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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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Council rejects library task force


Photo By: Town Crier File Photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo

The Los Altos City Council nixed a proposal to establish a task force set to study alternative library services options.

The Los Altos City Council last week opted against ratifying a task force set to explore library services outside of the Santa Clara County Library District.

The council rejected a proposal to form the joint Los Altos-Los Altos Hills ad hoc group Feb. 26, voting 4-1 against it after some councilmembers said it wasn’t a pressing priority for the city.

The vote came during an update on the Library Management Options Task Force by Councilwoman Val Carpenter, the task force’s chairwoman. Among other things, Carpenter’s update included a final roster of potential task force members, including Los Altos Hills City Councilwoman Courtenay C. Corrigan and members of the Los Altos Library Commission and Friends of the Library of Los Altos and Community. Carpenter cast the lone vote in favor of the proposal.

“It’s not the merit of whether this could be studied,” Councilwoman Megan Satterlee said. “It’s (about) the priority of studying this now.”

The former city council – which included since termed-out councilmen Ron Packard and David Casas – originally opted Nov. 13 to move forward with the task force after a narrow 3-2 vote. Casas, Packard and Carpenter cast votes in favor of the task force.

At the time, Casas and then-Mayor Carpenter cited the need to explore alternate library services after a report by former Los Altos Hills City Councilman Jean Mordo noted that the cities’ combined annual contributions ranged between $620,000 and $1.4 million more than the library services the two cities received.

“I’m sorry that council does not wish to pursue the $600,000 to $1.5 million that we’re sending to other parts of the library district,” said Carpenter after the Feb. 26 vote.

The Joint Powers Authority (JPA) Board of Directors – the library district’s governing body – uses a funding formula weighing equally each member city’s population, property assessed valuation and library circulation to allocate funds.

The JPA board rejected a request to change the funding formula, as well as a follow-up appeal in October for a “5 percent tolerance threshold” mechanism that would have given Los Altos libraries an additional $66,000.

Just before the Feb. 26 vote by the current council, Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins questioned the use of city staff time on the issue. She noted that the November vote was a narrow one that included two yes votes by members no longer on the council.

“Two of those three votes are no longer with us,” she said. “Two of those votes against this (Satterlee and Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw) are still with us. … I don’t feel comfortable as a new councilmember feeling encumbered by a decision that had this type of a split vote. I think I would be speaking differently if it had been a 5-0 vote.”

Councilwoman Jan Pepper, who currently serves as the city’s representative on the JPA board, expressed concern that the task force might “muddy the waters” for the district, which is planning to seek (by mail-in vote) a renewal of a $33 parcel tax, slated to expire in 2015.

The tax is paid annually to the district by residents of member cities and unincorporated county areas.

“Everyone loves the libraries,” Pepper said. “They’re not broken. It’s not something that needs to be fixed.”

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