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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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UPC opens its arms to children with autism

Union Presbyterian Church of Los Altos launched a new ministry: “All God’s Children,” a Sunday School class for children with autism.

The program, which focuses on children 5-10, is not restricted to church families – any family that seeks an environment where God’s love is presented to children is welcome.

Despite the many advantages and programs the community offers, church members heard from parents about the lack of religious programs for children on the autism spectrum – a place where they could learn and discuss the Bible and God’s message in a way appropriate to their needs. The children’s ministry at UPC began to discuss such a program.

Serendipitiously, Amanda Royer arrived from Chicago after her husband, Chris, accepted a position at Yahoo. When the term “autism” arose, Royer mentioned that she had both a personal and professional connection with the problems children on the autism spectrum face. She has a 7-year-old half-brother diagnosed with autism. She has intimately experienced the difficulties many of the children – and those who care for or teach them – encounter in traditional classrooms.

Influenced by her brother’s struggles, Royer majored in child psychology at Davidson College in North Carolina and earned a master’s degree from the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Beyond her academic credentials, Royer has prior professional experience with autism. At Lake Mary Elementary School in Illinois, she served as special-education teacher for students with autism. There was no existing structured program, so Royer developed the academic, social and communication skills, behavior management and independent functioning for students on the autism spectrum. And she gained ministerial experience at Grace Chicago Church.

Royer’s résumé defined the job description rather than the reverse. The dilemma was solved and a new ministry announced.

Royer has a simple but basic theological message for the children: “God loves you, and you can’t get rid of Him.” This fundamental moral truth, once embraced, gives each child comfort, safety and the foundation for everything else they encounter.

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit unionpc.org.

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