Sun09142014

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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Los Altos all aglow


Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Carter Newhauser, 3, of Redwood City finds satisfaction in the sweet treats of the 37th annual Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade Sunday.

A gleamingly new icy Snow Queen anchored the 37th annual Festival of Lights Parade Sunday, the most austerely royal of 60 entries parading through downtown Los Altos like visions from a childhood dream.

Penguins toasted marshmallows, a wolf chased a shrieking Red Riding Hood and dogs pulled a light-bedecked sleigh. The modern day dissolved into an imagined past as Police Chief Tuck Younis cruised through on a bicycle, followed minutes later by a restored Ford Customline Police Car that could have driven straight out of 1953.

Groups of all sizes packed the sidewalks and curbs of downtown Los Altos, gathering hours in advance to set up folding tables covered with snacks and relax with children and pets. Warm weather may have proved particularly inviting for local families, according to Nancy Schneider, one of the volunteers who organizes the event each year through the Festival of Lights Parade Association.

– story continues below –

37thAnnualFestivalofLightsParadeKym Le’s 10-month-old son Carter waited in the gathering twilight while his sister Kaleia wielded a flashlight – a parade veteran this year at 3 years old.

“Everything from the marching bands to all the different floats to real people waving at her to Santa at the end – I don’t think Kaleia has a favorite,” Le said. “Everything was fantastic.”

Volunteers renovate the character’s costumes on a rolling basis – this year’s glittering silver Snow Queen gown, studded with beads, sequins, jewels and a raised fur-lined collar, took Catharine Kristian more than 100 hours of sewing.

“She’s made a lot of our costumes, and this was just really spectacular,” Schneider said of the debut. The previous dress had garbed Los Altos’ queen for 25 years. One former occupant of the throne watched from a new perspective this year.

Megan Mead Germack and her daughter Greta, 19 months, cozied up on a State Street sidewalk surrounded by more than a dozen friends and family. Germack grew up playing characters in the parade as her mother sewed costumes – culminating in a turn as the Snow Queen.

“I love watching the kids watch it – (Greta) was here last year, but I think this is the first year that she’ll really get it,” Germack said.

Charlotte Arrouye, one of the ballgown-clad princesses who hailed from the Assisteens, shared royal lore known only by the volunteer teens of the Costume Bank.

“Definitely glitter’s a big thing, and lights, and walking in heels the whole way – knowing to hold up the dresses,” she said. The role included some method acting, as she laughingly anticipated hobbling home by the end of the night.

“Just like Cinderella, trying to make it home with the blisters,” Charlotte said. “But it’s worth it.”


37th annual Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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