Mon09222014

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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Small details, big picture

“My A is flat,” I whispered. “It’s OK, no one can hear you,” my friend whispered back to me. We play violin in a local orchestra. We were in rehearsal and it was bothering me that my A string was flat, but I couldn’t tune it because we were in the middle of the first movement of Beethoven’s 5th symphony. Da, da, da, DAAA!

Waking up this morning in a groggy fog after a late night, all I could think about was going over the passages I had missed because I was so intently focused on my out-of-tune string. Over a cup of tea, I could hear the words my friend said to me. Once the caffeine kicked in, I realized that she was right. I wasn’t the soloist, and I wasn’t carrying the melody. Obsessing over being slightly out of tune distracted me from the goals of rehearsal – to learn from mistakes early and to make decisions as we go.

In my “Aha!” moment, I couldn’t help but apply that same principle to the sometimes heated discussions I have been hearing in coffeehouses and reading in emails and newspapers.

There has been much debate lately about math in the school district. Some parents want a more rigorous math curriculum because they believe it will enhance the quality of their children’s education. Other parents argue that the curriculum is fine the way it is and that it affords children a quality of life without added academic stress at an earlier age. There is evidence to support both sides.

There is also debate over stay-at-home working moms vs. career working moms. Some people argue that having a parent at home provides a life for the family that cannot be matched with two parents working outside the home. Others believe that career working moms are good role models for their children and offer more opportunities for independence. There is evidence to support both sides.

Obviously, one size does not fit all, and there are two sides to every coin. But obsessing over the details of the choices we make, if we have the luxury of choice, can sometimes prevent the big picture from coming into view.

It’s easy to get caught up in the details of the here and now and lose sight of what we want for our children in the end – to be happy and comfortable. But at the end of the day, when the dust has settled and everyone is just fine, are we going to look back and say, “I’m glad I spent countless hours arguing over when my child took geometry and defending my status with respect to being a mom”? Or are we going to wish we had spent those hours knowing that those details weren’t going to make or break the quality of our children’s lives as adults because we were focused on what was working for our families?

Preoccupied by the flat notes coming from under my left ear, I missed out on aspects of the rehearsal that could shape my performance in the concert. The quality of an orchestra is only as good as its musicians, the director and the repertoire. It was up to me to make adjustments, to the best of my ability, for my particular situation.

As far as I know, life is not a rehearsal. But I know that with or without my violin, I will do my best, learn from myself and from others, make adjustments and be happy with my decisions, even if no one can hear me.

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