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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Why is Pope Francis Time's 2013 Person of the Year?: No Shoes, Please

Here’s how Nancy Gibbs, managing editor of Time magazine, explains it: “For pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world’s largest church to confronting its deepest needs and for balancing judgment with mercy, Pope Francis is Time’s 2013 Person of the Year.”

Compare that to Sarah Palin’s remarks about the pope being “too liberal” and Rush Limbaugh’s histrionic response that the pope is a “Marxist” simply because he has asked us to redirect our attention to the poor and disenfranchised.

Personally, I think he is doing precisely what any Christian leader ought to be doing, and it’s weird that some of us are put off or even threatened by that. I mean, the pope is advocating for those in need and admonishing the greedy. Isn’t that the Christian thing to do?

At the same time, I don’t think that Pope Francis should get any more power to spread his message than some TV coverage and the bully pulpit; it’s never a good idea when a religious leader is in charge of, for example, the armed forces or a political system.

However, like his predecessors, the pope has a big voice and a huge audience, and he’s chosen to use both in favor of people who have neither. That’s power enough, I believe.

I applaud the pope when he says we need to stop focusing on abortion and homosexuality. I don’t think he’s necessarily abandoning these issues entirely; he’s merely trying to push them down on the world’s agenda so that the more pressing problems of global inequality and human suffering can claim a higher spot. As reported, the pope sees the Church as a field hospital with high cholesterol.

And he’s right to do this. In terms of size, the number of those affected by starvation, cruelty, war, disease, poverty and lack of opportunities dwarfs the number of people in the world affected by abortion and gay marriage. And you can certainly make the argument that homosexuality in particular is not a source of human suffering.

As heated as the debate over gay marriage can get, same-sex couples do not inspire trauma or violence, unless of course you happen to walk over to that dark side on your own steam and legs.

I don’t know what the pope’s message to the world will be on Christmas Day, but from the looks of it, he’s all in. Therefore, I hope that on that day of family, joy, gifts and glitter, he maintains our focus on the people who don’t have access to those things, because they, too, are worthy of our attention and compassion.

For now, Pope Francis seems to be the best person to exert that kind of moral authority, not because he’s the pope, but because he walks the talk and doesn’t get self-righteous about it. His vision is simple and straightforward – we are our brothers’ keepers – and he’s unwavering on that point. I don’t think anyone in recent memory has made it any plainer.

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