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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Letters to the Editor

Hoping LASD promises come true

I was appointed by the Los Altos Hills City Council to work with our school districts to assure the return of neighborhood public education to our town. I have been encouraged that the Los Altos School District appears ready to reopen a public school at the Bullis site.

I am also encouraged by the recent letter written by LASD trustee David Pefley, as long as he and the rest of the LASD board follow through on the commitments he mentions.

More specifically, Pefley states, "It has been announced many times already that Bullis-Purissima is being opened in August 2008 as a neighborhood school, not a districtwide enrollment school."

However, this statement will not be accurate if 100-plus spaces remain taken by the districtwide all-day kindergarten program at the Bullis site, which some board members have advocated keeping in place (even through major construction).

Pefley goes on to say, "The taxpayers in the Bullis neighborhood will enjoy the same facilities and programs enjoyed by other residents of Los Altos." Even though we in Los Altos Hills are not "other residents of Los Altos," I hope this statement finally comes true, meaning that Bullis will be reopened as a K-6 with programs comparable to other district schools. The sample configuration showing a K-3 ramp-up would not fulfill this promise.

I remain optimistic and applaud Pefley's promises. Now is the time for the LASD board to make them come true.

Bart Carey

Planning Commissioner

Los Altos Hills

Sacred courts or private business?

Your article of March 28 regarding the school district's stand on locking out the citizens of Los Altos from one-third of the courts at Los Altos High School quoted Joe White, associate superintendent for business services, as saying, "but school activities get first priority."

On the same day the article came out, I happened to be playing tennis at the school and noticed the sacred courts were being used for tennis lessons for a younger-than-high-school-aged child.

When I asked the instructor if he were giving private lessons, he said yes, indicated he was a Los Altos High School coach and acknowledged he was being paid for giving private lessons.

I can now understand why the school district wants to keep the sacred courts closed to the taxpaying citizens: so the tennis coaches at the school can have a private tennis club using public courts without paying for them.

The argument that these sacred courts must be kept pristine for the high school team doesn't hold water.

I would like Los Altos High School administrators to explain their business operation and the school district to explain just what they consider school activities. Is the school's argument that the public will damage the sacred courts just a ruse to keep a private business venture going?

William F. Moniz

Los Altos

Associate Superintendent Joe White responds: The tennis coach referenced in his letter does not receive free use of the four locked courts. He is required to rent the facilities from the school district, as well as provide a certificate of insurance protecting the school district from liability.

Our current rate for renting the tennis courts ranges from $2-$6 per hour per court. The rental fees help defray the cleaning and maintenance costs for the 12 tennis courts at the school.

Having private lessons assigned to the four locked tennis courts first allows community members to have access to the other eight courts.

The school district does maintain a student-first priority at all times and will rent to organizations outside of those priority times if the organization abides by our use of facility policy.

No auxiliary prompt should be necessary

The recent articles about innovations and recognition for achievement at El Camino Hospital reinforce community pride in our hospital.

As an auxiliary member for over 40 years, I'm keenly aware of the many levels of support by which the volunteers contribute to the fine care given to ECH patients.

There's a hand-and-glove connection between hospital staff and auxilians.

Thus it was disappointing to discover that the auxiliary now is advertising for new members, although I applaud the outreach.

Volunteerism provides major benefits to the giver and the recipient. The "warm glow of service" can enhance healing while enriching the individual who selflessly contributes the small gift of time.

ECH dispenses great medical care - supplemented by caring volunteers. Our hospital has always served our community well.

Our community should come forward to serve ECH by joining our hospital auxiliary.

Jane Seaman

Los Altos

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