Mon09222014

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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Residents voice opposition to trail connection through neighborhood


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Some Los Altos residents at a June 18 public meeting favored a trail alignment that includes a portion of Foothill Expressway, above.

Los Altos officials last week updated residents on proposed Stevens Creek Trail alignments through the city and opened the discussion to audience input. Input they received – in spades.

A standing-room-only crowd of 250 residents packed the Grant Park meeting room June 18 to offer their perspectives and review potential trail connections through Los Altos as part of the four-cities Stevens Creek Trail Feasibility Study. The study involves a regional approach in connecting the trail between Mountain View and Cupertino – and includes potential alignments through Los Altos, Sunnyvale and along the creek corridor itself.

The study includes the cities of Los Altos, Mountain View, Cupertino and Sunnyvale.

“This is a very long vision to connect the Bay to the ocean,” said Jana Sokale, a consultant hired by the four-cities team to conduct the study.

The city scheduled the meeting to address residents’ concerns and to get them “on the same page,” Los Altos City Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins noted.

In recent months, several residents on Fallen Leaf – one of the study’s potential alignment areas in Los Altos – organized to oppose alignments through the city’s residential streets, including theirs.

Sokale described three potential trail alignment concepts that would affect Fallen Leaf Lane: a bike route connector with signage through the neighborhood, a more elaborate design calling for marked bike sharrows to share the road with motorists along Fallen Leaf and a 6-foot-wide colored paved walkway and landscaped bulb-outs at intersections to reduce vehicle speeds.

Bruins notified residents that the 60-foot-wide Class I Pathway Design Concept proposed for Fallen Leaf – which would have required Los Altos to reclaim up to 18 feet of public right-of-way that has been built up with residents’ fencing and yards over decades – was “no longer being considered.”

Reactions

Several residents voiced concerns that placing a trail of any kind along Fallen Leaf would increase vehicle and bicycle traffic. Some objected on grounds that it would negatively affect their home values.

Noreen Miller, a 28-year resident, said placing a trail along Fallen Leaf could eliminate street parking for residents and turn the neighborhood into a busy thoroughfare for trail users.

“It really frightens me to think we’re going to open (the neighborhood) up to the rest of the world or something,” she said.

A self-described biking fanatic, Los Altos resident David O’Ryan said he feared that placing a dedicated trail bike route in the neighborhood would result in another Foothill Expressway – a popular biking route for area cyclists. O’Ryan was one of several nearby residents who favored alternate trail connections along Fremont Avenue, Grant Road and Foothill – similar to a route outlined in a 2008 feasibility study conducted solely by Los Altos.

“I would really be happy to see the trail extended, but taking it through someone’s neighborhood is not the way to do it,” said Los Altos resident Tracy Gibbons.

Fallen Leaf resident Ross Lapin added that he was “very disappointed” to see that all three trail concepts presented at the meeting focused on his street.

“The only presentation made was to mess with Fallen Leaf Lane,” he said.

Far fewer supported a trail alignment along residential streets.

Michael McTighe, a Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commissioner speaking on his own behalf, drew a chorus of boos when he said a trail would increase safety for younger bicyclists.

“As a parent, one of the major groups of people not represented are the students who ride (bikes) up and down Fallen Leaf,” he said.

GreenTown Los Altos volunteer Susan Runowicz-Smith, an 18-year resident, also received a smattering of jeers after noting that some residents’ attitudes toward the trail made her feel uneasy riding her bike in Los Altos.

“It really, really hurts that Los Altos could be viewed as not welcoming to cyclists,” she said.

The study’s Citizens Working Group is slated to meet Aug. 1, followed by an Aug. 12 meeting of its Joint Cities Working Team, comprising one elected representative from each city.

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