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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St. Francis High doesnt lack for defensive specialists


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier St. Francis High’s Stephanie Kellogg extends to hit the ball Thursday against Menlo. The Lancers won in five games.

What St. Francis High coach Leahi Hall Leon described as a “real blessing” for her girls volleyball team could prove to be a curse for those facing the Lancers this season.

Teeming with talent in the back row, St. Francis doesn’t figure to surrender kills easily. Expect the Lancers to record more digs than a seasoned archaeologist.

“We have so many players with back-row and defensive ability,” said Hall Leon, whose squad improved to 6-1 with Thursday’s five-game win over visiting Menlo. “All four of our (defensive specialists) are libero-caliber players. We’re lucky to have four tremendously capable defensive players.”

The foursome includes returnees Catherine Wes and Kelly Wimmer, both seniors, and Tatiana San Juan and Hannah Aguirre, juniors new to varsity. The Columbia University-bound Wes “is our most steady passer, and also plays outside hitter and libero,” Hall Leon said.

The Lancers’ fourth-year coach knows a thing or two about defense – she was a defensive specialist/libero for Stanford University from 2001 to 2004.

St. Francis doesn’t just have top-notch players in the back row – the Lancers have weapons up front as well. Outside hitters Chloe Lott and Alexandra Espinosa and middle blockers Stephanie Kellogg and Emily Rose played major roles on last year’s team, which won the Central Coast Section Division II title and reached the Northern California final. All of them are seniors except for Espinosa (junior).

The 5-foot-10 Lott, who started at right-side hitter last season, seems to be making a smooth move to outside hitter. She led the Lancers in kills in both of their matches last week, notching 14 in a sweep of Albany and 23 against Menlo.

“Chloe has been the kill leader for the majority of our matches.” Hall Leon said. “She’s been a big part of the offense, and Stephanie’s not far behind.”

Kellogg, a 6-1 middle blocker, ranks among the team’s top scorers. The Egan Junior High graduate recently committed to Brown University, according to Hall Leon.

With Kellogg playing alongside the 6-2 Rose, the Lancers have been mighty in the middle.

“We’ve received a lot of production from our middles,” the coach said. “Stephanie is scoring points and Emily is a tremendous blocker.”

The 5-10 Espinosa stepped in for ailing all-leaguer Christine Alftin (who has since transferred to Woodside) during the playoffs last year and became a key cog in the offense. This season Espinosa is seeing action at outside hitter and right-side hitter.

“She’s a great attacker,” Hall Leon said. “We’re able to use her at two positions with great success.”

The Lancers lost super setter Taylor Formico to graduation – along with three other all-leaguers – and two players are trying to replace her. Haley Roe and Maclaine Westendorf are “splitting time” at the position, Hall Leon said, because “they each earned the opportunity to compete.” Roe is a 5-10 senior who backed up Formico last year; Westendorf, who goes by “Macky” is a 5-8 junior up from JV.

“Haley has high goals for herself and the team, and has a great presence on the court,” the coach said. “Macky does a great job of getting our faster-tempo offense to the pins.”

Although it will be a challenge to match last year’s success and record (33-8), Hall Leon doesn’t seem too concerned about that. Instead of obsessing over accomplishments, she stresses performance.

“We talk about what we can control and not wins,” the coach said. “The girls are doing a great job focusing on producing their best effort and not on the results. The score will take care of itself if we remain focused on that task.”

St. Francis’ lone loss this year is to Mitty at the season-opening Spikefest tournament. Hall Leon expects the Monarchs to be one of many formidable foes in the West Catholic Athletic League this season.

“It will be an interesting year in the WCAL,” she said. “Mitty returns a lot of great talent and placed first at Spikefest. Presentation graduated a number of starting seniors and has a lot of younger players on the court, but they play hard and fast. And never count out Sacred Heart Cathedral, which has always played with tremendous tenacity.”

It’s too soon to tell if the Lancers have what it takes to win the league, but Hall Leon said team chemistry is one thing that won’t derail their chances.

“It’s a really sweet group – they’re really nice girls,” she said. “They understand that the unit is stronger than the individual, and they’re huge supporters of each other.”

St. Francis is scheduled to host Homestead 6 p.m. Thursday.

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