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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Council key to gateway at First & Main: Editorial

While another revised design plan for First and Main streets makes its way to the Los Altos Planning Commission, we think it’s due time for city councilmembers to step in and determine the future of this key downtown gateway property.

Planning commissioners Thursday are scheduled to review slight modifications to a project that remains two stories high with ho-hum design features. It’s OK, but let’s reiterate: Do we want to see “just OK” on that site for many decades to come?

The public has a stake in the high-profile gateway property – it should be as useful to us as it is to its developers and occupants. Clearly, the project should include additional plaza space, especially at the corner of First and Main. At two stories, however, more open space means forfeiting space meant for office and retail.

The answer is obvious to us – add a third story. Developer Jeffrey A. Morris has said the city isn’t allowing this opportunity. The city council, although opening up some downtown zoning to three stories, kept this property limited to 30 feet high and two stories.

City staff, charged with enforcing rules, is not the roadblock. It would take our rule makers and changers on the council to make it happen. These five members – Mayor Val Carpenter, Megan Satterlee, David Casas, Ron Packard and Jarrett Fishpaw – could clear the way for a three-story project at First and Main either through supporting a height variance, initiating a change in zoning or amending the current city-developer property agreement. After all, who’s in charge?

The developer will not be pushing for three stories. He has a plan in place that technically meets all city regulations. No, this is something councilmembers must buy into and propose. The chief criticisms of the current plan concern a lack of public meeting space – comfortable space at the intersection and along sidewalks that allows for a possible outdoor dining area, landscaping or public art. A gateway property should convey the message “Welcome to Los Altos,” not “Was that just an office building I passed by?”

We suggest that councilmembers waste no time in initiating dialogue.

It may be late in the process, but it’s not too late – that’s when the serious digging begins. Let’s not be shaking our heads in regret when that happens.

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