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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Accessorize the garden for beauty and personality


Photo By: Courtesy of Julie Orr
Photo Courtesy Of Julie Orr Plants act as ideal focal points in the garden. This Phormium ‘Yellow Wave’ and antique birdbath give the yard depth and personality.

Accessories are important to any outfit. Choosing the right scarf, belt, tie, hat or jewelry can add that certain panache and personality to our daily attire. The same is true for our gardens.

Garden accessories come in all sizes, shapes and styles. Obvious garden accessories include furniture, fountains, arbors and containers. But creating a garden accessory is limited only by your imagination.

Accessories are wonderful when used as focal points. A simple, brightly colored ceramic container set at the end of a pathway adds architectural interest and draws your eye to the garden.

Collections can also create a focal point. I recently saw a group of antique watering cans displayed on a patio wall. The wall created a beautiful frame and unified the various styles and colors.

How do you get started? First, think about a location where a focal point or two would enhance your garden. Second, determine the style of your home. Does it have a Mediterranean feel, a modern bent or an eclectic style? Third, take inventory of what you already have that you can incorporate in the garden. Is there a collection of antique tools rusting in your garage? Pull them out and arrange them on a fence panel or use them to create a structure in the garden. I once saw an arbor constructed from rakes and shovels form a wonderful home for a climbing rose. Finally, consider what you like to see in a garden. Art? Sculpture? What hobbies do you have that could be expressed in the garden? Bird-watching is a natural for accessorizing. Fountains or a simple birdbath nestled between roses are obvious additions for a birder’s garden, and birdhouses come in every shape and size. Start a collection of houses and group them around the garden as focal points.

When thinking of accessorizing, remember the adage “Think outside the box.” Old window frames, backed with a mirror and tucked in a corner of the garden, not only reflect light, but also add mystery and depth to the garden view. Hang lanterns and candelabras from exposed branches or a pergola to bring the eye up from the garden floor. The new battery-powered candles are a natural in these situations.

Specimen plants are ideal as focal points, and variegated and colored leaves create interest and dimension. A tall Sempervirens ‘Tiny Towers’ planted in low-growing shrubs or a twisted, silver Cedrus atlantica glauca surrounded by Pittosporum variegata creates drama for the eye.

Finding accessories can be as easy as exploring your own home or browsing at the local nurseries. For the truly adventurous, try the Alameda Flea Market, scheduled the first Sunday of every month. It’s a treasure trove of art and collectibles for every taste. Another great source for garden ornaments is your local thrift shop. I recently found two iron wall sconces that now adorn a small garden patio.

Accessories can add a sense of mystery and wonder to a garden, so explore and find that treasure you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Julie Orr is a landscape designer and member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. For more information, call 468-8020 or visit www.julieorrdesign.com.

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