Fri09192014

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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Prayer Breakfast speakers discuss the power of faith


Photo By: Town Crier Staff Photo
Photo Town Crier Staff Photo

Three speakers from different parts of the world and diverse careers came together at Thursday’s Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast in Santa Clara to share a common thread: How faith has had a profound impact on their lives.

Sanjay Poonen, a high-tech executive born in India, discussed how prayer helps in his leadership role. Jaida Im, a native of Korea, revealed how healing through prayer inspired a new life committed to helping others as founder of Freedom House. And Mark Joseph, a film producer and author born and raised in Japan, talked of prayer working in big, small and often random ways, and how power, influence and money should be used in the service of others.

Poonen, a Los Altos resident and executive at SAP Inc., spoke of a 42-year-old friend who felt tired one day, lay down to rest and died of a heart attack. It reminded him to “live my every day as if it were the last of my life.” Our days, he said, should be fulfilling, productive and dedicated to God.

Im recalled her 10-year struggle with severe migraine headaches that led her to the brink of suicide.

“I lost hope and the will to live,” she said of the horrific time, just five years ago.

So she prayed. A week later, a pastor came to her and prayed for her healing. Within a short time, she was healthy again.

“Everything purged out of my body,” she said. “My mind was crystal clear for the first time in a decade.”

She has not had a headache since October 2008.

A pharmacist in her previous career, Im was inspired to pursue new work helping others. She took on the pervasive issue of human trafficking. Im said this “modern-day slavery” is quite common locally.

“The San Francisco Bay Area is a big hub for human trafficking activity,” she said.

So in 2010, she founded Freedom House, which provides homes and after-care services for women rescued from human trafficking. Her nonprofit organization provides basic needs – shelter, food and clothing, Im said, along with “lots of love and care.”

Joseph, who worked on the development and marketing of such films as “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “The Passion of the Christ,” recalled how prayer has worked for him in ways both big and small. He found himself reading about Mayan culture and thought “Maya” would be a good name for the latest addition to his family, a baby girl. When he brought it up to his wife, she gave him a strange look. It turns out, Joseph said, that God had told his wife to tell him their new daughter would be named Maya.

In another instance, Joseph received a speeding ticket in Dixon, Ill., and was ordered to appear in court in person. Dixon was former President Ronald Reagan’s hometown. While there, Joseph immersed himself in Reagan’s legacy. His latest project is a biopic of Reagan.

Joseph said God’s hand also guided him into fixing a stubborn piece of equipment just minutes before an important presentation to investors.

“I believe prayer changes circumstances,” he said.

Joseph spent much of his time talking about using power in the service of others, describing how influence naturally follows power.

“Without power, there is little ability to influence,” he said, paraphrasing from the Bible.

Noting that “God shakes his head” at the selfish, Joseph said, “Power, influence and money are not ends to themselves. They’re fleeting. They have to be used in the moment.”

Joseph urged the 430 or so guests at last week’s breakfast to patronize films that best reflect their own values. If enough people do so, he said, Hollywood would respond.

The Silicon Valley Prayer breakfast, in its 19th year, was founded by a group of Los Altos couples in 1995. Los Altos resident Skip Vaccarello, who hosted the event and served as master of ceremonies, is chairman of the Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast Leadership Team.

For more information, visit www.svpb.net.

Speakers at the annual Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast, from left, Jaida Im, Mark Joseph and Sanjay Poonen, shared how faith has profoundly influenced their lives and careers.

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