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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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Councilman seeks legal opinion on term limits


Photo By:
Packard

Los Altos City Councilman Ron Packard intends to stick around – even if he has to wait a couple of years.

Packard, whose second consecutive term is set to expire in November, is seeking a formal opinion from City Attorney Jolie Houston on whether termed-out councilmembers are eligible for re-election after an absence. The council unanimously approved an item on its July 24 consent calendar requesting Houston’s formal opinion.

Houston is expected to issue her opinion at the Aug. 28 city council meeting.

Reached by the Town Crier, Packard said his reasoning for the request was simple. He is intent on running for Mayor Val Carpenter’s termed-out seat on the council in 2014.

“I plan on running for Val’s seat when she’s off the council in two years,” he said. “I’ve said it publicly several times before. It’s no secret.”

Still, Packard conceded that “people will raise questions” about the legality of having a termed-out councilmember running again, hence his request.

To that end, Packard, an attorney, said he’s done his own analysis and believes it’s “absolutely clear” that a termed-out councilmember can run again after an absence from the council.

According to Los Altos Municipal Code Section 2.04.020, “No person shall serve more than two consecutive terms on the Los Altos City Council, plus the completion of any unexpired term to which such person was elected or appointed.”

The city’s municipal code was amended, adding the term limits section in 1999, according to a city staff report outlining the formal request.

Packard said he’s particularly interested in returning as a councilmember when the downtown area undergoes significant changes, pointing to new construction projects along First Street such as the new Safeway grocery store, as examples.

“I’ve really enjoyed serving,” Packard said, “and I’d really like to see a continuity of the measured improvements downtown.”

Packard said his interest in a 2014 council seat also stems from his desire to see “the charm of Main and State streets maintained and not compromised.”

In early May, the council directed city staff to prepare ordinance changes to better define developer incentives (in exchange for public benefits) and building-height limits in downtown’s Commercial Retail Sales zone. At the time, Packard said publicly that he was “absolutely opposed to three-story buildings” in the downtown core.

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