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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Revered poet, novelist honored for life's work

Los Altos resident Janet Lewis has written novels and poetry. But she is not a poetess.

"It's horrible to call anyone a poetess. You're a poet, a writer or a novelist," she said.

"I was a poet." She paused. "Hell, I was a novelist."

Janet Lewis is 96.

We sat together, recently, and talked in the living room of her Los Altos Spanish-style stucco cottage where she has lived and loved and worked since 1934.

Saturday she is being honored at a signing of one of her poems, "A Celebration Morning Devotion," 1 to 3 p.m. at the Atherton Gallery in Menlo Park.

San Francisco artist Elaine Badgley/Arnoux created an etching of Lewis. The etchings (75 in a limited edition) and the poem have been published by Auroboro Press and will be donated to the Rare Books Collection of the Library of Congress, Stanford Library, and the San Francisco New Public Library.

Lewis is "well known for her clarity and her crispness," said Sally Nash Pera, a friend of Lewis. She is probably best known for her novel, "The Wife of Martin Guerre," published in 1941, and written in her house on West Portola Avenue.

"I did most of it in this room," Lewis said, as she looked around.

An Oriental rug covers some of the 1-inch oak strips in the hardwood floor. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves fill the walls.

She and her husband, Yvor Winters, a poet and critic, married in 1926 and came to this area for Winters to complete his doctorate at Stanford. When he joined the English Department there, they bought their home is Los Altos.

"Palo Alto couldn't take us in because we usually had more than two dogs. We had very fine Airedales, show dogs. And we liked to keep goats, chickens, rabbits and cats."

Lewis wrote more novels than poetry, and her first work was published while she was still in college. Later, her novel, "The Invasion," was published in 1931. "I had a baby right in the middle of (writing) it. Once a novel is up and running, it's easier to stay with it. It's harder to start one."

She said she wrote two to three hours every day on a typewriter. Her Martin Guerre manuscript was turned down as being "unlikely, improbable and hard to believe." Since then it has been published in England by Penguin and translated into French.

"The original story about Martin Guerre was real," Lewis said. "I fictionalized it, and told it from the point of view of a woman."

The movie, "The Return of Martin Guere," is based upon the same story she used in her book. "I couldn't copyright the story, just my book."

In the 1960s Lewis taught writing at Stanford in the creative writing department. Her husband died in 1968. She continued teaching and writing.

Lewis has also written "The Ghost of Monsieur Scarron," "The Trial of Soren Qvist," two children's books and opera librettos.

"The exciting moments come when you're writing. They disappear so fast, melting into your work. The moment when you see a way through a tangle ahead of you, that's a very good moment."

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