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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Almost: Los Altos takes top seed to 5 games in CCS final


R. ALAN HWANG/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Carmen Annevelink goes for the kill in Saturday’s CCS Division II final. She totaled 30 kills in the match.

The Los Altos High girls volleyball team played just as coach Peter Kim had hoped – loose and with a nothing-to-lose attitude – and that was nearly enough to pull off the big upset of the Central Coast Section playoffs.

The underdog Eagles took mighty Mitty to five games in the CCS Division II final Saturday at Independence High. Los Altos twice served for match point but couldn’t put away the defending champs, who escaped with a 23-25, 25-11, 25-22, 23-25, 18-16 victory.

Despite such a close loss, there were more smiles than frowns among the Eagles after they took the fourth-ranked team in the nation farther than almost anyone expected.

“With energy and with hard work and hustling, we got this far,” outside hitter Carmen Annevelink said. “I’m super happy with what we did. We played really well.”

No one played better than Annevelink, who tallied a match-high 30 kills. The junior added three aces and 21 digs.

Kim said he couldn’t be prouder of his girls, who heeded his advice to play hard and have fun.

“That’s what we’ve stressed all year – especially this week,” he said. “I told them, ‘This is icing on the cake. Just go out there and enjoy the whole thing.’ Every girl feeds off of that – being loose and having a lot of energy.”

The enthusiastic Eagles appeared to enjoy the match a lot more than the methodical Monarchs. Second-seeded Los Altos (32-6) celebrated each point and played in the moment; No. 1 Mitty (39-4) seemed to treat the contest as just another step toward repeating as state champs.

The Eagles played with a similar style in the Nov. 20 semifinals, sweeping St. Francis to earn a berth in this week’s Northern California playoffs (the top two teams from each section qualify).

Knowing that the season wouldn’t end Saturday only aided their efforts against Mitty, according to Annevelink.

“I think that’s one of the reasons we could come into this match so easy and see what happens,” she said.

Annevelink notched seven kills – including the game-winner – in the first set, and the Eagles reacted as if it were the match-winner. Their fans were just as joyous about the two-point victory.

Mitty didn’t panic, though, responding with a resounding 14-point win in the second game.

Los Altos fell behind 7-3 in the third game but rallied to take a 13-9 lead behind three kills from Annevelink. The Monarchs countered with six straight points to reclaim control, only to see the Eagles answer again. But after taking an 18-17 edge on Katie Tritschler’s ace, Los Altos let the set slip away. Mitty scored the next four points and didn’t relinquish the lead.

The Eagles got as close as 23-22 – on a Sarah Tritschler ace – before Mitty closed the game on back-to-back kills by Natasha Kosowicz.

Going down two games to one didn’t deter Los Altos, however. The Eagles opened the fourth game by rattling off five straight points and withstood a Mitty rally to lead 13-9 on Annevelink’s deep kill. The Monarchs made another run to lead 17-15, but Los Altos produced the next five points, ignited by Jenna Hoover’s solo block.

The Eagles maintained the advantage the rest of the set, winning it on an Annevelink kill. She recorded nine kills and two aces in the fourth game.

“She played like she’s one of the best players in our area,” Kim said.

Los Altos got off to another strong start in the fifth game, scoring the first three points. The lead grew to 8-2 on a Michelle Albright kill.

That’s when the Monarchs turned to Clare Powers. Their 6-foot-3 kill leader, who did not appear to be at full strength Saturday, played primarily in the back row before the final set. But with the match on the line, Powers moved up front and showed her power. She notched two kills in a 6-0 run that tied the game.

The set went back and forth until Meghan McDermott’s kill put Los Altos in position to win at 14-13. Mitty’s Shirin Tooloee replied with a kill, however.

The Eagles had another chance to prevail after going up 16-15, only to be denied by a kill from Mitty’s Alexa Dryer. Lauren Speckman followed with an ace and setter Kelsey Crawford delivered a dump shot to win the match for the Monarchs.

Los Altos was scheduled to open the NorCal Division II playoffs in Chico Tuesday, after the Town Crier’s press deadline. If the third-seeded Eagles beat No. 6 Pleasant Valley (23-11), they play in Saturday’s semifinals at a place to be determined.

Mustangs claim DI title

The battle of familiar foes in the CCS Division I final led to a familiar result. Homestead, which beat Palo Alto twice in league play, did so again Saturday night to win the section crown.

The second-seeded Mustangs topped the No. 5 Vikings 17-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-19.

“We are a better team and we executed (our) plan perfectly,” said Homestead coach Gary Carroll, who – along with four of his players – lives in Los Altos. “Set 1 we had uncharacteristic serving errors, (but) we settled and took control, getting better every point thereafter.”

In what the coach described as an “outstanding performance,” Morgan Robinson racked up 27 kills for Homestead (26-7). Los Altos resident Casey Carroll (the coach’s daughter) added 20 kills with only three hitting errors. Maria Balus registered 50 assists.

Homestead, the third seed in the NorCal Division I playoffs, was scheduled to host No. 6 Heritage (30-9) Tuesday. With a win, the Mustangs play a semifinal match slated 7 p.m. Saturday at a place to be determined.

“This team is posed to go even farther in the state bracket,” coach Carroll said.

Panthers fall in semis

Pinewood, in CCS for the first time since 2008, went as far as the Division V semifinals. No. 2 Woodside Priory beat third-seeded Pinewood 25-13, 25-14, 23-25, 25-18 Nov. 20.

Mehra den Braven – MVP of the West Bay Athletic League Skyline Division – paced the Panthers with 28 kills, while middle blockers Grace Taylor and Gabby Krohn “led us to our best blocking performance of the season,” coach Michael Shorts said.

Pinewood finished the season 14-12 and placed fifth in league.

“This was a very successful season for Pinewood,” Shorts said.

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