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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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Hidden Villa delivers local harvest to downtown Los Altos Farmers Market


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier A Hidden Villa farm worker tills the soil last week. The 600-acre organic farm offers produce from its gardens at the downtown Los Altos Farmers’ Market.

Although residential development replaced most local farm plots and apricot groves decades ago, in one corner of Los Altos Hills, the art of farming persists.

At Hidden Villa, the 600-acre organic farm and nature preserve on Moody Road, farmers and volunteers are not only cultivating crops, but also sustaining a model agricultural community.

“We have a long, rich history in the organic movement,” said agricultural manager Jason Mc- Kenney of Hidden Villa’s roots in community-supported agriculture, established in 1994 when it was certified as Santa Clara County’s fourth organic farm. “We’re one of the most local sources (of farm crops).”

As many businesses and farms strive to expand, Hidden Villa maintains a local focus and invests in the community via donations and educational programs. All of its produce is picked up at the farm or delivered within 10 miles of the site, with 25 percent of the harvest donated to the Community Services Agency in Mountain View for distribution to local residents who may not otherwise be able to afford organic, farm-fresh foods.

Among Hidden Villa’s signature farm initiatives is its community-supported agriculture program, which has grown over the past 20 years. From mid-May to Thanksgiving, 130 members purchase shares of fresh vegetables and fruit delivered in round bushel baskets.

Hidden Villa’s program is unique in that everything found in the baskets is grown in Los Altos Hills. According to McKenney, the content of members’ baskets reflects the “seasonality of our microclimate” and provides a colorful “snapshot of the season.”

Just as the farm has grown to include more than 50 types of crops over the years, so has the popularity of Hidden Villa’s community-supported agriculture program. Only 17 shares remain available for 2013.

In addition to distributing its harvest to community-supported agriculture program members, the farm team hosts a booth at the Los Altos Farmers’ Market, scheduled 4-8 p.m. Thursdays through September on State Street in downtown Los Altos. Hidden Villa will sell salad greens, radishes, herbs, fresh eggs and pork at Thursday’s Farmers’ Market opening.

McKenney noted that Hidden Villa’s booth is easy to spot because of the long line of customers who queue early to ensure that they don’t miss out on the limited supply of fresh eggs and meat from the farm’s pasture-raised pigs and goats.

“It’s good stuff for the grill,” said Blair Thompson, animal husbandry manager, of the pork chops, cowboy steaks and breakfast sausage available for purchase. “It’s high-quality, healthful meat that has a lot of flavor.”

The Hidden Villa team said they anticipate a bountiful season, even if the dry winter presents challenges.

The farm team plans to offer locally adaptable and organic vegetable starts, flower starts and perennials at a plant sale 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at their greenhouse, located at 26870 Moody Road in Los Altos Hills. Members of the California Native Plant Society will be on hand selling plants.

For more information on Hidden Villa’s sustainable agriculture program, visit hiddenvilla.org/programs/sustainable-agriculture or stop by the Farmers’ Market booth.

For more photos of Hidden Villa, click here.

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