Fri09192014

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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Play links golf in Scottish broom with views of San Francisco Bay

This is the eighth in a series of articles reviewing the top 20 public golf courses within easy reach of Los Altos.

Yearn to play Royal Troon or Muirfield courses in Scotland, where links golf began?

There's a little touch of Scotland right here in our own backyard.

You can avoid that 10-hour flight across that big pond off our East Coast by driving to the Tony Lema Course at the Monarch Bay Golf Club in San Leandro, only 40 minutes from Los Altos – an affordable way to experience what links golf is all about.

Tony Lema ranks No. 13 in Dawson's countdown of the best 20 golf courses around the South Bay.

The course is special for a couple of reasons. Not only does it have the wind, the bunkers and the tall, thick grasses that define links courses, it offers expansive views of San Francisco Bay. On clear days, the San Mateo Bridge and downtown San Francisco seem close enough to touch – and the Bay is close enough to catch very errant shots.

While the property is as flat as an estuary, the builders arranged the dirt to create sculptured bunkers and elevated greens – though major expanses of rough and fairway remain fairly level and treeless. Heavy marsh grasses added around the tees and other prominent spots contribute to the British Isle texture without interfering with shot landing areas.

The course is in good condition. Fairways are firm but smooth, with enough grass that the ball sits up. Roughs are good and not too heavy but vary in density depending on the sprinkler setup. The greens are consistent and have the shape and character one might expect on a links course.

The seventh hole, a long par 3 into the breeze with a very long, narrow, elevated green, is special. Deep bunkers surround the putting surface and the hole is as tough and Scottish as they come.

The real sweet spot at Monarch Bay is the challenge of approaching greens with unusual pin positions, over deep, well-placed bunkers.

A key to having a good round here is to select the correct set of tees. Inexperienced golfers should choose a shorter set to make sure they can out-hit the heavy grasses surrounding the elevated tee boxes. Better golfers should opt for the championship or the tournament blocks because the front, white tees eliminate much of the excitement of hitting over water or avoiding fairway bunkers. Also, green approach shots are much less interesting from the front layout.

Unless you want to dare the gusty winds, get an early start time or play on a very warm day. Otherwise, as one might expect on a bayside course, the wind can create havoc – like the winds at St. Andrews, which turn a short course into a beast.

Greens fees range from $14 to $59, cart fees, $20-$26.

For more information, call (510) 895-2162 or visit www.monarchbay.americangolf.com.

Longtime Los Altos resident Doug Dawson is a retired manufacturing business manager, who is researching and writing "Northern California's 100 Best Public and Resort Golf Courses."

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