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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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Wildfire Awareness Week gives wake-up call for LAH

Despite the recent less-than-sunny weather, the hot, dry season is right around the corner. And that means fire risk.

This week is state Wildfire Awareness Week, a reminder for residents, particularly those in Los Altos Hills, to cut back drying brush and other fire hazards around their properties if they haven’t already done so.

Between Los Altos Hills County Fire District services, classes and Web site information, residents have little excuse not to prepare. The fire district, which encompasses the town and surrounding unincorporated areas, offers a brush-chipping program twice a year, during which crews will pick up brush and tree branch cuttings. The district staffs a garden debris drop-off program at Foothill College the third Saturday of every month.

In addition, district officials have a dead pine-tree removal program in place (more than 500 trees removed thus far), and they plan to begin a eucalyptus tree program this summer in areas west of Interstate 280.

Stuart Farwell, a district fire protection consultant who has been involved in firefighting for more than 50 years, said eucalyptus trees in the hills were responsible for the devastating 1985 Los Altos Hills fire that gutted between 12 and 14 homes. Although summer weather conditions in the hills are not as conducive to big blazes as they are in other areas, Farwell noted the 1985 fire, which burned down approximately 12 homes, serves as a reminder for residents to take precautions.

A Santa Clara County weed abatement program requires homeowners to clear brush, vegetation and dry grass at least 30 feet away from structures. Houses with yard slopes exceeding 20 percent on the downhill side of the structure require 100 feet of clearance to provide what firefighters refer to as "defensible space." Property inspections were scheduled in April.

The fire district, formed in 1939, contracts with the Santa Clara County Fire Department to respond to fires and emergencies in Los Altos Hills. It contracts with experts in the installation and maintenance of water pipeline systems and installation of fire hydrants.

In addition to brush-clearing services, the district provides education through emergency-preparedness classes.

"Our intent is to give back to the taxpayer and increase the level of fire protection," Farwell said.

For more information, visit www.lahcfd.org.

Contact Bruce Barton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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