Sat09202014

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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Pinewood aims for campus upgrade


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Pinewood School addresses issues such as vehicle queuing with a proposed upgrade for its campus at 327 Fremont Ave.

The Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission is scheduled to review plans to upgrade Pinewood School’s middle campus at 327 Fremont Ave. Aug. 2, according to Pinewood President Scott Riches.

The now-defunct Architecture and Site Review Committee recommended approval of the private school’s plan in late June.

According to a city staff report, the upgrade requires the demolition of six on-campus buildings comprising slightly more than 8,000 square feet. Five new one-story buildings totaling more than 17,000 square feet would replace those buildings, Riches said. The plans also would add a two-lane driveway spanning the front of the school for a student drop-off and pickup area.

The administration building – the former home of Riches’ grandparents, Gwen and Victor Riches – would remain intact, as would the theater building, Riches said.

He noted that the upgrade is necessary because of the cramped environment and added that they redesigned the school in conformance with the “look and feel” of the surrounding residential neighborhood.

“We wanted to take into consideration the school’s needs and at the same time design a campus to meet the neighbors’ needs as well,” said Riches, who noted that the school does not intend to increase its current 175-student enrollment.

Riches said the school hosted five community meetings to discuss the design with surrounding residents and met individually with several in addition. The result, he said, includes a U-shaped design for the new buildings that should help shield the surrounding homes from noise pollution and resolve other concerns such as parking.

“We really collaborated with the neighbors and tried to solve screening, noise and queuing issues,” said Riches, adding that the plan calls for 29 onsite parking spaces and the closure of a school entrance on Bellevue Court to discourage student drop-offs there.

Still, the longtime Pinewood president concedes that not everyone is on board with the proposed upgrade.

Part of the redevelopment plan calls for the incorporation of an adjacent 0.89-acre residential property, which served as the former headmaster’s home. A handful of nearby residents, who want it to remain a residential lot, expressed concern.

Riches said the additional school-owned land is needed to accommodate the five new buildings and the elongated driveway. The alternative of building two-story structures on the campus’ current 1.5-acre lot is “a nonstarter,” he added.

If Pinewood receives final approval, it has a two-phase construction plan scheduled for the summer of 2014 with an estimated construction duration of 18 months.

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