Mon09222014

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

Put Rosita vehicle trips in perspective

Roy Presley

At a public hearing on Nov. 30, the city council will consider approving the Final Environmental Impact Report for the swimming pool complex proposed for

Rosita Park. This report is of very serious concern to almost everyone living in the Rosita neighborhood and should be of concern to all residents of Los Altos. The report concludes that increasing the vehicle trips per day on Rosita Avenue to as high as 2,500 per day does not represent a significant impact upon the neighborhood.

If the city council does indeed approve an allowable 2,500 vehicle trips per day on Rosita Avenue, a residential street, then a precedent will have been established for any other residential street in Los Altos. Definition of the acceptable traffic level for residential streets is supposedly in the General Plan, but in fact it is buried in a background report and it is doubtful the council even knew of its contents when they approved the General Plan.

Public hearings to specifically establish allowable traffic levels on Los Altos streets have not been held. We should all ask ourselves, Is this what we want for Los Altos?

Let's put 2,500 vehicle trips per day in perspective. Over a 12-hour period, that averages out to a car passing a residence on a residential street every 17 seconds. With normal traffic flow, there would be long periods of time when residents could not pull out of their driveways. In the case of the swimming pool at the end of Rosita Avenue, there is a real possibility that lines of 100 or more cars will be trying to enter and exit the site at the same time. A line of 100 cars is about half a mile long. The congestion at intersections in a residential neighborhood will be significant, and perhaps a threat to public safety. Is this what we all want for our residential neighborhoods in Los Altos? If not, then we must all make our voices heard before the city council considers approving the Environmental Impact Report for the swimming pool complex at Rosita Park.

Thanks to Los Altos emergency personnel

Pat Christofferson

At 8 a.m. on Nov. 6, I called 911 because of a malfunctioning wall heater. I told the dispatcher that I didn't know whether it was an emergency or not, but the dispatcher asked, "Are you physically able to get out of the house?" I was, and she told me to get out of the house immediately and wait for help.

First on the scene was Officer Beveridge of the Los Altos Police Department. Shortly afterward, the firetruck arrived with three firemen. After they checked the heater, checked for gas leaks and pronounced everything OK, I started to apologize for having called 911. They told me, "Don't apologize. You did the right thing by calling us."

I have lived in Los Altos for 48 years, and I still love living here. We should all be grateful - I know I am - for the professional, efficient personnel who serve our community. Thanks, guys!

Problems with final Rosita EIR

Eric Lutkin

I am writing regarding the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the proposed aquatic center at Rosita Park that City Council will review on Nov. 30. I believe that Los Altos does need access to community swimming and hope that a compromise on location, size and operating conditions of a swimming pool can be reached. The current two-pool proposal is not right for either the immediate neighborhood or the city.

I see the following specific problems with the FEIR. First, it asserts that the proposed Rosita Park site is the best site for the proposed center.

I would maintain not only is Rosita Park not the best site but that none of the sites discussed on pages 294 and 295 (the two foldout pages of the report) are appropriate for such a complex. These two pages provide telling evidence of the unsuitability of any of these locations for such a complex in terms of the five criteria listed for selection (reasonable access, least impact on neighborhood, provide adequate parking, least net impact on park/area and meets present and future aquatic needs). None of the locations scores more than two "good" ratings, with the rest of the ratings being either fair or poor. The Rosita Park location scores particularly poorly, with only one "good," two "fair" and two "poor". The Hillview Community Center, among others, has better scores with two "good," two "fair" and one "poor."

I would also suggest that the apricot orchard at the civic center would be a more viable location for this complex. While it may sadden some to lose a small link to the agricultural past of the community the city council could convert this area to an alternative use with a simple vote.

Second, this decision would set a precedent that at least 2,260 car trips per day are acceptable on all residential streets in Los Altos.

The assertion of this report is that physical capacity will be a major determinant of the amount of traffic a street can bear. This report will establish a floor of 2,260 car trips per day for all residential streets in Los Altos. As other issues come before council the issue of traffic may become much less relevant unless total traffic exceeds 2,260 car trips per day, much to the consternation of people living on quiet residential streets.

Given these major problems I strongly urge the city not to proceed with this bad project for both the Rosita Park neighborhood and Los Altos.

Clarke's closes - a sad day

Clay and Gloria Buckley

It's a sad day in Los Altos. Clarke's Charcoal Broiler restaurant at Rancho Shopping Center has closed its doors due to bankruptcy. Another Los Altos dining place has gone out of business because of a lack of customers.

For years, we have dined there because of great food, charm and atmosphere for children of young parents and specials for seniors.

Clarke's was a meeting place for Sunday brunch after attending services across the expressway. I remember the summer luncheons under the umbrellas on the patio with lots of ice tea.

Clarke's participated in all the Rancho events, such as the pancake breakfast. We loved it and will miss it.

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