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

No mystery in downtown parking

The city of Los Altos Downtown Parking Management Plan and the Downtown Public Parking Data sheet both accurately report the number of parking spaces, despite comments to the contrary (“Los Altos mysteries explored,” Jan. 29).

In the mid-1990s, the city purchased two downtown parcels – 400 Main St. and 230 First St. The private businesses operating in those locations were allowed to continue, and the city opened up 54 of the existing parking spaces for public use. While preparing for the eventual sale of the property, the city demolished the buildings in 2010 and used the site as a staging area to minimize construction impacts of the downtown beautification and First Street streetscape projects.

In 2012, with those projects complete, the city chose to allow, on a temporary basis, unregulated parking on the empty, unimproved lot while the site plan was under development. From April 2012 to August 2013, a total of 96 parking spaces were available.

The city’s Downtown Urban Design Plan identifies the First and Main site as a key gateway to the downtown and indicates that future development of the site should incorporate a “mixture of land uses, with retail on the ground floor” (Downtown Urban Design Plan, page 35). The development underway accomplishes that goal and will provide a welcoming entry into the downtown, which will promote vibrancy and economic vitality in downtown Los Altos.

To review the Downtown Parking Management Plan and the Downtown Urban Design Plan, visit losaltosca.gov/masterplans.

Marcia Somers

Los Altos City Manager

Leaf-blower violations merit citations

I am responding to a letter in another local newspaper regarding the Los Altos police beat, which reported 11 persons cited for illegally using gas-powered leaf blowers in Los Altos. The letter writer indicated that this was a waste of police time and taxpayers’ money.

Does the letter writer know about pollution?

The California Air Resources Board documents that the exhaust pollution from one gas blower used for one hour equals the smog produced by 17 cars driven for one hour.

Green alternatives include an electric blower, which has less power to stir up dangerous particulate matter, and a rake and a broom, which provide healthful exercise for the user.

The Los Altos City Council and other councils in the state and the U.S. acknowledged the detrimental environmental effects of these machines and banned them.

We commend the police for taking care of our citizens and citing the lawbreakers who violated our local ban, in effect since 1991.

Myra Orta

Los Altos

Yes to bond measure – if BCS goes to Morgan Hill

After receiving multiple survey phone calls on the wording of the school bond measure, my response has become somewhat brief.

I am all for it, up to $40 million, with one stipulation: Bullis Charter School must reside in Morgan Hill.

What? Oh yes – Morgan Hill! The legal requirement for a location in Santa Clara County would be met.

Bullis Charter School can continue to provide quality education services while cherry-picking enrollment and avoiding those with special needs, less-fluent English and substandard affluence. The obligatory $5,000 tuition will be paid without question.

It does beg the question of why Los Altos Hills doesn’t seek private financing for its own students as a strictly private school, which by all other aspects it is. Land is available.

Oh – by the way, if the stipulation of Morgan Hill isn’t met, my answer to the bond measure is no.

Kurt Ayers

Los Altos

Kudos to The European Cobblery

As a former mayor of Los Altos and downtown property owner, I extend a very special thanks to the many Los Altans and the Town Crier for quietly and politely letting both The European Cobblery and its landlord, Passarelle Investment Co., know how special the shop is to our village.

It provides a unique service, and they are staying – a welcomed development.

A final special thanks goes to The Cobblery and Passerelle.

Ron Packard

Los Altos

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