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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Plants make ideal holiday decorations


Courtesy of Laxmi Natarajan
Euphorbia pulcherrima, commonly known as poinsettia, is a popular holiday plant that brings a bright pop of Christmas red to decorations.

With the holidays upon us, it’s time to deck the halls.

Bring the garden inside by making wreaths, garlands, topiaries and other table arrangements to enhance your holiday decor. A look around the yard may yield some interesting results, not to mention being easy on the budget.

Supplement your garden treasures with a trip to a garden center.

Following are some plants that work really well to brighten the holidays.

• Euphorbia pulcherrima, commonly known as poinsettia, is one of the most popular plants during the holidays. Poinsettias come in a variety of colors, including red, white, pink, marbled, burgundy and cream.

• Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, or winter cactus, is great for blooms and comes in different colors ranging from red to orange, white, yellow and pink. The succulent is a very hardy indoor plant that requires very little maintenance in the home or office. The thick, waxy, dark-green leaves with a cluster of flowers above the foliage make it a very attractive plant.

• Ilex opaca, American holly, boasts thick, dark-green leaves and bright-red berries. It’s the ideal accompaniment to many table decorations and holiday garlands.

• Evergreens, such as redwoods, Douglas firs and pines, are used extensively in garlands and wreaths. If you’re lucky enough to have them available in your yard, try creating your own this year. The trick is to wet the branches so that they become a little flexible and are easier to wire together.

• Another good candidate for the holidays is the red or white anthurium, not just for its color, but because its big, bold leaves are stunning and add a touch of the tropics to decorations.

• Amaryllis bulbs, usually sold in garden centers, are available now so that they bloom during the holidays. They make beautiful tabletop arrangements.

• Branches of trees and shrubs like manzanita, curly willow, coral bark maple, flowering plum, bamboo, sword ferns and moss make nice complements to holiday decorations.

• Add driftwood, seeds and pods, pine cones and dried fruits to your holiday decoration toolbox. Savvy decorators glitter it up by spraying gold, silver and/or metallic paint to create sparkling ornaments.

• Use herbs such as rosemary, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks as fragrant decorative materials.

Visit a craft store to purchase a simple wreath base, wire, twine, coir rope and a glue gun to style your own decorations this season.

If you’re not good at craft projects, simply collect some greenery, pine cones and berries and arrange them free-form in a decorative glass jar, bowl, plate, fancy basket or rustic box.

Laxmi Natarajan, a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, is founder of Bagicha Garden & Flora Design, an indoor garden/ plant design and maintenance company that specializes in creating custom living walls, floor plants and desktop arrangements. For more information, call 703-9756 or visit bagicha.com.

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