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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Friendly rivals expect to vie for 3rd at CCS

Los Altos and Mountain View highs are fierce rivals in many sports, but not gymnastics.

The Eagles and Spartans train together at Los Altos under coach Shannon Thoke, who said, “The teams get along well.”

Well enough that when Mountain View edged Los Altos at the third meet of the season, the Eagles reacted with joy rather than disappointment.

“Los Altos was very happy Mountain View won,” Thoke said, “and Mountain View was very surprised (to win).”

That’s because the Spartans had never won a gymnastics meet. This is the first year Mountain View has had enough gymnasts (four) to compete as a team. And that April 15 win – in which the Spartans earned a score of 141.30, Los Altos a 140.30 and Mercy a 132.40 – marked the first time they had all four gymnasts competing at the same meet.

Elaine Silverman led Mountain View by posting an all-around score of 37.20, good enough for second place.

The freshman finished first on the uneven bars (9.60), second on the vault (9.20) and third on the balance beam (9.30).

“She should be competing for the top spot in CCS,” Thoke said. “She’s placed first or second (all-around) in every meet.”

Putting Silverman and another talented freshman, Elizabeth Murray, on a team that already included senior standout Emilia Mancilla – who qualified for the Central Coast Section championships as an individual last year – makes the Spartans a contender, according to Thoke.

“Elaine has a tremendous amount of skills, Emilia scores very highly, too, and Elizabeth is quite good – especially on beam,” the coach said. “They have a lot of talent on the team and should be just as competitive as Los Altos.”

While the Spartans may have more skill, Thoke noted the Eagles have the advantage when it comes to depth. Los Altos has eight gymnasts on varsity.

“Los Altos is deeper, but not all the girls compete in every event,” she said. “The Mountain View girls must do all of them (to produce a team score).”

The Eagles, who won their opening meet of the season against Half Moon Bay and Mountain View last month, have seven former club gymnasts on the roster. That includes senior captain Kelli Yamaguma, who placed eighth at CCS last year.

“She’s great all-around,” said Thoke, who added that Yamaguma’s best events are bars and beam.

Freshman Megan Schmiesing has flourished on floor, according to the coach, while senior Erin Woolley has made a strong comeback after missing the past two seasons due to injury.

“Erin has been solid all around,” Thoke said.

Emma Orner – who placed 14th at CCS last year – is on the comeback trail as well. Thoke said the junior missed the first two meets of the season with a back injury.

“I hope she can handle it the rest of the year,” the coach said. “I doubt she will compete all-around, but we hope she can do beam and bars.”

The Eagles and Spartans have two meets remaining before the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League South Division Finals, scheduled 5 p.m. May 8 at Los Altos. The CCS meet follows, slated 4:30 p.m. May 15 at Twisters Sports Center in Mountain View.

Both teams have already qualified for the CCS meet (which takes a score of at least 128), at which 13-time defending champ St. Francis is seen as the favorite. The three squads squared off Friday, with the Lancers producing a score of 148.85 to convincingly beat the host Eagles (140) and Spartans (139).

St. Francis gymnasts occupied the top three spots in the all-around: Abby Purnell (37.55), Melissa Seaman (37.45) and Tessa Divita (37.30). Mountain View’s Silverman (36.60) placed fourth.

Although Thoke conceded that St. Francis is “the team to beat” at CCS – with Lowell a close second – she is confident the Eagles and Spartans will be in medal contention.

“Both teams have a very good chance at third,” she said. “Los Altos and Mountain View are very even.”

The Eagles may be even better a year from now. Thoke believes the JV squad – led by junior Estefani Gomez – has a legitimate shot at winning the league title this season.

“A couple of the girls have the skills to move up (to varsity),” she said. “And there are three girls at Los Altos who didn’t join the team who were top-level gymnasts (in club) that we hope will join us next year.”

The Eagles’ and Spartans’ next meet is scheduled 6 p.m. Friday at Gymtowne in Moss Beach against Cupertino and Half Moon Bay.

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