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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Letters to the Editor

Help stop vandalism at Redwood Grove

I’m writing this urgent request to the Los Altos City Council and Police Department to please take immediate action to stop the increasing vandalization at the Redwood Grove Nature Preserve.

In the past, I have observed and documented the destruction and have sent photos to the police and the Town Crier. I have continued to monitor the situation, only to see it deteriorate further.

Today, in addition to the usual cigarette butts, “roaches,” discarded rolling papers and empty beer cans, for the first time I observed black spray-painted tagging on a picnic table and several tree trunks.

Please understand that this intense level of vandalization only began when the property became vacant. It is not going to stop on its own. Acterra, the nonprofit group undertaking the preserve’s rehabilitation, can’t stop it. The occasional strolls through the property by police officers able to momentarily leave their fancy new SUVs haven’t stopped it. The neighbors are oblivious, even though their own properties are at risk from potential fires, etc.

We must have a deterrent. The only solution I see is to have someone living in the caretaker’s house. Perhaps the city could partner with Acterra to arrange that? Even motion-detection cameras directly linked to the police department would not substitute for the presence of a real person.

Redwood Grove is a precious gem in this area. As Los Altos’ population increases, it will become ever more valuable and ever more in need of protection. Please take action while the preserve is still here for all of us to enjoy.

Peggy Hennessee

Los Altos

Cyclists shouldn’t choose chatting over caution

As I read the article about the newly signed law requiring motorists to provide at least 3-foot spacing when passing bicyclists, I thought, “Seems reasonable – bicycling has enough inherent risks, and riders have so little protection” (“Some question effectiveness of new bike law,” Jan. 8).

Everyone is aware of this vulnerability. Yet many bicyclists choose to ride two or three abreast, often outside the bike lane (which is never wide enough for safe parallel riding). By choosing sociability over safety, they reduce their own safety cushion.

The photo accompanying the article makes the point: several bicyclists riding parallel, far outside the bike lane. They share the same roadway with 2-ton vehicles, trusting their lives to the skill and attentiveness of drivers. Vehicle drivers need to be cautious and considerate when near bicyclists. And although our young children learn not to “play in traffic,” riding parallel is fun.

Sadly, no law, regardless of its good intentions, can protect people from the consequences of their making poor decisions. And I think that riding parallel or outside the bike lane is a poor decision.

Michael Rappaport, M.D.

Los Altos

Chef Chu’s staff draws compliments

I would like to thank Larry Chu Jr. and the entire staff of Chef Chu’s for their kindness, support and professionalism when, without much notice and in the middle of the holiday season, they catered my mom’s memorial service after she passed in December.

During the 20-plus years we lived, worked and raised our family in and around Los Altos, Chef Chu’s always came through for the community and its families.

When 15 teens forgot to make a dinner reservation on a busy Friday night prior to a dressy and time-sensitive school event, one phone call to Larry solved the problem.

“When do they need to arrive?” queried Larry. And when I responded, “Oh, about now,” he said simply, “Send them over, we’ll make it work.”

Over the years, my book club has met there too many times to count. We stayed too long, talked too loudly and were always treated wonderfully.

Now, six years after we have moved across the country, a trip to Los Altos is never complete without visiting Chef Chu’s. And Larry always greets us as if we’ve never left.

Chef Chu’s is more than a restaurant, it is a town treasure. When it’s in your backyard, it is easy to forget this. But when you move away, it is easy to realize what you’ve lost. Coming back under stressful and emotional circumstances and hearing Larry’s calm voice say, “We’ll take care of it,” and knowing they would, was a blessing.

Meg Solera

Durham, N.C.

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