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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House of Grace empowers women from the inside


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Melanie, a resident of CityTeam International’s House of Grace, has benefited from the program’s holistic approach, particularly its spiritual element.

Melanie might call it a blessing – the phone call notifying her that a bed was available for her at CityTeam International’s House of Grace, a 12- to 14-month residential program in San Jose dedicated to helping women rebuild their lives after addiction, abuse or homelessness.

Although Melanie had struggled with opiate addiction since first experimenting with drugs at the age of 13, House of Grace has given her a new lease on life after a yearlong prison term. When she started the program in June, she was afraid to search for a job, fearing how employers might judge her history of substance abuse and incarceration.

With support from the team at House of Grace, Melanie landed a job five months later. When she delivered her first rent check to staff at the facility, she said she was not only elated, but also filled with self-confidence and integrity.

“I’ve had the opportunity to love myself for the first time at 22,” Melanie said.

The community of residents and staff support at House of Grace are life altering for Melanie and many other women who discover hope and a newfound opportunity to redefine their lives through the program.

“We see her as who she is today, not who she was yesterday,” said Honili Sema, director of women’s ministries at House of Grace.

In addition to safe housing for 24 women and eight children, the program provides continuing-education courses, life-skills classes, counseling and, most importantly, a supportive community that emphasizes holistic healing – physical, emotional and spiritual.

Unlike some recovery programs that last only 30 days, House of Grace gives women’s wounds time to heal. According to Sema, it costs $35 per person per day to run the nonprofit organization. Previous Town Crier Holiday Fund donations have enabled the agency to support participants with housing, food, clothing, furniture, recovery classes, medical and dental care, GED classes, career and money management programs and legal support.

“They want you to be healthy all around and give you support while you’re on that journey,” Melanie said.

When she graduates from House of Grace next summer, Melanie said she plans to attend seminary school to become a youth pastor.

She hopes to turn her past mistakes into something good.

“I always had things I wanted to do with my life but never had the lifestyle to do so,” she said. “I hope God is able to use me to bring light to the world.”

For an album of photos of Melanie and the House of Grace, click here.

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