Wed09172014

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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Caltrans signals plan to modify Page Mill, I-280 interchanges


Photo By: Courtesy of CalTrans
Photo Courtesy Of Caltrans Caltrans deemed the intersections on Page Mill Road at Interstate 280 in Los Altos Hills a safety hazard and proposed new traffic lights and design modifications.

The four-way stops at Page Mill Road when exiting Interstate 280, particularly in the southbound direction toward Los Altos Hills, frustrate motorists – and, according to Caltrans, they’re dangerous.

Caltrans engineer Ramiel Gutierrez said the agency has initiated a project to mitigate accidents at the busy intersections.

“We have an accident history at both of these intersections, and they’re correctable by regulating movement by signal,” he said.

According to Gutierrez, the southbound intersection averages more than five accidents per 15-month period, qualifying for funding from the State Highway Operation and Protection Program and the Minor Program, which earmarks funds for traffic projects that address safety risks.

A preliminary proposal for traffic lights at the southbound and northbound ramps from Interstate 280 onto Page Mill and for traffic moving east and west on Page Mill, including ancillary sidewalks and crossing elements for pedestrians and cyclists, is projected to cost $3 million.

Because Caltrans owns the property at the interchanges, Los Altos Hills bears no financial obligation. Caltrans noted that project funding has yet to be allocated, and a study report and final engineering documents could take at least three years to complete.

Although the Los Altos Hills City Council’s consensus is that the intersection is dangerous, some councilmembers and the town’s planning commissioners expressed the need to solicit further community input before proceeding.

“This is going to affect about a third of town,” said Richard Partridge, chairman of the Los Altos Hills Planning Commission, of the six stoplights proposed and how little residents know about the plan. “I think (councilmembers) really have an obligation to let people know this is coming. … If you have people coming with pitchforks and torches, you know that you’ve stirred up a heart attack.”

After reviewing Caltrans’ initial plan April 4, planning commissioners shared their reservations with the council. They determined that the project was inconsistent with the town’s rural nature, could cause an increase in traffic and required deeper study before progressing.

Even if the council hosted a public hearing and ultimately objected to the changes, Gutierrez said there is little the town could do to stop the Caltrans improvements.

“We’re kind of on the hook ourselves to do something,” he said. “Now, obviously, if you write a letter and want to stop it, it could change the mechanisms a little bit.”

Gutierrez warned the council that it could be liable for accidents at the intersection if it stalls Caltrans’ efforts to improve safety.

Councilmembers said they want to take steps to ensure that the project doesn’t come as an unpleasant surprise to residents.

“We need to get a process in place,” said Councilman John Radford. “Then, no matter what happens, we can at least be assured that we got everyone involved (through a public hearing and committee review) ... so that we know we did thorough due diligence in a timely matter to complete the project.”

View the preliminary plans for the proposal here.

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