Sat09202014

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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No nepotism cited in hiring of MV-LA business superintendent

Residents continue to register surprise upon learning that Robyn Phillips, the new assistant superintendent of business services at the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District, is the wife of former superintendent Don Phillips.

Phillips, who did not mention that she was Don's wife for a recent Town Crier article, said she would have disclosed the information had she been asked.

"Basically, I have earned my own professional qualifications and reputation. This is a good place and a good opportunity," she said about working in the district.

Board president Judy Hannemann said Phillips' relationship to Don did not play a part in the board's decision to hire her.

"If anything, it caused us to look at her twice as hard," Hannemann said. "We knew (hiring Phillips) would open us up to questions."

Hannemann said the board knew Phillips was interested in the position, but opened up the search and advertised for more candidates.

The board was looking for someone who had experience in working in school finance, managing, accounting, planning and construction operations, as well as someone who could communicate well, she said.

Hannemann said Phillips "had all of those qualifications."

Superintendent Rich Fischer said the district conducted a full-nationwide search for the position, which included advertising in the educational trade magazine, EdCal. He said of the 25 applicants who applied for the position, the top five were screened by two interview teams.

He said a nine-member committee of parents, teachers and administrators interviewed the candidates about their leadership skills. A second committee interviewed the candidates about their technical abilities and their knowledge of things such as budget issues, basic aid districts and construction and bonding.

"It was a fairly long process," Fischer said. "She was the best candidate."

Phillips comes from the Cupertino Union School District where she has served as assistant superintendent of fiscal services for the past 5 1/2 years. She holds a doctorate from Harvard University and has 10 years of experience in education. Phillips has taught finance economics and public policy at Santa Clara University and the University of California, San Diego.

Phillips is filling a vacancy left by Bob Golton, who resigned Oct. 1 to serve as business manager for the Palo Alto Unified School District. He joins Don Phillips, who left earlier this year for the top post in the district.

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