Wed09172014

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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CSA nutrition program nourishes community members in need


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Although Los Altos and surrounding areas are affluent communities, not every local resident can afford life’s basic necessities, including food – particularly around the holidays.

“Last year, I wouldn’t have been able to have a turkey to share with my family,” said Barbara, a mother of two originally from Los Altos who found support from the Food and Nutrition Center at the Community Services Agency (CSA) when she encountered unexpected life challenges. “What’s Thanksgiving without a turkey? I can’t imagine the disappointment.”

The Food and Nutrition Center plays a pivotal role in making the holidays brighter for local families in need. LaDrea Clark, nutrition and health education assistant, said the center distributed 600 turkeys and boxes of packaged and fresh food for Thanksgiving this year – fulfilling its mission to serve as a year-round safety net for Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View.

In addition to its food store, where people can select fresh and packaged foods donated by local stores and farms, CSA’s 14 programs support clients with emergency housing assistance, medications, computer access, social services and staff referrals to partner organizations in the community.

Poverty is frequently associated with less affluent communities or more urban environments, but CSA Executive Director Tom Myers said there are more people struggling with basic needs in the area than one might expect.

“There are pockets of poverty that are often invisible,” he said.

According to Myers, in any given year, the center serves an estimated 400 homeless people in Mountain View and Los Altos.

“We have people who never in their wildest dreams could imagine coming to us,” he said.

In addition to the working poor and homeless, CSA also serves young people, seniors, widows, women in domestic violence situations and people who encounter job loss, health problems or other unexpected circumstances.

Elba Landaverde, CSA emergency assistance program director, attributed the growing need in the community to the economic downturn and the cost of living in Silicon Valley. Her team handles approximately 120 emergency cases per week, including a growing number of domestic violence situations that leave people financially vulnerable and in need of housing and other support services.

She added that helping people makes her feel her work matters.

“I was ashamed at first. … I had a great job,” said Barbara, noting how difficult it was to admit her need for CSA services. “It’s not something you want to do.”

The staff’s kindness and respect was humbling, said Barbara, adding that CSA’s support was a lifesaver for her family during the experience.

“I’m so grateful for the little things,” she said. 

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