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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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Technological innovations map out the future

The calendar I got for 2013 keeps staring at me, still in its cellophane wrap, making me feel a bit out-of-date.

The cover title, “Antique Maps,” which conveys a lifelong interest, now also expresses a redundancy. Maps have changed. The paper kind are outmoded. Maps are antique.

They used to intrigue me as a child because they held secrets to be discovered: What’s behind the red or blue lines, the green shading, once you get there in real time?

According to Michael Jones, Google’s chief technology advocate, in the latest issue of The Atlantic, the “major change in mapping in the past decade … is that mapping has become personal.” Whereas in the past maps remained static, today’s map changes depending on the person using it.

Take that map in your iPhone: You can get in close, look at the street you want to be on, even the house you’re trying to arrive at before you get there. The GPS in your car has different landmarks than your neighbors’: your job, your children’s school, your local hospital. Maps are no longer universal.

My iPhone map is not infallible, either, though. The other day it tried to take me to a bank in downtown San Jose several times before I realized it had the wrong address for the San Jose Repertory Theatre. Human intelligence does play into the equation.

In the Atlantic article, Jones predicts that soon we will hear a voice in our ears telling us to go left or go right, just like the lady in the car GPS does now.

The progression makes sense. But am I the only fan of those Triptiks that AAA still creates for long road trips, if you give them enough notice? What about the feel of a new map in a country you’ve never visited? That’s got to stir some enthusiasm.

Of course, having GPS or an iPhone map in Italy does make you almost Italian, a global citizen who knows what the natives know about the local geography. Jones makes a good point there.

And there’s one area that mapping technology has really improved. Google Maps has changed that perennial marital argument about who’s better at directions – you or him. At least I think so, although I’m no longer married, so I forget.

Contributing editor Eren Göknar is a journalist and lifelong traveler. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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