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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 scheduled to discuss plastic-bag ban outreach


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Los Altos resident Gerald Giusti loads his groceries after a stop at Safeway. A single-use plastic-bag ban takes effect July 4.

According to Los Altos Economic Development Manager Kathy Kleinbaum, implementation of a program to educate residents and merchants about the upcoming plastic-bag ban should appear before the Los Altos City Council Tuesday.

The program would disseminate the conditions of the ban on the distribution of single-use plastic bags by most of the city’s merchants starting July 4. The ordinance, introduced Feb. 26 and adopted by the council last week, affects city retailers selling clothing, food and personal items, as well as their customers.

The council declined to approve a $13,000 appropriation to hire a consultant for community education during the Feb. 26 discussions, calling instead for collaboration between the city and several local groups to publicize the ban.

Kleinbaum met with members of the Los Altos Village Association, the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce and GreenTown Los Altos and merchants from several Los Altos commercial districts to discuss public outreach efforts. Educating residents and merchants about the nuances of the ordinance, she said, is “critical.”

“For merchants, they need time to figure out what portions of their merchandise will work (with the new ordinance) and what won’t work. … Three months is a very short time,” she said. “We’ve got to get a lot done in a very short period of time.”

Kleinbaum referred to specific distinctions in the ordinance, such as the fact that retailers must charge customers at least 10 cents for a single recycled-content paper, reusable plastic or cloth bag, while protective bags for produce and meat and dry-cleaning garment bags are exempt. Retailers will be required to itemize customer-purchased bags on sales receipts and store those transaction records for at least three years. The ordinance exempts restaurants, fast-food establishments and nonprofit resellers.

“It’s not as simple as merchants simply stopping (the use of) plastic bags,” she said.

Kleinbaum recommended using direct-mail notification to Los Altos merchants in addition to notices included in residents’ utility bills to advertise the effects of the ordinance.

The city will develop and distribute a retailer toolkit, Kleinbaum noted, that will include a fact sheet, signage for merchants to post as notification of the ban and a list of recycled-content paper bags and reusable plastic bag suppliers.

In addition, separate forums for merchants and residents will be scheduled to clarify any remaining questions. Volunteers from GreenTown Los Altos may go door-to-door to discuss the details further with merchants. Representatives at an information table at downtown’s weekly Los Altos Farmers’ Market will offer educational materials and respond to questions.

The plan includes the distribution of Los Altos-themed reusable bags to residents, which Kleinbaum suggested could be a marketing opportunity to encourage residents to shop locally.

Kleinbaum expects the outreach program to begin in earnest in April if approved.

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