Mon09152014

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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Dance speaks in CSMA's Artistic Intelligence autism program



Giancarlo, a student from the Morgan Autism Center, flies through a dance challenge at the Community School of Music and Arts’ Artistic Intelligence program. Teacher Ehud Krauss pairs movement, rhythm and beat with game play and group sequences. Eliza Ridgeway/ town Crier

Tucked away in the northernmost corner of Mountain View, the Community School of Music and Arts offers community classes and concerts, but its reach stretches beyond violin lessons and holiday performances.

For developmentally disabled students, CSMA’s Artistic Intelligence classes offer a window of the mind, as movement, music and art unlock expression in new ways.

Students from AchieveKids and the Morgan Autism Center were dancing at CSMA on a recent Tuesday morning, stretching and then popping up to snap and lean to a Michael Jackson song. The King of Pop in fact ruled the airwaves for much of the morning, as young people practiced rhythms and repeated movements, bouncing to the beat as they learned new sequences. Two Los Altos residents were among the students who played games as they danced, tossing balls, skipping over jump ropes and spinning rings in the air.

“I try to challenge them, not just to a dance routine,” teacher Ehud Krauss explained. “I throw something to see how they react – if they react, wonderful, if not, we change it.”

He said that building choreography and a curriculum for students with autism makes him a more thoughtful teacher, and that at the semester-end show, parents are sometimes stunned to see their children move in a way they never had at home.

“It takes a lot of love and vision,” Krauss said. “Music, dance and autism – they all go together. It’s amazing what the kids can do if you just encourage and support them.”

CSMA collaborates with three area social-service agencies to bring classes in music, dance and visual arts to more than 70 teens and young adults with autism and developmental and physical challenges. With help from donors like the Town Crier Holiday Fund, CSMA subsidizes the classes.

Children with autism can struggle with social interaction and communication, and CSMA’s courses provide an opportunity to practice social and creative skills outside a traditional curriculum.

“Disability can close you down – (in class), they get to open up and move across the floor,” Krauss said.

CSMA Art School Director Linda Covello described the students’ acts of art as “their voice, sometimes – taking them out of themselves and giving them a means of expressing.”

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