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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Letters to the Editor

Former BCS supporter frustrated with lawsuits

This letter is to Bullis Charter School. I used to be one of your supporters. As a parent whose child didn’t fit the Los Altos School District system, I was frustrated that there were no alternative/magnet schools and no Independent Study programs. I watched more than just my child slip through the system. So I felt the charter school brought value to our community by offering another option.

But my support has waned. The district is growing rapidly and can’t afford to give up a campus. It is not unreasonable to ask charter students to attend middle school on a different campus. Our district students do that. The district’s offerings have seemed fair, so it is frustrating to watch the charter school counter everything with a lawsuit. That is wasted money!

I’m glad you’re surveying the community. I think you’ll find that past supporters are no longer standing behind you. The costs of the charter school are outweighing the benefits. I’m not saying we don’t need a charter school, because we definitely need alternatives! But we don’t need any more lawsuits. I hope you’ll reconsider the constant courtroom battles. There’s too much damage being done – to our education system and to this community.

Anna Durante

Los Altos

BCS can help build trust

I am hoping to collaborate with Bullis Charter School parents to find and fund new school sites to accommodate the growth of both the Los Altos School District and charter school populations.

Unfortunately, I feel defensive. Bullis Charter School is aggressively marketing to grow as large as possible while they litigate nonstop, forcing the district to spend resources defending themselves instead of on initiatives to improve its schools.

My perception is that the charter school’s ultimate goal may be to close down a local school(s), which would not only affect my children’s education, but as importantly my neighborhood’s entire social fabric. Local schools are not just about the classroom, but seeing the same friends at school as at your neighborhood every-other-Friday block parties, group trips for spring break, etc.

As a district parent, I’d have more trust that charter school officials are really compromising if they stop suing and state explicitly that they would not close a neighborhood school. With this in hand, I am ready to work with Bullis Charter School parents to find and fund new school sites together.

Mike Capuano

Los Altos

Los Altos: Don’t ignore teen market

As a teen, it has come to my attention that downtown Los Altos is a charming, unique place that has many boutiques and little stores that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else in the Bay Area.

Many people from urban places like to come to our town to shop simply because it has more individualistic stores with products you won’t see every day. However, to teens and young adults, having an entire town of boutiques can sometimes be less interesting.

I don’t think I can ever remember a single person my age wanting to go downtown to shop for clothing; the only thing we teens come downtown to do is walk around and eat. I know that about 20 years ago, Los Altos decided it didn’t want any chain or big mall stores to have shops downtown. I agree it is fun to have some stores you have never heard of, but in a way this decision to cut off all chain stores has backfired.

Right now, I would say that the only group they are appealing to is mothers and older women, because the small stores around town have more mature clothing.

I think that if Los Altos really wants to stick to its idea of being a small town, it can let in a few popular stores and still keep it that way. I mean, would it really hurt to have one Hollister Co. store at the edge of town? It doesn’t seem like that would ruin the charming feeling of Los Altos.

If the town continues to stay the same as 20 years ago, everyone from ages 11 to 25 will just become increasingly uninterested and keep going to places in Palo Alto and to big malls like Valley Fair in San Jose.

If there were one or two popular teenage stores in town, it would not only attract more business, but would most likely be extremely well attended.

There is a huge market for teens in Los Altos and I know from personal experience that I don’t get to go to the stores that I like very often because my mom doesn’t want to drive me all the way to San Jose.

Even if the town agreed to let in, at most, three chain stores, I think it would make a huge difference.

Pretending that what customers want is the same as 20 years ago won’t work, but compromising while keeping town values at the top of the list could make Los Altos a more sought-after spot for any age group.

Katie Jo Shuman

Los Altos Hills

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