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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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Foothill fondly remembers supporter Smithwick


Photo By: Bill Frankeberger/ Special to the Town Crier
Photo Bill Frankeberger/ Special To The Town Crier

Richard Henning, former Foothill dean, praises the late Dr. Robert Smithwick at Friday’s service.

Friends, family and longtime educators painted an inspiring portrait of Dr. Robert Smithwick during his memorial service Friday at the Foothill College theater named in his honor. Dr. Smithwick, who played a major role in the creation of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, died March 22 in his sleep. He was 92.

The Los Altos Hills resident, a strong advocate for higher education since the 1950s, opened the door to thousands of students who otherwise might not have attended college.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that Dr. Smithwick is the father of the Foothill-DeAnza Community College District,” said FHDA Chancellor Linda M. Thor. “He participated in the first conversations among area school district trustees and superintendents that led to the creation of an independent community college for our local communities.”

Dr. Smithwick nurtured the community college district to its nationally recognized success. The district is currently one of the largest in the U.S., providing credit classes for approximately 43,000 students each quarter.

By trade a dentist, Dr. Smithwick dedicated himself to ensuring greater access to higher education, said Richard Henning, former longtime Foothill dean and professor. His push for college opportunities for all came during a time when approximately 10 percent of high school graduates went on to college, Henning added.

Dr. Smithwick in July 1957 became chairman of the first elected board of trustees of what was then named the Foothill Junior College District. He continued his service on the board with distinction for more than three decades.

Beyond his accomplishments, Dr. Smithwick was known as a man who cared deeply about students and faculty members. Among those recalling his passion was Martha J. Kanter, former Foothill-De Anza chancellor and current U.S. Undersecretary of Education.

“Maybe it was his vision that everyone had the potential to succeed,” Kanter said. “Maybe it was his insistence that we could always do better. Maybe it was the gentle, soft-spoken way he asked those questions. And just maybe it was the transmission of the love of students and the love of learning – science, math, vocational programs and the arts – that inspired all of us to be the best we could be, to get our students to earn their certificates and degrees, to bring pride to their families and our Foothill-De Anza family. He went far beyond all of us here.”

Quiet by nature, Dr. Smithwick communicated often via the written word – especially when it came to doling out compliments.

“He wrote a lot of thank-you notes,” Henning said at the service. “If you did anything halfway decent or was recognized in the newspaper, you would get a complimentary note from him and often a clipping from the newspaper.”

Added Henning: “We can continue Bob’s presence on this earth into perpetuity by modeling ourselves after those virtures of commitment to the arts, to education and to ethical values. Day in day out, he lived these ideals.”

Dr. Smithwick was married for 60 years to his wife, Aileen, who died in 2002. He is survived by his children, Cathye and Michael Smithwick.

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