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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

The race is on

School has started at St. Francis. How do I know? Not by reading "Welcome Back" banners on campus, but the roar of cars, trucks and SUVs as they race to the finish line, the parking lot at St. Francis.

Yes, the annual fall ritual of racing to school is on. To avoid traffic congestion on Miramonte Avenue, many of those young drivers chose Russell Avenue as a speed-way shortcut. I've waved at these speeding drivers to slow down, but most are going so fast they don't even see me.

Parents, teachers, drivers - please, we all share these lovely Los Altos streets. Slow down, leave home earlier, walk or bike, take the bus.

Avoid an ugly accident that could ruin your life. Ease up on the gas pedal and use your legs to race to that first class.

Susan Besser

Los Altos

Don't add more concrete

In response to a recent article published in the Aug. 29 issue of the Town Crier, I'd like to point out the following:

The idea of adding concrete sidewalk to what most would consider "semi-rural Los Altos" would be the Number One significant degradation of the aesthetics and atmosphere of our community.

The visual aesthetics of sidewalks along our paved and graveled streets would change the character of our town forever.

While I understand the need for bicycle access and pedestrian access, the physical introduction of concrete sidewalks is not the answer.

As a bicycle rider and father of three children, I understand these concerns, but would rather explore other alternatives to the issues raised than simply add more concrete to our residential neighborhoods.

Bill Maston

Los Altos

Does justification for Segway add up?

For a city that is constantly pleading poor-mouth when it comes to revenues, I find it totally irresponsible for the city council to have approved a $7,000 expenditure for a Segway when the problem may be inefficient ticket-writing.

Assuming an 8-hour day with two 20-minute breaks, walking 5 to 8 miles per day is equivalent to doing I mile in 57 to 91 minutes.

Considering that a person in reasonably good physical shape ought to be able to walk a leisurely mile in 20 minutes, the officer is either out of shape or he is spending too much time writing tickets.

If the ticket-writing is slowing him down, it would have been better to buy him a digital camera or some other input device to speed up the ticket-writing rather than waste money on a Segway while our infrastructure is decaying before our eyes due to all the deferred maintenance by the city.

Additionally, the article on the Segway in the Town Crier is misleading in that it says staff anticipates a 50 percent increase in enforcement with the addition of the Segway.

Yet, in another paragraph, staff anticipates a 30 percent increase in revenue due to increased enforcement and an increase in the cost of the fines.

How can the fines go up by 67 percent and 233 percent and enforcement by 50 percent and have only a 30 percent increase in revenue?

Sounds like justification math to me.

Edward Kelley

Los Altos

Memories of junior high

Thank you for your splendid "Comment" in the Aug. 29 issue. In particular, your comment that junior high is a weird time hit me.

I grew up in Santa Cruz, where I attended Branciforte Junior High School. My father was an auto mechanic, and nobody in my family had gone to college. So, in the ninth grade I met with my homeroom teacher to select my career at Santa Cruz High, and chose machine shop, one of the trade courses.

My teacher noted my good grades in math and science and suggested college prep instead. But I said I was not going to college.

We debated it some and compromised on a study course called general culture, designed for non-college students. However, when I graduated in 1938, I discovered that most of the general culture courses were the college prep courses.

I had been hoodwinked by this clever teacher in junior high.It led me to graduate from UC Berkeley as an electrical engineer. I worked as a combat information center officer in the Navy during World War II and finally as a manager of space projects at NASA Ames.

All because of this astute junior high teacher.

Also, I appreciated your comments on SUVs and lockers at the present schools. Right on!

John Foster

Los Altos

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