Thu09182014

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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Unlikely relationship inspires readers with twists and turns

I am drawn to unlikely heroes and inspiring characters wherever I find them, whether depicted in a great book of pure fiction or, best of all, in real life.

A case in point is Ron Hall’s story of his life-changing intersection with a homeless man named Denver Moore. Hall and Moore’s book, “Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together” (Thomas Nelson, 2006), chronicles how these two men are drawn into an unlikely relationship prompted by Ron’s saintly wife, Debbie. (It’s kind of like Kathryn Stockett’s “The Help” for men.)

The backstory of the wheeling-dealing, jet-setting Hall is as inspiring as Moore’s. At first blush, Hall seems like an ordinary guy. He was born on a ranch in Texas, attended school and graduated from college. He earned a master’s degree in business administration, went to work for a bank and married his college sweetheart.

One day, while on a business trip for the bank, he wandered into an art gallery and purchased an original oil painting on credit, much to his wife’s displeasure. He subsequently sold it for a $2,000 profit. From that small dip into the art world, Hall accidently launched an immensely successful career as an art dealer that lasted 25 years. He eventually left that profession to pursue his dream of being a cowboy, filling his days with ranching, roping, writing poetry and, in his words, “anything else Debbie asked me to do.”

It is a good story so far, but his life becomes a great story through a fiery trial that launches him into his most important work.

While volunteering at a homeless shelter, Hall is drawn into the life of Moore amid twists, turns and intersections that are stranger than fiction. Today, Hall continues his new life’s work by co-authoring this heartfelt book and advocating on behalf of the homeless.

As I write this, I am reminded that many of us are closer to the edge of our comfort and security than we ever dreamed possible. More and more “people like me” have slipped over the edge into homelessness. We would be wise to measure our success less by what we have achieved and more by what we have become. The demographics on that are invisible and challenge our assumptions. I’m just saying … we all really are the “same kind of different” in all the important ways.

Sharon Lennox-Infante, contributing editor for Book Buzz, is a Los Altos resident.

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