Wed09172014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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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

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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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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Los Altos hires former NBA player as coach

Ron Williams faced a number of difficult challenges in an illustrious athletic career that any athlete would admire.

Now, Williams will take on another challenge in leading the Los Altos High girls basketball program.

Williams, 57, will bring his plethora of basketball knowledge and experiences to a young Los Altos team that's making the challenging jump to the upper De Anza Division of the SCVAL this season.

After leading the varsity boys' program to success at Thurgood Marshall High in San Francisco, Williams was hired to direct the Eagles' girls program in October.

"I've always been interested in coaching girls basketball, even though the style of play is different," said Williams, who also teaches elementary school in San Mateo. "These girls are eager to learn and they catch on quick."

So what's so special about Williams that separates him from any other prep coach that played high school or college athletics?

Plenty.

After a brilliant prep athletic career at West Virginia's Weirton High where he earned 11 varsity letters and was twice named the state's top basketball player, more than 155 scholarship offers in basketball and football poured in. Williams decided to play close to home at West Virginia University, becoming the first African-American basketball player at the school and thus paving the way for others in the turbulent 1960s.

As a point guard for the Mountaineers (1965-68), the 6-foot-3 Williams followed in the footsteps of legendary WVU guards Hot Rod Hundley and Jerry West as one of the best in the nation by amassing 1,687 career points (20.1 points per game) and All-America status.

Following an outstanding collegiate career that earned him a spot on the WVU's list of "25 Greatest Athletes," Williams was the first guard taken in the 1968 NBA draft (ninth overall pick) by the then San Francisco Warriors.

Despite not playing college football, Williams was also a 14th-round pick for the Dallas Cowboys and offered a guaranteed three-year contract to play cornerback. Also in 1968, Williams turned down an invitation to tryout for the U.S. Olympic basketball team.

Williams averaged 7.8 points per game in his rookie season (1968-69) with the Warriors, then started in the backcourt with Jeff Mullins for the 1969-70 season and averaged a career-best 14.8 points per game.

After a handful of seasons for the Warriors, Williams became a member of the Milwaukee Bucks in 1973-74. Williams and notable teammates Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, Lucius Allen and Bobby Dandridge owned the best regular season record (59-23) in the NBA, but lost in the NBA Finals to the eventual world champion Boston Celtics in seven games.

Williams finished his memorable NBA career by being involved in a trade that brought himself and Abdul-Jabbar to the Los Angeles Lakers in 1976.

"It's hard to define my best moment athletically, it was all good," said the modest and personable Williams. "The most disappointing moment was not winning the NBA free throw title."

In 1971, Williams lost the free throw crown to future teammate Robertson by percentage points after missing an uncharacteristic three free throws in the regular-season finale in Seattle.

After years of playing against the best in the world, Williams turned to the bench. He worked as an assistant at Cal-Berkeley for two years in the mid-1980s under coach Dick Kuchen, where his star pupil was All-America point guard Kevin Johnson. After that, Williams spent four seasons as an assistant at Iona.

Upon learning that his wife was diagnosed with cancer, Williams returned home to the Bay Area as an assistant at Menlo College. Following his wife's death in 1993, Williams got out of basketball for a bit.

"After being out of the game for a while, I got the urge again," he said.

Now, Williams will try to direct a Los Altos team with an up-tempo style of play that will emphasize aggressiveness on defense.

"It's so enjoyable at Los Altos and I love being around the kids," Williams said. "Coaching keeps me young and I look forward to the challenge."

The Eagles seem to be off to a positive start already with an experienced coach who has conquered numerous challenges and played against the best in the world.

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