Mountain View braces for Super Bowl crowds

Mountain View braces for Super Bowl crowds

Graphic Courtesy of City of Mountain View
The purple parking lots above indicate where paid parking for the Super Bowl is allowed in downtown Mountain View. Other lots are open but still carry three-hour time constraints.

Downtown Mountain View wil...

Read more:



Los Altos High student hopes to bring animal therapy to school

Los Altos High student hopes to bring animal therapy to school

Courtesy of Christine Lenz
Los Altos High junior Riley Fujioka, left, works with Animal Assisted Happiness program manager Simone Haroush-van Dam.

Research affirms that the therapeutic effects of animals help reduce stress in humans, and one Los Alt...

Read more:




Panthers outpace Priory

Panthers outpace Priory

Shirley Pefley/Special to the Town Crier
Pinewood’s Matt Peery lays up the ball in Friday’s win over Woodside Priory. Peery paced the Panthers with 19 points.

While height helps, the Pinewood School boys are proof that basketball is not ...

Read more:



From the City Manager's Desk: Fulfilling our mission


For those of us who work for Los Altos, the mission is “to foster and maintain the city of Los Altos as a great place to live and to raise a family.” The city’s employees take this mission seriously and – individually ...

Read more:


Special Sections

'Machos': Middle Eastern nachos ideal for Super Bowl

'Machos': Middle Eastern nachos ideal for Super Bowl

Photos Courtesy of Blanche Shaheen
Blanche Shaheen, above with her brother Issa, shares her Middle Eastern take on nachos – ideal for a Super Bowl party. Shaheen’s “Machos,” right, feature feta, tahini sauce, Persian cucumbe...

Read more:



Businesses on Main Street make moves

Businesses on Main Street make moves

Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Several stores on Main Street in downtown Los Altos are in the midst of changing hands.

In the coming months, Main Street will welcome several new businesses to fill empty storefronts.

Jennifer Quinn, the city’s econo...

Read more:




Rosemary Fraser, age 81, a long-time resident of the Los Altos/Palo Alto area, died peacefully Friday, the 22nd of January at her home. It was a sudden death; hypertension was the underlying cause.

Born in 1934 in Florence, Arizona, Rosemary enjoyed...

Read more:


Stepping Out

West Bay Opera tackles Tchaikovsky’s ‘Onegin’

West Bay Opera tackles Tchaikovsky’s ‘Onegin’

Otak Jump/Special to the Town Crier
Olga Chernisheva and Silas Elash perform in West Bay Opera’s “Eugene Onegin.”

The West Bay Opera production of “Eugene Onegin” is scheduled Feb. 19-28 at Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Mid...

Read more:


Spiritual Life

How to cultivate childlike faith in a grown-up world

And Jesus said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

– Matt. 18:3

Read more:


Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

Read more:


The choice is yours: Candidates for Los Altos, Los Altos Hills city councils state their objective

The Nov. 2 General Election is still 27 days away. So why is the Town Crier doing a special election issue now?

We’re glad you asked.



According to the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters, the majority of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills residents vote by mail. In the June 8 Primary Election, 74 percent of Los Altos’ 18,938 registered voters and 75 percent of Los Altos Hills’ 4,293 voters mailed their ballots.

The registrar began mailing ballots Monday. We thought it appropriate – now – to help voters make informed decisions, particularly in the local city council races, because so many of them may vote early.

There’s much to cover. Highlighted this week are the races for the city councils: Los Altos (five candidates for two seats) and Los Altos Hills (three candidates for two seats). Read about the candidates and their platforms on pages 6 and 7. We offer endorsements on page 8.

The Foothill-De Anza Community College District has placed a $69 annual parcel tax, Measure E, on the ballot.

Two of the three candidates running for the Santa Clara County Office of Education Board of Directors are from Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. Coverage begins on page 29.

We will offer endorsements in schools races in the weeks leading up to the election. Stay tuned.


Nancy Carlson

Nancy Carlson, 56, a Los Altos resident for 23 years, has been committed to finding solutions for school and neighborhood problems while raising her three children, now 13, 16 and 18.

Although new to local politics, Carlson said she is intrigued by the issues and feels the urge to contribute.

“It’s time for me to get involved,” she said. “And what better way than running for city council?”

Carlson said her occupation as a realtor and previous work experience at medical-device startup companies have developed and sharpened skills that would stand her in good stead on the council.

“I negotiate for the win,” she said. “People need to buy into (councilmembers’) decisions.”

Carlson said she would like to work with the various committees and engage residents in the issues.

Passionate about the downtown area, she hopes to collaborate on revitalization efforts.

“We need to make our downtown vibrant and attract more people,” Carlson said. “However, it’s a balance, because some people want downtown development and some don’t.”

Carlson’s other priorities include addressing parking and traffic problems.

For more information, visit www.CarlsonforCouncil.com.

Val Carpenter

Incumbent candidate Val Carpenter, 56, her husband and two children have been Los Altos residents since 1991. In addition to operating a marketing company, Carpenter is a part-time instructor of business management and marketing courses at Menlo and Mission colleges.

Running on her record as a Los Altos councilwoman, Carpenter said she’s kept the commitments she made when she ran successfully in 2005.

“I believe that this council has accomplished a great deal on behalf of our city,” Carpenter said. “But there’s more to be done. I have the time, experience and skills to continue building on the solid foundation that’s been laid.”

She said she has worked effectively with colleagues, city staff and residents on a broad range of issues over the past decade.

As highlights of her first term, Carpenter listed responsible financial management, contributing to the downtown opportunity study and leading the search with Councilman Lou Becker to hire Doug Schmitz, Los Altos’ “outstanding” city manager.

Maintaining balanced budgets, safer streets, a thriving downtown and the character of residential neighborhoods would be among Carpenter’s priorities in the next four years.

For more information, visit www.valcarpenter.com.

Curtis Cole

Curtis Cole, 51, and his wife have resided in Los Altos since 1988. A software manager at a consumer electronics research company in San Jose, Cole is no newcomer to local politics. He was a Los Altos councilman from 2003 to 2007.

Opting to spend more time with his two teenage daughters, Cole chose not to run for re-election in 2007 but stayed involved with teen issues while serving on the boards of the Community Health Awareness Council, Community Hope and Sober Events and the Los Altos Community Foundation. He said the time was right to run for a seat on the council again.

“The next few years are an important time for the community,” Cole said. “The council has laid many plans for growth. We need good leadership to nurture these initiatives and guide this redevelopment.”

If elected, Cole said he would focus on promoting downtown businesses; community building with schools, churches and non-profits; supporting youth and seniors; and sound city financial management.

“People who invest their time and energy make it happen. I care enough to do this for all of us,” Cole said.

For more information, visit



Jarrett Fishpaw

Jarrett Fishpaw, 23, grew up in Los Altos and attended Santa Rita Elementary, Egan Junior and Los Altos High schools. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UC Santa Cruz, Fishpaw is now employed as an analyst at Cisco Systems.

Although Fishpaw is younger than the other candidates, his knowledge of local issues and involvement with the community are his great assets, he said.

“I’ve worked for the Los Altos Village Association for seven years and am very much involved with downtown issues,” he said. “My lack of council experience will force me to work harder on issues with residents.”

Because he attended local schools, Fishpaw said he has a real connection with the Los Altos school system and knows the issues firsthand.

His seven-year commitment to the Los Altos Village Association familiarized him with downtown issues. His plans to live and raise a family in his hometown are instrumental in his decision to run for the city council, he said.

“I bring fresh perspective to the council,” Fishpaw said. “I want to be proactive and help design the community I want to live in. We need to be more creative with our solutions.”

For more information, visit www.fishpaw.com.


Matt Sweeney

A seventh-generation Californian, Matt Sweeney has lived in Los Altos for nearly 10 years.

After studying biochemistry at Santa Clara University, Sweeney worked as a scientist for a variety of pharmaceutical and instrument companies, universities and government labs. With an active interest in environmental conservation and education, Sweeney has taught natural science for the Youth Science Institute and volunteered for Save the Bay.

Since deciding to run for city council, Sweeney has talked with as many constituents as possible.

“Now that there are enough candidates for a race, there will be public debate,” Sweeney said. “I care enough about where I live to engage in this process. I can bring no harm to the city, only benefit.”

Sweeney said he has shaped his platform around residents’ concerns.

“The community has a lot to say, and some of what I’ve heard are complaints,” Sweeney said. “People want to be heard, and I will be an advocate for those people who are not being listened to.”

He added that events unfolding over the next four years, such as the development of downtown and the civic center, offer a real chance to impact the city in important ways.

For more information, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Schools »

Read More

Sports »

Read More

People »

Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

Browse and buy photos