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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This hybrid lives up to the hype


courtesy of Ford
The Ford Fusion offers a comfortable ride and excellent handling.

While automobile manufacturers continue to titillate us with visions of an alternative-energy future at events like auto shows, they aren’t forgetting current customers.

Case in point: the Ford Fusion, new for 2013 and offered with standard internal combustion engine, gasoline-electric hybrid and plug-in hybrid. The 2014 models are out now.

We drove the in-between hybrid recently and were impressed.

The Fusion is a fully realized automobile with a pleasant, upscale interior, excellent handling, comfortable ride and attractive exterior. It sells for approximately $35,000.

The Fusion delivers more than 40 mpg in real-world press test-driving.

The window sticker actually claims 47 mpg city and highway, but there’s some debate over that and the rating might be a shade optimistic. Our number is right off the gauge of the San Francisco press pool car after it logged 600 miles with three drivers.

What we drove: Ford Fusion SE (the mid-range package), base price of $27,200, with the additional $2,250 luxury package including heated seats, navigation and rear screen for $1,695, and driver-assistance packages for $3,350, for total manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $35,010.

What we liked best: The 2-liter engine with electric motors delivers seamless acceleration, rated at 188 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque, through the continuously variable automatic transmission. The shift from electric power to gasoline was nearly imperceptible.

The Fusion’s interior trim – unlike some of its competitors’ vehicles – looks like that of a near-luxury automobile rather than a piece of experimental bench-test equipment.

Optional safety packages – park assist, reverse sensing, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping and cross-traffic alert – are welcome options on this mid-priced car.

What didn’t impress us: We’re still not fans of touch-screen interfaces to control the audio, navigation and climate systems, but the latest generation of MyFordTouch is a considerable improvement over the previous versions. We would encourage the designers to peek at what’s being done by the German companies, however.

The Ford center stack doesn’t convey the same luxury impression as the trim surrounding it.

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