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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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Council offers support for library-tax renewal


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

Sophia Chen browses the stacks at the Los Altos main library Monday. The Los Altos City Council voted to support renewal of the Santa Clara County Library District tax.

The Los Altos City Council last week approved a resolution supporting a measure that would renew the soon-to-expire 20-year-old county library tax.

Councilmembers voted 5-0 June 25 to support ballot Measure A, scheduled for the Aug. 27 Special Election, which would extend funding for the Santa Clara County Library District for an additional 20 years at its existing annual rate of $33.66 per single-family home. The Los Altos Hills City Council also supported the measure with a unanimous vote June 20.

Voters in the library district, which includes the Los Altos main and Woodland Branch libraries, are slated to decide its fate via mail-in ballot. District members include Cupertino, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga, Campbell, Gilroy, Milpitas and unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County.

The measure requires approval from two-thirds of voters to pass. Los Altos City Councilwoman Jan Pepper told the Town Crier that the measure would provide approximately $5.6 million in annual funds to the district.

“I think it’s great that the council supports it,” said Pepper, the city’s representative on the library district’s Joint Powers Authority Board. “The libraries are one of the more important assets that we have in our town. … This special tax represents 18 percent of the district’s (annual) budget.”

The council voted to support the measure after a presentation by Los Altos community librarian Jane Cronkhite noted that the tax would help district libraries maintain their current levels of service.

Specifically, Cronkhite listed ongoing needs such as maintaining library services and summer reading programs, retaining qualified staff and purchasing books and updated research materials. Without continued tax support, she added, local libraries would be forced to reduce hours by a day or more each week and potentially eliminate programming that benefits seniors, children and teens.

“There are more than 100,000 school-age and preschool children who attend library programs each year,” Cronkhite said during a prepared speech before the council. “School libraries are often open only a few days per week, making public libraries more important than ever for children’s education.”

Cronkhite added that the new measure would alter the way tax dollars are distributed among district members.

“Every Measure A dollar raised within the city is returned for the benefit and operation of the local library in that city,” said Cronkhite, who noted that the measure was not a tax increase, but simply a way to continue an existing level of support for the library district.

Under the soon-to-expire tax, the district applied a funding formula that equally weighs each member municipality’s population, property-assessed valuation and library circulation to allocate costs. The formula was a source of contention among some local officials, who claimed that cities received disproportionate amounts of funding compared to the tax dollars collected from Los Altos and Los Altos Hills residents.

Pepper reiterated Cronkhite’s assertion, noting that locally collected taxes would “go directly to the operations of the Los Altos and Woodland libraries” – an estimated sum of $636,000 for the upcoming fiscal year, should the measure pass.

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