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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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Letters to the Editor

Make village friendlier to patrons

I was glad to see the Town Crier addressing the subject of the business climate in town. Tom Harrington mentioned the difficulty new businesses have in going through the permit process.

I’ve heard from multiple sources that Los Altos is developing a reputation of being unfriendly to new shops because there are so many hoops to jump through, causing many delays that end up costing the fledgling businesses more time and money than expected. This does not encourage new business development.

Also, the $50 parking fine discourages shoppers. We have many beauty shops and nail botiques. Out-of-towners come here for those services.

Instead of lingering to shop after an appointment they leave rather than move their cars or risk getting one of those $50 tickets.

We need to make sure our town is friendly to business and friendly to patrons!

Sylvia G. Johnson

Los Altos

Loss of Oak School staff hurts

I was deeply saddened to read Oak School Principal Dave McNulty's final note to members of the Oak School community, in the last issue of the school's weekly newsletter before the summer break.

Dave shared the news that a number of longtime instructional assistants have received layoff notices and likely will not be working in our classrooms next year. Every grade level is affected.

Like many families, we moved to Los Altos in part due to the exceptional results our schools consistently achieve, as demonstrated by the kids' performances on standardized tests. Oak ranked fourth in Santa Clara County and 13th among the many hundreds of elementary schools across California in the most recent API test results.

But it's hard as a parent not to regret how greatly the loss of our talented and caring instructional aides will affect our kids' experience in the coming years. We haven't yet had the heart to tell our daughter, for example, that Mrs. Ann Packard, a neighbor who has been an aide in the Kindergarten and first grade classes at Oak for 18 years, won't be working at the school next year.

We'll also miss Mrs. Lori Fuller, who helped in the office when she wasn't working with first- and second-graders in the Read, Write and Type program.

Pretty much the same is happening at every school in the district. I hope that our school district leaders will find a way to rally district residents to provide more local funding so that we can continue to benefit as a community from having schools of the very highest quality possible.

Bill James

Los Altos

Parking ticket fear driving shoppers away

I would like to thank the Town Crier for doing their part in recognizing how much the businesses of Los Altos are struggling. The Passport Program, as well as the roundtable, are steps in the right direction.

However, I was disappointed in the number and types of individuals participating in the roundtable. Many more merchants/store owners should have been invited to participate. Perhaps a monthly roundtable could continue for the next few months so that more voices can be heard.

Each time a client comes into our center, I always encourage them to go downtown and have lunch or walk around. A large amount of my clients have told me they won't do that due to fear of getting a ticket. They have told me, "If I have to get in the car to move it to avoid a ticket, I might as well keep on driving to the mall to do shopping and have lunch." Therefore, most of my clients will spend 60-90 minutes at the center and then leave.

This dilemma corresponds with what was mentioned in the article – lots of parking but no foot traffic. And why people come into town, do their business and then get out of town. The city should consider trading in the Segway budget to support our local businesses and shop Los Altos campaign. 

Debbie Sera, owner

DownTime Healing Arts Center,

Los Altos

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