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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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BCS response seeks more facilities space

Bullis Charter School responded to the Los Altos School District’s preliminary facilities offer Friday, requesting significantly more space for a larger cohort of students at Blach Intermediate School next year.

The district’s preliminary offer included facilities for 125 in-district students at Blach for the 2013-2014 school year, including five classrooms, a restroom, three extra portables and office space. The district made the offer under the assumption that the charter school would send its sixth- through eighth-grade students to Blach.

Bullis Charter School officials based their counterproposal on the Blach camp school setup from 2004, when the district split the campus so that students from Loyola School could attend during renovations to their school. The counterproposal projects 200 charter school students at Blach and requests a self-contained space, with grade configuration at the charter school’s discretion.

Significantly more space

The charter school’s counteroffer seeks significantly more portables than the preliminary request. Officials are now asking for double the classroom space, from five classrooms to 10; a larger office; a separate teacher workroom and lounge; a multipurpose room; kindergarten classroom space; childcare space; a music room; a library; a service area; janitorial space; a computer lab; an art/science room; a locker room; a flexible-space room; a small-group space; and an additional restroom.

The charter school requested separate portables for all its space needs – a total of 21,600 square feet of additional portable space (i.e., the equivalent of 22.5 additional standard-sized portables) more than the building space provided in the preliminary offer.

The footprint of the charter school’s counterproposal includes the current Stepping Stones Preschool facilities, Blach’s baseball diamond and the shrubbery space at the entrance of the school. The charter school’s proposed map recommends moving the Stepping Stones facilities to another space on the Blach campus. The preschool facility has signed a multiyear lease with the district.

The charter school’s counteroffer also outlines requirements for shared facilities, including exclusive use of the City Gym or Blach multipurpose room 1.5 hours a week, tennis courts and soccer fields 3:30-5 p.m. two days a week and the track 3:30-4:30 p.m. two days a week. Officials also requested two two-week periods when charter school students would have exclusive use of the woodworking room and full-time exclusive use of one science room.

The counterproposal assumes that the Egan campus space allocation will remain the same, with continued use of the Egan music room, and asked for scheduled use of Egan’s City Gym.

List of problems

Charter school officials listed a number of problems with the district’s preliminary offer: the proposal did not include a contiguous site; the Egan site is still not “reasonably equivalent” based on previous court rulings; the district cannot mandate which grades attend which site; the district’s counterprojection of in-district students (the district projects 43 fewer in-district students) underestimates enrollment; and the charter school would lack blacktop space and specialized teaching space for sixth-graders at Blach.

The charter school’s response continued to “demand a contiguous site,” and officials claimed that they did not waive those rights with the counterproposal. The response cited Covington School as “best suited” for the Bullis Charter School program and also maintained that the district should have considered the full Egan campus as an option for the charter school.

The district is scheduled to submit a final facilities offer to the charter school by April 1, at which time charter school officials say their counterproposal expires.

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