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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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The clean slate: Haugh About That?

Well trained from the moment my chubby legs could scramble up the bathroom sink to peer into the overhead mirror, I remained faithful to my mother’s schooling: “A woman never leaves the house without her face on.”

At 4 years old, this seemed like a strange concept. Did she peel it off at night, only to glue it back on in the morning? Being the eternal snoop, I determined to find out.

Spying on her every move throughout the day, her beauty captivated me. Unlike the other mommies who kept their hair in pink sponge curlers and wore stained, frumpy housecoats, my mom was stunning with her flaming auburn hair, sparkling blue eyes and lush cherry lips.

Then one day I caught her – au naturel.

“Yikes! Where did my pretty mommy go?” I wanted to cry. The vision before me was a dark, hollowed-eyed, frizzy-haired replica of the Bride of Frankenstein. No wonder she needed her face on.

But that moment of fear went deeper than worrying she had become some zombie from a horror film. My internal unraveling ignited from the terror that one day I’d look just like that.

So began a lifetime fascination with the artistic application of war paint. I applied it minimally in my teens but added thicker layers as time went on. Other than the dog and an unlucky few, no one has seen the real me in years, until recently.

“Jackie, I challenge you to go one day without any makeup,” my friend Libby Ackley dared.

Libby wasn’t pretending to be one of those mean girls in my youth who wanted a good laugh at my expense. Instead, we were on a journey exploring our innermost connection with our Creator this past Lent.

“Think how Christ suffered for us,” she said. “Maybe we should try to repay the favor by doing something out of our comfort zones for Him.”

How silly, I thought at first. If I were He, I’d prefer I kept the stuff on. But never saying no to a dare, I took the challenge.

One morning, after scrubbing my face clean, I stood before the magnifying mirror where I created my daily transformation. Staring at the bare image, I was horrified to see how my skin had aged from just the day before. But knowing this contest would mean nothing if I stayed indoors, I ventured out to test the reaction from the general public.

Initially, I found myself looking down as shoppers moved by in the grocery store. Gradually lifting my face, I was finally at eye level and proceeded to act as if all were right with the world. I smiled at passersby, despite my mounting insecurity.

What I discovered that day was that nobody cared. No one ran away, and faces smiled back just as they always did at a welcoming gesture.

While difficult, I’ll forever be grateful for this experiment in sacrifice. This is not to say I’m going to stop exploring new colors on my eyes and lips. Heaven forbid! But it’s another reminder that when I embrace my basic divine nature in its complete and perfect form, without all the bells and whistles, I find a sense of freedom that breaks through my rigid, mental limitations.

Allowing this feeling of peace to permeate, I can then explode in color, just as spring does after a quiet winter of self-reflection – only this time it comes from a place of creativity, not from self-limiting beliefs. Going forward, I plan to let those go and get back to discovering the blank and perfect slate within.

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