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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Report: School crime down, but thefts, vandalism still a problem

Although overall crime went down last year in Los Altos area schools, a new statewide report released last month showed property crimes, such as thefts and vandalism, remained among the highest in Santa Clara County in the Los Altos and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High school districts.

According to the third annual California Safe Schools Assessment report, which includes crimes against people, property crimes, drugs and alcohol offenses and weapon possessions, the Los Altos School District reported a loss from property crimes of approximately $15,125, or $4.20 per student, for the 1997-98 school year. The high school district reported a loss of approximately $37,340, or $12.48 per student for the 1997-98 school year. The average dollar loss from property crimes in the county was reported at approximately $1.80 per student.

Those numbers are an improvement from last year's report, in which combined losses from both districts accounted for a quarter of the county theft in Santa Clara County. The Los Altos School District reported a loss of $15,785 and the high school district reported a loss of $128,700, according to last year's report.

Marge Gratiot, superintendent of the Los Altos School District, said computer theft is still a problem in the district. She said the district has added more computers to its classrooms over recent months, which could make the schools more desirable targets.

"We have implemented some new security systems and will improve them more when we improve the schools," Gratiot said.

Gratiot said the way the district reported its losses could also account for its higher-than-average property losses, since there's a variability from district to district in reporting accuracy.

School officials in the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District say this year has been virtually crime free compared to last year.

"It's been incredibly quiet," said Hugh Riddell, vice principal of discipline at Mountain View High School. . "I'm as happy as a clam. I've been here for 18 years, and this is probably the best year we've had in terms of the quiet nature of the campus."

According to the report, battery offenses went down from 5.01 incidence per 1,000 students to 2.76; there were no reports of assault with a deadly weapon, robbery or sex offenses; and possession of weapons went down to .69 incidence per 1,000 students.

Alcohol and drug offenses went down from 11.03 incidence per 1,000 students in 1995 to 6.55 incidence last year, according to the report.

Countywide, however, alcohol and drug offenses have risen 14.2 percent over the past two years, exceeding the statewide average by 12 percent.

Riddell said there have been no reports of school property stolen this year; only one incident of graffiti; and personal theft has been limited to weekend locker break-ins.

Riddell said he believes the school's construction project has helped to keep campus crime down. He said workers are at the campus on weekends and off hours, possibly discouraging vandals and thieves.

At Los Altos High, police say their presence is working. Los Altos Police say they have responded to about 130 calls this year - mostly for traffic incidence, alarm responses and minor theft.

Brent Butler, schools resource officer with the Los Altos Police Department, said there has been no reported gang activity, smoking has not been a problem and there's been virtually no alcohol problems.

Butler said the quiet atmosphere is a positive indication that the police department's crack down on smoking and drinking is working.

"Kids come up to me and say 'I'm actually have fun at a dance without being drunk,'" Butler said.

In the Fremont Union High School District, crimes declined in six of the seven reportable categories compared to the previous year. School officials say the improved ratings are a result of their tough "zero tolerance" toward school crime.

The school crime reporting program is an attempt by the state's Department of Education to gauge school safety..

Under the program, which began in 1995, all public schools, districts and county offices are required by law to collect and report incidents of school crime as defined by the program.

A complete report of the state's 1997-98 Safe Schools data is available for viewing at: www.cde.ca.gov.

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