a computer allow viewers to submit a record for inclusion in a “Los Altos World Record Book,” scheduled for publication in the spring.

Tip: After visiting the submission desk, visit everythingisperfect.org to see some of the current entries, ranging from the Youngest Mayor to the Longest Knitting Pig Hat.

Background Article: "Project Los Altos artist collecting everyday records from residents"

11.6.2013 SFMOMAMediaTour-7091bAlec Soth

• Enjoy a unique glimpse of Silicon Valley through Soth’s collection of black and white photographs.

• From obscure landscapes of tech headquarters to local residents in venues that defy the perceptions about the area, the collection illuminates iconic and everyday community scenes from a new perspective.

Outdoor Installations

Intersection of State and Fourth streets

10.21.2013 SFMOMA-9933Jessica Stockholder, “Cross Hatch”

• With an October unveiling, this street painting was SFMOMA’s first “Project Los Altos” exhibit to arrive in town.

• The piece incorporates shapes that mimic the triangular shape of downtown Los Altos.

• Sitting in the bleachers adjacent to the installation, visitors can observe pedestrians, cars and other elements as they intersect with the artwork.

Tip: Consider climbing the stairs located on the Plaza Central side of 142 State St. for a unique photo angle.

Background Article: "Bold strokes on State Street draw colorful reaction"

Shasta and First streets

11.9.2013 SFMOMAProjectLosAltos-8204Chris Johanson, “If You Are Open to It, You Can Find a Sign That Can Be a Sign”

• Finding this installation by Johanson can be difficult, but if visitors pay close attention to the intersection, they can spot a green post jutting from a building on the north side of Shasta Street.

Tip: This piece is best examined by viewing from all angles.

Lincoln Park

11.8.2013 SFMOMAProjectLosAltos-7208Chris Johanson, “Door Sculpture to Talk About the Idea of Different Possibilities You May Have to Process Your Life”

• A series of three life-size doors open at different angles represents the opportunities for change that individuals encounter in life and their willingness to embrace them.

• Colorful frames entice visitors of all ages, especially children, who can be spotted wandering through the installation on the way to school in the morning.

Tip: Stop by the installation on a foggy morning to experience a sense of serenity and mystery. The vibrant doors seem particularly prominent to the eye as a blanket of fog fades the traffic of Foothill Expressway and the giant redwood trees of Lincoln Park into the background.

Village Park

11.8.2013 SFMOMAProjectLosAltos-5434Chris Johanson, “I Do Not Know But Am Open to Learning”

• Johanson’s giant, inflated question-mark installation is easy to find.

Tip: Walk through and around the perimeter of the park to see how the landscape changes the way the sculpture is framed.


Civic Center Apricot Orchard

11.6.2013 SFMOMAMediaTour-7137Chris Johanson, “The Field Became an Orchard Became a House and Became an Orchard (in Los Altos)”

• Surrounded by an orchard of trees, it’s easy to miss this installation – a weathered door that rests on the ground. The door mysteriously seems to predate the tree growing through it.

Tip: As leaves change color and small yellow flowers blossom, November is the ideal time to visit the city’s signature orchard to peek at the installation.

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