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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Senior sensations Moldaw Singers perform concerts for local audiences


Ron Griggs/ Mirror Image Photography
Linda Mankin, 85, leads the Moldaw Singers in concert. The choral group comprises seniors in their 80s and 90s, including former Los Altos residents Henry and Lottie Burger.

The Moldaw Singers performed “A Biblical Songfest” concert at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto last month, an auditory and visual showcase that included a slideshow.

The group comprises nearly 40 singers in their 80s and 90s, including former Los Altos residents, who live at Moldaw Residences, the retirement community in Palo Alto.

Singing on key

Linda Mankin, 85, who earned a master’s degree in music composition from Stanford University, works hard to ensure that seniors in the Moldaw Singers choral group are on key and having fun.

The 12 songs featured at the concert were based on Bible stories, including “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho,” “Little David Play Your Harp” and “Sit Down, Sister,” some performed in Hebrew and Latin.

Resident Council President Henry Burger, 87, a former Los Altos resident and member of the Moldaw Singers, said he and his wife, Lottie, were excited to bring the show to the JCC’s Cultural Arts Hall, next door to Moldaw Residences.

“My wife and I love performing with the Moldaw Singers,” Burger said. “Our group leader and Moldaw resident, Linda, works so hard with us and really helps us prepare, even though some members have never sung before. Our practices and performances are just other ways for everyone to get together and enjoy each other’s company – and that’s important.”

Mankin assumed leadership of the group two years ago and has experienced success with the senior singers. She continues to attend conferences that inspire her and give her ideas and tips to share with the group. She recently attended a conference in San Francisco hosted by the Acoustical Society of America and came back with renewed enthusiasm to help improve the group’s performances.

“Witnessing the progress of this group has been confirmation of my belief that music can be a lifelong source of pride and pleasure,” Mankin said. “I would encourage anyone who used to sing or play an instrument to never give it up. It could be one of the greatest pleasures of your life.”

Standing room only

The Moldaw Singers include eight to 10 male vocalists and approximately 30 women. Mankin noted members’ increased sense of loyalty and dedication over time as they rehearsed and performed together. The group practiced every Monday night for nearly two hours, and what started as few participants has grown into a popular performing group whose shows are typically standing room only.

The concert theme “A Biblical Songfest” came naturally to Mankin. For a number of years, she has attended weekly Torah classes at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills. Mankin said she finds the stories fascinating and the songs written about them beautiful. Believing that people of all ages and religions can relate to them, Mankin added that she chose the theme with confidence.

“We’d been excited to show the community how hard we’ve been practicing and how talented our group is through such special songs with this biblical theme,” Burger said.

The Moldaw Singers are gearing up for their 2014 season, with Mankin planning to incorporate techniques she learned at a recent conference to help the senior singers produce more tone.

“According to several presenters,” Mankin said, “there is a tendency among some seniors to think that they sound louder than they do, which may be due to the feedback they get from their hearing aids or to the natural decline in the production of their vocal chords.”

Mankin said conference presenters suggested that she pass around a hand-held personal recorder, a smartphone perhaps, and allow the seniors actually to hear themselves. For those more visually oriented, an app shows a picture of the soundsignal as they sing, giving them input on the strength of their sound versus time.

“We never stop learning,” she said, “and I’m anxious to share these new methods with the group.”

For more information on Moldaw Residences, call 433-3600 or visit moldaw.org.

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