Fri09192014

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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3-D design can mean customer savings


Photo by Monique Schoenfeld, Town Crier

CAD - computer-aided design - is not new in the architectural profession. It's well into its second decade. But software enhancements and supplemental programs have taken it from two to three dimensions.

This "might change the whole client-architect interface ... it will save time, money and heartache" in the building process in the long run, according to Jodie Gebhard, with Los Altos-based ID8 Media.

New 3-D programs can be added to the basic AutoCAD software, Gebhard said, allowing the building designer and client to experiment with various window treatments, room placements and sizes, massing of the building on the site, or exterior surface treatments before the drawings used for construction are complete.

Some programs allow experimentation with lighting type, placement and intensity, she said. Others let clients see how a favorite Oriental rug or a particular upholstery fabric will look in their living room or reception area. Using site photographs, a client can see in advance how their building will look when completed.

"In the long run, it can save money when the client can accurately visualize sooner how a project will turn out," Gebhard said.

A 3-D design can also save money by producing more precise material lists that enable contractors to make more precise bids, she said, and there is less margin for error on construction drawings. It also makes a good presentation tool for planning commissions, potential investors or buyers.

The fact that CAD software was difficult to use put Gebhard into business 13 years ago.

With a background in interior design, she could see the potential for CAD technology. "But (in 1985) it was the beginnings of computers," she said. "I saw a need for training and consulting because no one would bother with a computer program that meant frustration."

Gebhard said the set-up price has fallen in the last 10 years. It used to cost between $8,000-$10,000 for the necessary computer and software. Now the price range is $4,000-$6,000, she said.

Los Altos residential architect Steven Sanborn has been using AutoCAD software "since the first system I bought from (Gebhard) in 1988. It gets better and better, more user friendly."

"All the programs are so powerful," he said. "The thing is knowing how to use them to their fullest extent."

Another answer for busy architects is a firm that can do some of the 3-D CAD work for them, like Los Altos-based Y? Alliance. According to John Collier, Y? Alliance works with architects to do 3-D videos, models and renderings of both residential and commercial projects. "We can also document existing facilities," Collier said. The firm also does 3-D graphics, found useful in patent infringement cases, he said.

"I think you'll see more of (3-D technology)," Collier said. "It has a lot of marketing applications."

For more information call ID8 Media at 941-5484, or Y? Alliance at 941-6771.

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