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LA city manager is

LA city manager is "speechless" at council priorities


 

The Los Altos City Council had an opportunity to set its 2017 goals at last week’s council meeting, but a lack of consensus led to a moment of exasperation from the city manager.

After the five councilmembers offered their feedback on th...

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Schools

LAHS student raises money for cause  close to her heart

LAHS student raises money for cause close to her heart


Courtesy of Megan Tsern
Los Altos High School junior Megan Tsern shows her contract to fundraise for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Student of the Year campaign. Tsern hopes to raise $50,000 in memory of her brother, Matthew, who died ...

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Community

'Pre-History of the iPhone' talk set for March 2 in Mtn. View

The Computer History Museum’s latest presentation, “Computing in Your Pocket: The Pre-History of the iPhone in Silicon Valley,” is scheduled 7 p.m. March 2 at the museum, 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View.

The panel discussion, moderated by Com...

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Sports

Mtn. View falls 50-45 in OT to Gunn

Mtn. View falls 50-45 in OT to Gunn


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Emma Bice tries to shoot over Gunn’s Archer Olson.

Plagued by foul trouble and turnovers for most of the game, the Mountain View High girls basketball team had to feel fortunate just to ge...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Outcry against ‘fake news’ warranted

This letter is in response to Jacqueline Degner’s Feb. 8 letter “Fighting against ‘alternative facts.’”

Ms. Degner correctly points out that many people pass around fake...

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Special Sections

Outdoor kitchens provide an extension of the home

Outdoor kitchens provide an extension of the home


Courtesy of Lisa Parramore
This outdoor kitchen and gathering space, left, offers a cozy spot to enjoy the smells wafting from the pizza oven.

Part of what makes living in the Bay Area such a delight is its mild, temperate climate. More and m...

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Business

Present will not move far in a Main Street

Present will not move far in a Main Street "win-win" swap


Photos by Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Present is slated to move across Main Street after more than four years in its old spot.

What do you get for the gift store that has everything? A new and larger location, apparently.

Present, the locavore ...

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People

YVONNE E. STEINDORF

YVONNE E. STEINDORF

In Loving Memory

6/26/1933- 1/23/2017

Yvonne Steindorf passed away peacefully on 1/23/2017 following a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

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News

LA city manager is "speechless" at council priorities

LA city manager is

 

The Los Altos City Council had an opportunity to set its 2017 goals at last week’s council meeting, but a lack of consensus led to a moment of exasperation from the city manager.

After the five councilmembers offered their feedback on the city’s 2017 Strategic Priorities, City Manager C...

Readmore

Business

Present will not move far in a Main Street "win-win" swap

Present will not move far in a Main Street

Photos by Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Present is slated to move across Main Street after more than four years in its old spot.

What do you get for the gift store that has everything? A new and larger location, apparently.

Present, the locavore goodie shop entering its fifth year in Los Altos, ...

Readmore

Sports

Mtn. View falls 50-45 in OT to Gunn

Mtn. View falls 50-45 in OT to Gunn

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Emma Bice tries to shoot over Gunn’s Archer Olson.

Plagued by foul trouble and turnovers for most of the game, the Mountain View High girls basketball team had to feel fortunate just to get to overtime last week against Gunn.

But the Spa...

Readmore

Community

'Pre-History of the iPhone' talk set for March 2 in Mtn. View

The Computer History Museum’s latest presentation, “Computing in Your Pocket: The Pre-History of the iPhone in Silicon Valley,” is scheduled 7 p.m. March 2 at the museum, 1401 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View.

The panel discussion, moderated by Computer History Museum historian John Markoff, will ...

Readmore

Comment

Letters to the Editor

Outcry against ‘fake news’ warranted

This letter is in response to Jacqueline Degner’s Feb. 8 letter “Fighting against ‘alternative facts.’”

Ms. Degner correctly points out that many people pass around fake information they find on the internet that fits t...

Readmore

Spiritual Life

Longtime Foothills Congregational Church pastor retires

Longtime Foothills Congregational Church pastor retires

Foothills Congregational Church in Los Altos bid farewell last month to the Rev. Matt Broadbent, who retired after 17 years of service.

Broadbent and his wife, Barbara, are retiring to a condominium in Aptos. Barbara has served as spiritual director for the Northern California Nevada Conference U...

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People

YVONNE E. STEINDORF

YVONNE E. STEINDORF

In Loving Memory

6/26/1933- 1/23/2017

Yvonne Steindorf passed away peacefully on 1/23/2017 following a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Readmore

Schools

LAHS student raises money for cause close to her heart

LAHS student raises money for cause  close to her heart

Courtesy of Megan Tsern
Los Altos High School junior Megan Tsern shows her contract to fundraise for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Student of the Year campaign. Tsern hopes to raise $50,000 in memory of her brother, Matthew, who died of leukemia when she was 7 years old.

Following i...

Readmore

Special Sections

Outdoor kitchens provide an extension of the home

Outdoor kitchens provide an extension of the home

Courtesy of Lisa Parramore
This outdoor kitchen and gathering space, left, offers a cozy spot to enjoy the smells wafting from the pizza oven.

Part of what makes living in the Bay Area such a delight is its mild, temperate climate. More and more homeowners view their outdoor spaces as an ext...

Readmore

Stepping Out

Behind the 'Show'

Behind the 'Show'

David Allen/Special to the Town Crier
Jessica LaFever, left, and Lauren Meyer play conjoined twins in Foothill Music Theatre’s production of “Side Show.”

While it takes just a few hours of one’s day to attend a play, it can take nearly a year to prepare the production for the stage.

Milissa C...

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Obituaries

YVONNE E. STEINDORF

YVONNE E. STEINDORF

In Loving Memory

6/26/1933- 1/23/2017

Yvonne Steindorf passed away peacefully on 1/23/2017 following a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Readmore

Magazine

Art for superfans: Classical skills find new subjects in the modern art class

Art for superfans: Classical skills find new subjects in the modern art class

From Hermione Granger to "Avatar: The Last Airbender," unconventional subjects are making classical portraits for today’s young painters.

Fan art - drawings inspired by popular characters from books, movies and graphic novels - have long languished in the margins of school notebooks. But student...

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Art with heart Los Altos Art Docents create a masterpiece in the classroom


Courtesy of Los Altos Art Docents
The Los Altos Art Docents teach art appreciation and hands-on art lessons in the Los Altos School District, skills they wove into the mural they painted at the district office.

Volunteers with the Los Altos Art Docents teach art with heart.

Founded in 1970 to offset funding cuts to art instruction in public schools, the Los Altos Art Docents comprises 80 volunteers who teach nearly 800 visual art lessons annually to elementary-school-age students in the Los Altos School District.

Although the nonprofit program has thrived for more than four decades, no two years are alike. There are no dramatic shifts in the curriculum from year to year but rather a series of continual tweaks. This year, docents will introduce new lessons for students as well as educational and social activities for themselves.

According to director Kimberly Dickerson, one recent change involves presenting lessons that include instructional strategies for areas in which teachers have been trained.

For example, sixth-graders work in groups, studying ancient works of art and figuring out where they originated. Such assignments not only encourage collaboration - a skill docents are instructed to weave into their lessons - but also complement the social studies curriculum.

"We’re really excited, because it’s a different way for us to bring appreciation lessons to the students," Dickerson said.

But it’s not just the oldest students whose curriculum is being updated - kindergartners will also see a change. This year’s plan includes the full rollout of a drawing and watercolor lesson partially introduced to students the previous year.

"(It) incorporates some techniques to help them draw and do a little bit of painting … and incorporate some of their social studies curriculum - the study of animals and their habitats," Dickerson said "We do this underwater sea scene with them, and that’ll be fun."

The benefits of volunteering

Los Altos Art Docents volunteers reap blessings that go beyond the joys of teaching art and art appreciation to young students - the volunteers enjoy the classroom engagement and the social and educational benefits of the program.

"It makes you smile when you think about the program, because it’s not just about going into the classroom and teaching the kids, it’s also about (docents) learning a bit more about art and having a good time together as well," said publicity coordinator Kristine Bardman.

Over the summer, docents attended a series of art-related camps where they practiced working with wire sculptures and clay. At one camp, docents threw darts to pop paint-filled water balloons attached to a canvas. Volunteers also sharpen their art history and creative skills via field trips throughout the year, most recently to the San Jose Museum of Art.

Bardman said one of the things she likes most about the program is that it’s a group of like-minded people who really enjoy the arts and one another’s company.

"So we see each other socially, we see each other in the classrooms," she said.

Making a mural

One of the larger projects docents have worked on is an 8-foot-by-10-foot mural outside the district office on Covington Road. What started as a team-building exercise in 2012 turned into a yearlong project that took four months to complete. Once they decided to create a mural, docents invited a local muralist to discuss the process with them.

Docents faced several obstacles before they could begin painting, including funding the project. The group applied for a grant from the Silicon Valley Community Foundation Donor Circle for the Arts and their outreach paid off. After securing funding, they had to agree on a design for the mural.

"Because we teach hands-on art lessons and also art appreciation lessons, we were struggling with how to combine both into one mural," Dickerson said.

Docents wanted to include their signature red apron in the design, which Dickerson described as a "strong symbol" of the program. They also wanted to make sure that it was a project to which many people could contribute.

In the end, the group painted squares with images from many famous works of art, arranged them in a grid pattern and overlaid a picture of the red apron.

Group members set up boards in their office so that docents could drop in and out, each painting different squares. Docents who weren’t able to paint a square for the mural completed other tasks, such as applying a layer of varnish over the final product.

Bardman said students will recognize many of the works of art depicted in the mural, because docents discuss the artists and their masterpieces in their classroom lessons.

New year, new lessons

With a new school year, new lessons and new activities, docents are excited to step back in the classroom.

"The reason why I joined the program, and I think most of the docents joined the program, is because we love being in the classroom with the kids," Bardman said. "So it’s exciting for us to get back to school and get back to teaching lessons."

The Los Altos Art Docents seeks new recruits. No experience or artistic talent is required - the group provides training. Volunteers are asked to commit to teach once a week in the classroom during the school year.

To volunteer, call 947-1195 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more information, visit losaltosartdocents.org. n

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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