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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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Bayshore Christian Ministries plants seeds that bear fruit for years


Photo By:

An afternoon visit to Bayshore Christian Ministries in East Palo Alto offers a walk in a garden of sorts. Staff and volunteers consider it their mission to till the soil, sow the seeds and water the plants – in this case, the 400 students who benefit from the nonprofit agency’s academic, spiritual and leadership programs.

Founded 28 years ago with the aim of bridging the socioeconomic chasm between the affluent Palo Alto and the more diverse East Palo Alto communities, Bayshore Christian Ministries opens its doors to children, providing a refuge in a busy world for students who may come from single-parent families, struggle in school or simply seek a warm welcome from the staff.

“It’s so fun to be here,” said Nancy, 11, a fifth-grader who attends the KidSmart program on weekdays. “Since I started coming, I’ve done better in school. I like it.”

The organization offers activities for youth of all ages, from elementary school to post-college, including after-school tutoring and literacy, Bible clubs, summer enrichment programs, community service projects, sports, arts, business and technology. As children progress through the program, Bayshore Christian Ministries adds a leadership and discipleship component that challenges teens to grow in their faith and become “servant leaders.”

“We don’t want people to think about the negative when they think of East Palo Alto,” said Executive Director Rolando Zeledon. “These are amazing kids. We’re walking alongside them – not ahead – so that at the end of the day, they want to give back. We’re planting seeds of responsibility.”

The KidSmart program, managed by Diana Liggs, caters to children in elementary school, who receive homework assistance, play outdoors, indulge in a nutritious snack purchased from Second Harvest Food Bank and are exposed to music and the arts. Participants receive individual help with their homework, often targeted, thanks to guidance from teachers at the students’ respective schools. Parents must volunteer in some capacity with the program and pay a nominal fee on a sliding scale.

“Our approach is holistic and relational,” Zeledon said. “Our core is spiritual, but we also equip students academically and with life skills. We try to expose them to other experiences to broaden their outlooks.”

Donations from last year’s Holiday Fund enabled Bayshore Christian Ministries to expand its KidSmart program to meet the growing demand – participation has burgeoned 36 percent over the past year, reaching an all-time high. This year’s grant, according to Zeledon, will allow the organization to winnow its waiting list and accept more children.

One of the great joys for staff, Zeledon said, is seeing alumni walk back through the door to serve as interns at Bayshore Christian Ministries or to tell tales of their successes in the community.

Bayshore Christian Ministries has scheduled an open house 6-8 p.m. Dec. 13. Potential volunteers are invited to attend.

Tony Velasquez, Bayshore Christian Ministries intern, works with a student in the nonprofit organization’s after-school KidSmart program. Courtesy of Bayshore Christian Ministries

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