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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Students helping students with conflicts at St. Nicholas School


St. Nicholas School students Alyson Perna and Mattie Carasciaro resolve a conflict on the playground with conflict manager Lauren Cheek.

The shrill of the bell fills the teeming playground at St. Nicholas School, in Los Altos Hills. Children run in all directions back to their classrooms. Three second-grade girls flag down an eighth-grade student, wearing a bright orange T-shirt with the words "Conflict Manager" across the back.

The orange shirts serve as a beacon on school grounds for those who have a conflict to resolve.

Early last August, the faculty was introduced to a conflict resolution program called "Tribes." The program focuses on building a stronger classroom community and aims to reduce stress and conflict. It is hoped that a safe emotional, physical and intellectual environment will be provided for students.

"Some parents were interested in starting a conflict resolution program and the school was very interested in doing the same," said Nicole Quinn, a second-grade teacher and Tribes coordinator at St. Nicholas.

Tribes is currently administered though Center Source Systems, in Santa Rosa. The program is used extensively in Bay Area public and private schools.

"It is a process that can be used by anyone, in any age group," said Jeanne Mancour, Tribes training services coordinator.

St. Nicholas is the first South Bay school to fully implement the Tribes program, according to Michelle Sklar, St. Nicholas publicity chairman.

"Tribes teaches students the life and communication skills necessary to build and maintain healthy relationships," said St.Nicholas principal Mary Williams.

"In addition, (Tribes) helps all students to feel safe and valued for their uniqueness."

Tribes is a step-by-step process to achieve specific goals. The students are taught four Tribes agreements: attentive listening; appreciation/no put downs; mutual respect; and the right to pass.

Students also learn a set of skills so that they may develop more long-term ways to deal effectively with conflict when it arises.

Students are taught to use I-messages to communicate and solve their problems. For example, "I feel (emotion) when (action or behavior) because (reason for emotion) and I would like (something to happen)."

Eighth-grade and fourth-grade students at St. Nicholas, elected by their peers, are trained as conflict managers. A representative from Tribes teaches the conflict mediators resolution skills.

This is part of the of the Conflict Resolution Educational Services and Training (CREST) program presented in conjunction with the Tribes program.

"The students in my class have really enjoyed having a student help them as opposed to a teacher," Quinn said. "It empowers the students to give peers support."

"I expected more conflicts but we have only had two or three. I think that it took a while for the kids to get used to having someone on the playground that could help solve conflicts, but it's been good,"said eighth-grader Lauren Cheek, a conflict manager.

Chip Kraemer, another eighth-grade conflict manager has learned from his experience.

"I have learned that I guess I don't remember as much of being a kid. I have figured out there are lots of complex problems, even with little kids. It is nice to have possible solutions."

Kraemer graduates this year from St. Nicholas, but hopes to contuine being involved in conflict resolution programs while in high school.

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