Sat09202014

News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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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

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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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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Meeting expectations: Mountain View High softball team may surpass coach's goals for season

There are three games remaining in the season, and Jake McKenzie has already accomplished what he set out to do in his first year as Mountain View High softball coach.

"They've met my expectations, to tell you the truth. They were 12-12 last year and I wanted to at least match that," said McKenzie, whose Spartans entered this final week of league play with a 12-11 overall record. "Everything from here on in is frosting on the cake."

Of course, that cake will be a little sweeter if Mountain View sneaks into the Central Coast Section playoffs.

I was hoping to get to CCS, but we'll probably need to win the rest of our games," McKenzie said. "It won't be easy, but it's still attainable."

The coach made that comment prior to the two games the Spartans played against Lynbrook at the end of last week. They lost both - 4-0 Friday and 7-1 Saturday - to sink to 3-5 in the SCVAL De Anza Division.

Although Mountain View's playoff hopes have faded, it will probably take more than that to temper McKenzie's enthusiasm for this squad.

"Of all the teams I've coached, including travel ball, this is probably the best one," said McKenzie, whose 15-year coaching career includes stints at Pioneer and Del Mar highs. "Attitude plays a big part in that, and all the girls have great attitudes."

The 13-member team comprises five seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and three freshmen. All of them play regularly.

McKenzie said almost every girl on the team plays travel ball in the offseason, which shows on the field.

"These girls are a heck of a bunch of girls," the coach said. "They do what they're asked, they learn real fast and have great talent."

Four Spartans are batting above .300: outfielder Alicia Olmos, third baseman Marisa Bitler, catcher/outfielder Amy Sherrill and pitcher Kendra Vanek.

Leadoff hitter Olmos, a senior, is hovering around .350, tops on the team. Junior Bitler had a team-best three hits (two doubles) in Mountain View's 19-0 shellacking of Saratoga April 24 and leads the team in RBIs. Senior Sherrill is the team's power hitter and has one of the five homers hit in the league this season.

Vanek not only has a potent bat, but a strong arm as well. The sophomore is the team's ace pitcher. The winning pitcher in all of the Spartans' victories this season, she had an ERA just below 1.30 after a 1-0 loss to Homestead April 26.

"She's awesome," McKenzie said. "She has six pitches, good control, good speed and a good attitude. Everything you want in a player, she has."

When Vanek gets a break, McKenzie uses Olmos or junior Allison Duray on the mound. The coach said Olmos "is a very good pitcher with decent speed and movement and has four pitches," while Duray "is a slower pitcher, with movement on the ball, who is good at throwing off fast-hitting teams."

McKenzie said all his pitchers are helped by the stout defense behind them.

"My defense, I think, is our No. 1 strength," he said. "The girls are awesome; they have errors, but not that many - less than one a game."

McKenzie credits the defense for several of Mountain View's wins, including a 2-0 upset of St. Francis.

What he would like to see now is more hitting, which he listed as the team's biggest weakness.Other than the rout of Saratoga, the Spartans struggled getting hits last week. They totaled just one run in the three games that followed.

Mountain View hosts Monta Vista at 4 p.m. today, then plays at Los Gatos at the same time Friday in another league game.

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