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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Construction update: Downtown projects pick up pace


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A construction worker directs the placement of a beam for the new Safeway store on First Street.

As the pace of holiday shopping in downtown Los Altos picks up, so does the schedule for the area’s ongoing construction projects. Following is an update on four projects currently underway – in varying degrees – in the downtown triangle.

First Street Safeway

Structural work on the new 45,000-square-foot, podium-style Safeway at 160 First St. is “significantly complete,” according to Keith Turner, Safeway’s director of public and government affairs.

Safeway representatives were slated to update the Los Altos City Council Tuesday night on the project’s progress – past the Town Crier’s press deadline.

In an email to the Town Crier, Turner said foundations and double-T structural supports are in for the new grocery store. Workers are currently framing the walls and roof for the southern half of the building, which will be approximately twice as large as the 1960s-era Safeway the new store will replace.

“All work is progressing nicely and without any significant disruption,” Turner said.

Turner added that the next steps include completing remaining structural work on the north side of the building and the installation of roof steel and walls. Then construction crews will enclose the building, which includes the installation of metal decking and exterior walls, by the end of January.

Work to install the store’s various electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems will continue within the building.

Turner anticipated that the store’s ground-level parking area slab will be prepped and poured in January or February.

The new market remains on track for a June finish, he concluded.

100 First St. condominiums

Construction crews are framing the third floor of developer Randy Lamb’s 48-unit condominium complex at 100 First St., according to David Dacus, sales manager for Lamb Partners LLC. He added that the project is currently slated for completion sometime in mid-summer.

Dacus said the project, built on the site of the demolished U.S. Postal Service office, is expected to “top out” with the completion of roof installation sometime early next year. Dacus noted that the lack of rain this fall meant that the project didn’t experience the on-again, off-again work interruptions construction crews typically endure.

“We make hay when the sun shines, as the saying goes,” said Dacus, who added that he still anticipates some weather-related impacts through the winter.

On the sales front, Dacus said early interest in the one- to three-bedroom units, which range from 800 to 2,700 square feet in size, has been significant, even though pricing won’t be revealed until early next year.

“We’ve had a lot of people reserving homes already,” said Dacus, without citing any specific figures.

For more information, visit 100firststreet.com.

Enchanté boutique hotel

Los Altos resident and developer Abby Ahrens told the Town Crier that her French-themed boutique hotel, Enchanté, is currently on schedule for a pre-summer finish.

“Definitely by May,” she said.

The 12,000-square-foot hotel at the corner of Main Street and San Antonio Road will feature 18 uniquely themed rooms with fireplaces, a lounge, a bistro and a public plaza. Ahrens said Comcast crews recently installed fiber-optic cable.

“It’s the best of both worlds,” said Ahrens, noting that hotel perks would include a canine concierge service. “It’s got a dark flavor with the best of technology.”

She added that construction crews are currently working to install the structure’s slate roof and electrical work. In addition, workers are installing a “several-hundred-year-old” antique French window – called an “oeil-de-boeuf,” French for “bull’s-eye” – on the upper level of the boutique hotel, facing its plaza and San Antonio Road. Crews are expected to begin applying final exterior coats for the building “in the near future,” she added.

Ahrens said her finishing touches to decorate the interior of the hotel would include “a smattering of antiques.”

For updates and more information, visit facebook.com/ EnchanteHotel.

First & Main mixed-use project

According to Los Altos Special Projects Manager Dave Brees, construction crews for the Jeffrey A. Morris Group are currently framing the podium deck that will top the underground garage of the developer’s two-story project.

Brees said a crew recently poured concrete to form the walls of the underground parking area, which will underpin retail and Class A office space at the corner of First and Main streets. Approximately half of the garage floor has been poured, he added, with the second half scheduled for completion this week.

Construction on the gateway project, which began last summer, remains on track to finish within its 14- to 16-month time frame, Brees said.


Downtown Construction Update: December 2013 - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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