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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Help One Child supports at-risk youth and their families


Courtesy of Susan Herman
Help One Child’s new program provides a safety net for families by offering children a temporary place to live in lieu of foster care.

With all the ways Help One Child has aided at-risk youth over the years, staff and board members could have easily spent several hours of the nonprofit’s 20th-anniversary banquet touting their accomplishments. Instead, they used the spring event to launch another ambitious program.

The Los Altos-based Help One Child announced that it would be the San Francisco Peninsula hub of Safe Families for Children, a national movement designed to deflect children from foster care. An alternative to child welfare custody, the program provides a safety net for families in crisis that have nowhere else to turn by offering their children a temporary place to live.

“It’s a very natural extension of what we already do,” said Susan Herman, Help One Child’s executive director. “We are already recruiting families to open their homes to at-risk youth. We are already supporting those families who have adopted or opened their home to these children.”

Serving Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, Help One Child assists at-risk children in and out of the foster-care system by recruiting, training and supporting those willing to house or otherwise help them. When the faith-based organization asked people attending the banquet to champion Safe Families for Children at their churches, Herman said they did so enthusiastically. The next step was to work with the churches and the counties to create referral networks.

“If you’re a single mom who has lost your job and there’s no room at a shelter for you and your children, you can come to Help One Child as a sponsor of the Safe Families for Children program for help,” she said. “We will find a family supported by their church that will open their home for no compensation and care for those children until the parent or parents are able to complete their endeavor, whatever it might be. Maybe somebody has to go to alcohol or drug rehab, or maybe there’s some short-term criminal sentence that needs to be completed.”

The program offers what Herman called “nonresidential placement” as well.

“Sometimes a family needs extended help – taking their child to school early in the morning or making them dinner – and those kinds of connections have been made,” she said.

Over the summer, Help One Child connected volunteers with 11-year-old Alex.

“His father just needed some extra help that normally a family member would provide, but he was alone – the mom was no longer in the picture,” Herman said. “We must have had 15 people offer to have (Alex) into their homes for dinner. Two people offered to bring him to youth group activities at their church during the week while his dad was working. Someone sent him to camp and we took him to our camp. His summer was filled with people inviting him to join their activities. Every time we saw him, he told us how grateful he was.”

Help One Child recently ramped up its Supper Club program. The staff organizes volunteers to cook meals for youth living in nine group homes and two receiving homes (for emergency placement) throughout the two counties.

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