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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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New neighborhood program promotes emergency preparedness in Los Altos


Photo By: Town Crier File Photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo Los Altos Hills Community Emergency Response Teams train to respond to emergencies until professional agencies can arrive. Los Altos PREPARE hopes to bring Los Altos up to speed.

If the power fizzles, mobile networks die or families face separation in the aftermath of a natural disaster or emergency, one local advocate wants Los Altos residents to be prepared to bounce back by creating resilient neighborhood networks that function with or without the assistance of emergency responders.

“It’s not if it happens, but when,” said Los Altos resident Sherie Dodsworth, certified public accountant and entrepreneur, of her efforts to develop stronger neighborhood networks to communicate with the city and first responders when an emergency strikes.

Working hand-in-hand with the city and organizations like the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce, neighborhood watch groups, amateur radio operators and local Boy Scout troops, Dods-worth launched a new initiative to build the networks last fall.

Motivated in part by concerns for her elderly neighbors, who would face major challenges during an emergency, Dodsworth crafted the framework for Los Altos PREPARE – a Los Altos Community Foundation-supported program that engages residents in emergency preparedness planning, outreach and education.

“Our goal is not just preparedness, but also safety by incorporating neighborhood watch and social media,” she said. “The more we know each other over a cup of coffee, the better our community will be.”

To rally volunteers for the initiative and spark community interest, Los Altos PREPARE has scheduled a free Intro to the Personal Emergency Preparedness program 3-4 p.m. April 18 in the Los Altos City Council Chambers, 1 N. San Antonio Road. In addition to a one-hour presentation by Santa Clara County Emergency Services coordinators George Hurst and Mike Sanders, participants can learn about opportunities to organize their families and neighborhoods in the wake of an emergency.

Bringing the city up to speed

Without a dedicated budget for engaging the community in emergency preparedness, the city of Los Altos lags behind some neighboring cities, according to Dodsworth.

Although Los Altos, through annual trainings and drills, trains its police, fire and public works personnel to operate an Emergency Operations Center (EOC), there is currently no coordinated plan for how individual neighborhoods should communicate with the EOC during an emergency.

The Los Altos Recreation Department began offering a free Personal Emergency Preparedness (PEP) class three years ago, but Dodsworth notes that only a small number of residents have participated. Six people registered for February’s PEP class that had the capacity for 25, and Dodworth said the class she attended drew just 10 participants.

In comparison, more than 1,000 Los Altos Hills residents have trained in Personal Emergency Preparedness or are certified as members of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Dodsworth wants Los Altos PREPARE to lead the charge in creating a grassroots neighborhood network that can make Los Altos “better and stronger.”

In addition to ensuring that every neighborhood in Los Altos is emergency-ready, Los Altos PREPARE will cooperate with the city to improve preparedness information available to residents through the city’s website and continue to encourage enrollment in PEP and CERT classes.

For residents unable to attend the Los Altos PREPARE launch, the Recreation Department is registering participants for April 20 and May 11 PEP classes at losaltosrecreation.org/current-brochure.html.

To volunteer or for more information on Los Altos PREPARE, call 888-2610, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit losaltoscf.org/losaltosprepare.

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