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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Filmmaker looks to Los Altos friends for support


Photo By:
Szymanowski

Longtime downtown Los Altos business owner Elizabeth Szymanowski has an acclaimed filmmaker in the family. Her son Matt is working on a new movie, “The Purple Onion.”

The screenplay merited recognition from the Sundance Screenwriting Lab, and the filmmakers have received development support from the San Francisco Film Society.

But transforming the screenplay into a movie won’t be easy. The film’s launch party was held Nov. 11 in Los Altos Hills at the home of supporter Mary Myers. She and other supporters are currently trying to raise $30,000 to cover preproduction and initial production costs. Their fundraising deadline is Dec. 16.

“That movie’s going to happen,” said Elizabeth, who has run Salon Elizabeth on First Street in downtown Los Altos the past 24 years. “It’s going to be fantastic.”

Set in San Francisco and named after the recently closed historical San Francisco comedy club, the tragicomic story follows hapless amateur comedian Johnny Lee at his dead-end job as a restaurant dishwasher. Clashing with his live-in mother, the comedian is prepared to leave everything behind. When his mother finds solace in a lonely and oddball neighbor, Johnny realizes he’s pushed away the one person in his life who cares the most.

The movie is based on a good friend of Matt’s, co-writer Edwin Li, who is tapped to play the main character. Matt said he was moved by the story.

“I woke up in the middle of the night and texted him, ‘We’re going to make a movie,’” Matt said of breaking the news to his friend.

Matt recognizes the parallel between the comedian’s struggles and his own as a film artist.

“It’s a modern-day Sisyphus,” he said. “He’s pushing a boulder up the hill forever and ever, and he keeps on doing it. He asks, ‘What am I doing this for?’ But he still hopes to get to his goal.”

The Purple Onion, founded in 1952, was one of the oldest venues for comedy in North America. The club showcased some of the most influential comedians from the early days of stand-up comedy, including Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen and Phyllis Diller.

Matt hopes “The Purple Onion” will prove a positive addition to his career credits, which include producing content for CBS’ award-winning CHOW.com; media agency MKSHFT’s clients Toyota, Gizmodo and HTC; the documentary “Nine Days That Changed the World”; and various local music videos.

His short film “History of Solitude” played at the San Francisco International Festival and was presented in Poland, France and Albania. It won the Jury Award at The European Independent Film Festival in Paris.

To contribute to the film, visit www.indiegogo.com/thepurpleonion.

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