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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Parents and teachers frustrated, but empathetic after learning disability simulation

"I want to you to think of yourself as fourth-graders," said Steven John Corelis, of Educational Therapy Services, to a group of parents and teachers last Thursday night at Los Altos Christian School.

The role playing did not end there, as participants were asked to perform a series of tests, part of a learning disability simulation.

The simulation was sponsored by "Parents Helping Parents," a Santa Clara-based organization that offers support and services for children with special needs and their families. Corelis facilitated the event.

"You are going to be experiencing distraction, confusion, and pressure," Corelis said. "All of these things are typical to what the student who is learning different faces every day."

The two-hour simulation is divided into three parts: a five-minute introduction, a six-part simulation, and a debriefing.

Participants join small groups and attend a "class" at each station, designed to focus on particular learning difficulties. Classes are held by moderators or "teachers" who guide participants through the exercises.

For example, the "spelling test" is designed to simulate hearing loss or auditory hearing problems. Participants are asked to take a spelling test while getting their spelling words from a muffled and garbled audio tape.

"They do have a difficult time even with just the easy things we take for granted," said parent Janie Pollano, who has a daughter with a learning disability. "I think all of these exercises were valid. I could not do any of them."

The "mirror writing" exercise simulated problems with visual or motor tasks. Participants had to try and trace shapes, and write numbers and letters while looking at their writing hand through a mirror.

"It was hard to get your hand to go the opposite way. I couldn't get my hand to do what I wanted it to," said parent Julian Cervantes.

After an 90 minutes of participating in their fourth-grade learning disabled environment, parents and teachers were ready to call it a school day. After everyone had participated in each exercise and had a chance to talk about their feelings after each simulation, it was time for the group to meet and discuss their feelings as a whole.

Corelis asked people to give one-word answers as to how they felt during the simulation, which he then wrote on a white board. Words like frustration, tired, embarrassed, hopeless, stressed and unintelligent, made the list.

"You came into this room as parents and teachers, hopefully with a very high self-image," Corelis said. "After putting you through the stations, you can see how self-image can drop over the years out of these kids."

He said students with learning disabilities sometimes cannot help acting out or engaging in habits like fidgeting or being easily distracted.

It is important for parents and teachers to recognize the different learning needs of children and to accommodate them, Corelis said.

For more information about Learning Disability Simulations, call Parents Helping Parents at (408) 727-5775.

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