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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Festival of Lights parade set to float into Los Altos Sunday


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The annual Festival of Lights Parade features the new “Penguin Palooza” float.

This year’s Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade will offer a new entry among its lineup. Prepare for “Penguin Palooza” during the 37th annual event, scheduled 6 p.m. Sunday in downtown Los Altos.

“Penguin Palooza,” two years in the making, features penguins in colorful winter clothing enjoying a party with ice skating, fishing and roasting marshmallows. The new float was created on the bed of “It’s a Small World,” one of the parade’s oldest floats.

“Marie Backs and I have wanted to do skating penguins for a long time,” said Nancy Schneider of her co-worker at the all-volunteer Festival of Lights Parade Association. “I saw ‘Happy Feet’ and thought it had such appeal to all ages. Also, we both thought it was unique, totally different from anything else we had since it featured animals.”

According to Schneider, preparing the new float took much time and effort.

“We had San Jose Repertory Theatre update the base of the float early this year, fix the mechanics, and then had a group from the Stanford University Department of Theater and Performance Studies finish it up,” she said. “It wasn’t easy. There wasn’t anywhere to put the float to work on and finish it up. Erik Sunderman, an assistant technical director at Stanford, actually had to bring the float to his house and work on it there.”

Nonetheless, the project proved a labor of love.

“We had such fun thinking of the colors and the types of costumes to put on the penguins,” Schneider said.

Parade volunteers also redesigned the Mother Goose float.

“She is now sitting with bright-orange feet and a fancy bonnet reading her nursery rhymes, accompanied by her storybook characters,” Schneider said.

The revamped float is courtesy of Jacob Kidd, who worked on Mother Goose for his Boy Scout Troop 37 Eagle Scout project.

The parade’s 60 entries, including high school bands and choruses, costumed characters and 24 illuminated floats, all lead up to the grand finale – an appearance by Santa and his reindeer.

Parade organizers urge attendees to refrain from staking out a viewing spot until noon the day of the parade.

“Please do not use tape and chalk – it makes cleanup very difficult,” Schneider said. “Mark your place with blankets or tarps.”

The Festival of Lights Parade Association produces the parade, which costs nearly $20,000 annually.

“We would appreciate your donations, which allow us to update our floats and costumes,” Schneider said.

For more information, including parade routes and guidelines, visit losaltosparade.com. If there is a rain delay, information will be posted on the parade website after 3 p.m. Sunday. If the parade is rained out, it will be rescheduled Dec. 8.

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