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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Hidden Villa board makes camp cut official

After an emotional meeting Thursday that lasted several hours, the Hidden Villa Board of Directors approved a 2007 budget that includes the suspension of its 12-day residential summer camp program and a staff reduction of 19 percent.

Board Chairman Tom Livermore said before the vote that the 2007 budget had to be cut by $350,000 and that the only way to do that was to reduce staff and adjust programs.

"Hidden Villa is what we call land rich and cash poor," he said of the preserve's 1,600 acres donated by Josephine and Frank Duveneck. "We simply don't have the cash in reserve to continue in our current direction, and it would be irresponsible of the board to allow that to occur."

Executive Director Beth Ross said that, in recent years, Hidden Villa has been evaluating programs and expanding development staff, hoping that this would add funding by bringing in more campers and improving fund raising. Instead, she said, those efforts increased Hidden Villa's operating costs without achieving significantly more revenue.

Livermore and Ross choked back tears as they discussed the necessity for staff reductions.

"Unfortunately, our plan for making Hidden Villa sustainable in years to come involves letting go of some amazing staff members who have brought incredible knowledge and expertise to Hidden Villa," said Ross. "And while there are many sentimental appeals to save Hidden Villa's 12-day summer camp, my job is to keep the whole operation going."

Hidden Villa will be able to continue most of its other 2007 school and community partnerships and can afford a modified residential camp next summer.

A number of concerned community members attended the meeting to oppose suspension of the camps. It would be only the second time the camps have closed since they began in 1945.

"To terminate these camps would be a huge mistake," said Ann Warren Smith, executive director at Hidden Villa from 1985 to 1993.

A group of former Hidden Villa campers and counselors are appealing to camp alumni and the public to help save the camps. The group successfully gathered more than $15,000 in pledges during a recent 11-day drive, and expressed concern that the board was not doing everything in its power to save the program.

"The board voted as part of the budget approval to continue trying to raise funds to save the camp," said Shana Barchas, who spent nine summers as a Hidden Villa camper and counselor. "But who's going to raise those funds - us kids? I know for a fact that there are people who donated $40,000 two years ago who were not even contacted for help during the current crisis.

"This camp is what made me the person I am today, and I'm afraid that now it's gone forever."

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