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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Chris Clark will serve as the face of the city in 2014


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Chris Clark took the reins as Mountain View mayor last week. As in Los Altos, members of the Mountain View City Council take one-year turns serving as mayor.

Chris Clark assumed the role of mayor of Mountain View for 2014 at the Jan. 7 city council meeting. Following is an edited question-and-answer interview with the Town Crier.

Q: Tell us about yourself. Where are you from, how long have you been a Mountain View resident, where do you work and how did you get involved in city government?

Clark: I grew up on a family farm in rural Illinois and became interested in public service while serving as a page for the U.S. House of Representatives. I moved to the Bay Area to attend Stanford University and have lived in Mountain View for about seven years. I worked at a Mountain View tech startup that was acquired by a financial services company a little over a year ago and am now leading one of its product groups. I was first involved in Mountain View politics as a Human Relations Commissioner, subsequently transitioning to the Environmental Planning Commission and then won election to the city council in 2012.

Q: What are three goals you would like to see the city accomplish during your year as mayor?

Clark: This is the last year our current council will serve together. Three members are terming out at the end of the year, so I want to ensure that we wrap up several of the efforts my colleagues initiated. These include finalizing three of our major planning documents (San Antonio, North Bayshore and El Camino Real precise plans), carefully managing our budget until we fully recover from the recession and investigating ways to finance some much-needed infrastructure improvements.

Q: What do you see that the city does well, and where is room for improvement?

Clark: Mountain View is very well managed across the board, and a community survey last year indicated that residents are generally quite satisfied with our quality of life. However, there is always room for improvement, such as improving our transit infrastructure to reduce congestion and make biking/walker easier, streamlining the permit processes for residents and small businesses, and making more services and functions available online.

Q: What is the No. 1 concern residents bring to your attention?

Clark: I think residents right now are most concerned about the growth and development associated with our current economic cycle. Compared to most of the rest of the country, we are in the enviable position of having significantly more jobs than housing, but accommodating growth in an already dense 12-square-mile city is quite challenging and requires a delicate balancing act. Now that the economy has picked up, we’re dealing with some painful realities, such as the fact that no new rental housing was built in almost 10 years and that some level of new supply is critical if we want to keep prices somewhat in check and better meet demand. On the other hand, we must carefully balance this growth with the preservation of our quality of life.

Q: What do you see as the biggest misconception about the work of the city council?

Clark: One big misconception is that the city always says yes to developers and approves everything that comes before us. We have said no to spending any staff time on a number of projects and effectively turned them down at the earliest possible stage, but those decisions rarely make headlines. Having said that, we do vote to at least study and work with developers in many instances on projects we believe have the potential to provide significant community benefits. The misconception is that a vote to study something is effectively an approval. Even if a project makes it to the review process, the larger ones generally take a year or more of public meetings, scrutiny and significant revisions before coming to a final vote. Projects might be approved the majority of the time at the final approval stage, but that’s because months, if not years, were spent significantly revising the original plans to ensure that the project fits into the surrounding area well. We don’t always get it right, but we invest a lot of time and effort in the outreach and planning processes to try to ensure that we get it right.

Q: Are you holding office hours as mayor?

Clark: I plan to hold office hours twice a month, likely on Tuesday mornings. We’re still determining the exact time and will publish the schedule on the city website as soon it’s finalized.


Chris Clark becomes Mountain View Mayor - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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