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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Holiday gift ideas to please the beer lovers in your life


courtesy of BeerCandy Inc.
Craft beer has crept into foods and gifts of all types this year, including chocolates from Beercandy Inc.

If you’re looking for gift ideas for the beer enthusiast in your family or circle of friends, look no further. From inexpensive stocking stuffers to a high-end option for the person who has everything, following is a small selection of suggestions for the holiday season. Of course you can always buy beer as a gift – the number of locally brewed options is growing quickly and increasing in quality – but this column will focus on nonliquid gift options.

Stocking stuffers

• People like beer, and people like candy, so Santa Clara resident Steve Casselman had the great idea to put them together when he founded Beercandy Inc. in 2009. Three varieties of Beercandy are available: Hopdrops are hard candies with a tasty hop bite, Beertaffy includes stout and IPA-flavored taffies, and my personal favorites are the delicious chocolate-enrobed caramels infused with real craft beer ($5.99 to $9.99 from beercandy.com).

• True beer aficionados often travel with their own opener. To avoid being caught without the right tool for the job, beer lovers can make sure to be prepared with either the Reef Leather Fanning sandals ($58 from reef.com), which include an opener in the sole, or the Opena iPhone case ($7.99 from opena.com), which has a slide-out bottle opener in the back.

Under the tree

• “The American Craft Beer Cookbook” (Storey Publishing, 2013) by John Holl includes unique recipes from brew pubs and brewers across the United States ($19.95 from storey.com). While not every recipe contains beer (though many of them do), the book recommends a half-dozen different brews that would pair well with each and every dish. From slow-cooked Doppelbock BBQ Meatballs to ice cream Beer Floats, this book is sure to please the beer-loving foodie in your life.

• Beer Nerd is a new beer-tasting trivia game ($35 from chroniclebooks.com). Players answer beer trivia questions as they travel around the game board, identifying specific beers if they land on the “Blind Taste Test” squares. With trivia questions for all skill levels (general knowledge to technical), Beer Nerd can be fun for everyone (over 21) in your family during the holidays.

• Every homebrewer or home bartender should have his or her own Craft Beer Barrel Sign ($99.99 from redenvelope.com). Constructed from solid oak with a galvanized iron barrel strap, the sign features a customizable graphic including name, city/state and date.

• For beer lovers who want to try brewing their own, MoreBeer at 991 N. San Antonio Road in Los Altos offers a variety of personal home-brewery kits ranging in price from $69 to $494 (morebeer.com). For the beginner, I’d recommend the Deluxe No. 2 kit ($109), which contains nearly all of the equipment needed to begin brewing beer, including a bottling/sanitation bucket, a fermentation carboy, a hydro- meter, a siphon, a thermometer, a bottle filler, a capper, sanitation and cleaning supplies and a beer-making manual. The kit does not include bottles, ingredients or a 5-gallon kettle, which can be purchased separately if the brewer does not already have a cooking pot this size.

For the beer lover who has everything

The Brew Cave (starts at $6,350 from brewcave.com) is a walk-in beer cooler that holds up to 30 cases plus six kegs of beer. Approximately 7-feet-by-5-feet-by-8-feet in size, with glass doors, the insulated storage system contains everything needed to keep beer cold, including a refrigeration system and serving equipment for the taps mounted on the outside of the cave. The Brew Cave is recommended for the beer lover whose basement or garage is already full of refrigerators for his or her favorite beverage.

Derek Wolfgram is chief communications officer for the Silicon Valley Sudzers Homebrew Club, which meets the first Friday of each month at a home in Los Altos Hills and welcomes both new and experienced beer enthusiasts. For more information, visit sudzers.org.

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