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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Not on the menu? Councilwoman says no to Hillview, maybe to Rosita regarding school site

The city’s stance on Hillview Community Center as a possible school site hasn’t changed, according to a member of the Los Altos City Council.

Councilwoman Megan Satterlee told Los Altos School District board trustees Tammy Logan and Doug Smith that the city isn’t interested in discussing Hillview as a future school site when other options still remain open to the district.

“We’ve had this conversation multiple times and nothing’s changed,” said Satterlee, who added that she simply doesn’t see a “win-win” for the city and district.

Satterlee later added that she “still thinks there are options out there that don’t impact a community resource,” noting that the “threshold” to start conversations about a school site remains a stated assurance that the district will not exercise eminent-domain rights on city property.

The statements came after Smith and Logan told Satterlee and Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw during a Nov. 19 school district-city subcommittee meeting that the district was still interested in exploring a partnership on the site. Smith also broached the subject of a partnership recently during a joint meeting of the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills councils. Councilmembers from both cities discussed a possible alliance to jointly fund a new community center on the Hillview site.

Shared use of Rosita Park?

Reached by the Town Crier, Smith noted that the district remains interested in a “collaborative dialogue about how the interests of all parties might be served best.”

“I’m disappointed in Councilwoman Satterlee’s position, but it’s definitely not new,” Smith stated in an email to the Town Crier. “She has said that she doesn’t think there is a win-win scenario, but I’m not sure how she can say that since we haven’t explored anything yet.”

Smith noted that the district isn’t interested in giving up its eminent-domain rights because it would likely drop the issue of Hillview if joint discussions with the city go nowhere.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for any government entity to require a person or agency to waive rights before seeing how they might work together to serve the community,” he added.

Instead, Satterlee said the city is more amenable to discussing a “shared use” of Rosita Park if the district exhausts all other school site options. Specifically, Satterlee told Smith and Logan that the district would need to create a proposal that includes the amount of parkland needed to build a school, proposed shared-use guidelines and an idea of which amenities would stay or go, among other details.

Satterlee later told the Town Crier that while the council hadn’t discussed specifics regarding the Rosita site, she believes it would ultimately seek an arrangement that “results in no loss of total land ownership for the city.”

“The reason Rosita is top of mind is because the field and parking lot at Rosita are not generally scheduled or in high use during the school day, making a shared-use arrangement workable,” she noted in an email, while also citing traffic flow concerns around the area as sticking points. “We have also invested a considerable amount in a class (I) pathway that accesses the backside of the Covington site (adjacent to the park).”

Smith said he believes that the district will bring proposals on the park to the city in the future. At the same time, he noted concern that potential talks between Los Altos and Los Altos Hills to rebuild the community center would leave the district out in the cold.

“We should be evaluating all options in parallel,” he said, “not single-streaming them in a way that one group thinks is most optimized for their particular view.”

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