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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Child S.H.A.R.E. takes care of foster parents

Los Altos Hills residents Mark and Jo Anne Morris know first hand about foster family burnout.That's why they started Child S.H.A.R.E., shelter homes a rescue effort, to increase the quality of foster homes, to recruit more foster homes, and to provide support and respite care for foster families to help them avoid burnout.

After 14 years of marriage they had a baby daughter when they had given up on having children. They didn't expect to have more, they weren't sure about adoption, so they became foster parents.

"The very first child we had, we adopted," Mark Morris said. Their girls are now 15 and 13.

They continued being foster parents. They knew they couldn't adopt each child, but they vowed a child they took would not be bounced around, Mark Morris said.

"If a child is disruptive, the foster parents call and say, 'Take this child out of my home.' And it's called a 'failed placement,'" he said as he shook his head.

They kept their second foster child 18 months, and she was a difficult girl, Morris said. But they kept her until she could go back to her mother.

"We helped her," Morris said. "We love her." And they are still in touch.

"But we were burned out at the end. No one would help us. You must get fingerprinted, TB tested, be trained in CPR. You just can't ask your friends to help you."

Jo Anne Morris read about Child S.H.A.R.E. in a church magazine just after she had said she wouldn't do foster care again. She and Mark started a group in Los Altos. And they are still taking foster children.

Child S.H.A.R.E. is a public, non-profit organization. The Union Presbyterian Church on University Avenue gives it free office space. Mark and Jo Anne Morris accept no salary for their work. All donations go directly into their program.

They recruit through churches, asking if a congregation will take on a ministry to help a child.

"We'll help with the forms and getting fingerprinted," Mark Morris said.

They currently have 107 children in their network, which Child S.H.A.R.E. supports. They have recruited 12 homes that are now certified to accept foster children. And they have 50 homes that can offer some type of support to foster families, 43 in which a baby sitter is certified and seven that are respite homes that meet county regulations to take a foster child for an overnight or a weekend.

Mary Beth Orr answers the Child S.H.A.R.E. hotline.

"That's the primary thing we offer," Jo Anne Morris said. "It's more than just calling in and saying we need a sitter Thursday night. We also get calls with people saying, 'I can't stand it,' with people in despair.

"Mary Beth's really good at turning people's discouragement into strength."

That's what Child S.H.A.R.E. does.

"Together we are making a difference...child by precious child."

For more information, call Child S.H.A.R.E. at 917-1210.

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