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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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El Camino Hospital receives bond-rating upgrade


Photo By: courtesy of El Camino Hospital
Photo Courtesy Of El Camino Hospital

El Camino Hospital recently received an A1 bond-rating upgrade from Moody’s Investors Service.

Moody’s Investors Service last week upgraded El Camino Hospital’s revenue bond rating from A2 to A1, following a review of the hospital’s progress since Moody’s issued its last rating in 2010.

According to Moody’s, the rating upgrade affects $186.9 million of outstanding fixed and variable rate demand revenue bonds issued by the Santa Clara Financing Authority.

“Hospital leadership has worked with the hospital board to expand the governance structure to include community leaders with significant subject-matter expertise, hired nationally known industry leaders to fill the CFO and COO roles, and produced a strategic plan to position us for health reform to effectively meet the needs of our community,” said El Camino Hospital President and CEO Tomi Ryba. “Recognition of the relevance of these improvements by Moody’s is gratifying.”

The report highlighted a number of the hospital’s strengths:

• It is a sizable community hospital located in a geographically favorable area with an operating revenue base of $664 million in fiscal year 2012.

• Its fiscal year 2013 outlook shows another year of strong profitability and operating cash-flow generation, as well as double-digit cash-flow margins.

• It shows steady growth in unrestricted cash and investments to $490 million as of Dec. 31.

• It carries a low debt load.

• Its facilities in Mountain View and Los Gatos are 95 percent seismic compliant through 2030, with the final 5 percent being 2030-compliant upon completion of minor voluntary upgrades, in accordance with approved extensions, by Jan. 1, 2015.

“We are extremely pleased that Moody’s recognized the hard work the hospital has undertaken in the last two years to stabilize and strengthen this valuable community hospital,” said John Zoglin, chairman of the El Camino Hospital Board of Directors. “To receive an upgraded rating at a time when so many other hospitals and hospital systems nationwide are struggling further reinforces that we have the right management team, an enhanced governance structure and long-term strategies in place that will enable us to make the necessary investments to care for the community.”

Moody’s issued a “stable outlook” for the hospital but also acknowledged several challenges it currently faces. Among other things, the Moody’s report cited a highly competitive marketplace in the Bay Area for services; its historical dependence on the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (now affiliated with Sutter Health), which has been responsible for approximately 50 percent of El Camino Hospital’s admissions; and the current uncertainty around Measure M, which caps executive salaries at no more than double the salary of the California governor.

Still, the report noted that it expects El Camino Hospital to “continue to produce strong operating cash flow given its favorable market presence and location and its continued focus on operating efficiencies, in order to support future capital plans, maintain solid liquidity and leverage measures and offset any future reimbursement declines and new competitive pressures.

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