Mon09222014

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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Los Altos Hills Briefs

In its first meeting of the new year, the Los Altos Hills City Council met Jan. 24 to discuss the state’s new Complete Streets policy, private roads and a single-use plastic bag ban, among other items. Below is a roundup of issues on the agenda.

The next meeting is scheduled 6 p.m. Feb. 21 in the Los Altos Hills Town Hall Council Chambers, 26379 W. Fremont Road.

Streets resolution passes with reservations

With a 3-2 vote, the council narrowly passed a resolution to adopt the California Complete Streets Act of 2008 (AB 1358) – an unfunded state mandate that requires the town to revise its circulation plan to accommodate a “balanced, multimodal transportation network” by Jan. 1, 2014.

By accepting the resolution, the town becomes eligible for up to $186,000 in project funding from the Metropolitan Transportation Committee through a One Bay Area Grant.

Planning Director Debbie Pedro wrote in a memo that Los Altos Hills would “incorporate Complete Streets infrastructure into existing streets to improve the safety and convenience of users … with the particular goal of creating a connected network.”

The new advisory guidelines of the Complete Streets policy are intended to help the state reduce greenhouse gases and facilitate a shift in transportation patterns to include more public transit, bicycling and walking. In reviewing the Complete Streets policy, the council would have the authority to make exceptions to recommendations if program requirements were not sensitive to local conditions.

Some councilmembers and residents were hesitant to adopt the resolution, wary about the bill’s implications and whether it could impact the town’s rural character.

“You’re going to shackle the town’s residents and the town itself with things that are not in our best interest,” said Planning Commissioner Jim Abraham.

With an influx of growth in neighboring Palo Alto, Abraham expressed concern that the new policy might limit the town’s ability to control its own transportation growth.

“This is state law,” responded City Manager Carl Cahill. “You’re not going to have to turn Fremont Road into a four-lane throughway for Stanford traffic.”

Private roads study session

Responding to a recent flurry of residents struggling to find the resources and neighborhood cooperation necessary to resurface or upgrade their aging private streets, councilmembers plan to schedule a public study session.

“What one person thinks is a deficient roadway, another thinks is OK,” said City Manager Carl Cahill.

The city may consider assisting residents by establishing a framework to draft proposals that include the setup of roadway maintenance agreements, in-lieu fees or state funding structures.

Uncomfortable with the prospect of making the decision without input from the Planning Commission and the public, the council directed town staff to schedule a study session including all interested parties.

Open Space Committee supports bag ban

Although Los Altos Hills’ only commercial operations are Foothill College and the food trucks that linger on campus, members of the town’s Open Space Committee urged the council to expand its February 2012 polystyrene container and nonrecyclable food containers ban to include single-use plastic bags.

“This is largely a symbolic gesture to show solidarity with other cities in the area,” said Open Space Committee member George Clifford.

Councilman John Harpootlian objected, saying it wasn’t appropriate for Los Altos Hills to be “pontificating” on the issue when the town lacks a commercial center and doesn’t have “skin in this game.”

The council resolved to allow staff to draft a bag-ban amendment that could be discussed at a future meeting.

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