Thu09182014

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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How about selling First & Main property to Safeway?

Kallshian's Korner

One of the interesting things that characterize towns like Los Altos is why some local issues become large enough to divide the town. For example: What to do with the property at First and Main streets?

The city bought this property about five years ago for $1.8 million. It was a good investment; the value has tripled.

The council is not asking for help as to what the city should do with the millions. The question is "What should be the ultimate use of the property?" Some "villagers" want a theater. Some want a hotel. Some want a combination of both.

When the property was considered for purchase by the city, yours truly and a few others, made a suggestion for its use: Sell it to Safeway.

The plan would call for enlargement of the present store to simulate their magnificent outlet on California Street in Mountain View.

Parking space in the area would increase significantly. Aisles in the store would be wide enough so kids with carts, going in opposite directions, would not crash. Working mothers would enjoy the increase of variety and volume of prebaked and precooked foods. If there is doubt about this, just visit the Mountain View store.

Issue No. 2 has to do with who runs city council meetings and who is in charge. A little history might help. The city was incorporated in 1952. The public elected a five-member council. The first woman to serve was elected in 1964 - Audrey Fisher. She served for 16 years with no term limits. She was elected mayor in her 15th year.

In 1978, along came Kallshian again. He served for one four-year term (1964-1968), but did not run again until 1978, after retirement from Ma Bell. He made two motions to change the rules - they still apply. Council members are limited to two, four-year terms. Mayors are elected by council for a one-year term.Whoever has been on the council for the longest time without being mayor gets to be mayor.

The mayor supervises council meetings but has no more authority than any other council member. One vote, no veto power.

When controversial issues were on the agenda, the public was given the opportunity to express its position first. After listening to the public, the council then expressed its position on the issue. Then the council voted. It was rare for a council member to express a position prior. His job is to listen to all who have an opinion on the issue, then listen to the four council members, give his opinion and then ask the council members to vote out loud.

There is no limit to the time allotted to the mayor, but he (or she) has one vote on the issue.

It is improper for the council to express their position on an issue prior to listening to the public.

The real message is that council members are elected by the voters. Each member, including the mayor, has one vote.

Can you think of anything more divisive than electing the mayor by a 3-2 vote? Kallshian fixed that, too. Everyone gets to be the mayor by rotation!

Kallshian, a former Los Altos mayor, is a longtime Los Altos resident.

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