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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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All-in Eagles find success in first year : Los Altos leads league


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Los Altos High’s Ian McColl, right, and Nathan Smith go up for the block against Cupertino last week. The Eagles won the match.

The Los Altos High boys volleyball team may lack experience, but the Eagles don’t have commitment issues.

Team members played a major role in the formation of the first-year program, raising funds after administrators told them there was no money in the athletic budget for the sport. And they train at 6 a.m. because the badminton and gymnastics teams occupy the gym after school.

“They didn’t like it at first, but they’re getting used to it,” coach Dave Radford said of the predawn practices. “They’re always there.”

That dedication seems to have served Los Altos well in its inaugural season. With two regular-season matches remaining, the Eagles find themselves atop the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino Division standings at 10-2.

If Los Altos wins tonight at Saratoga (5-5 league) and Friday at home against Fremont (8-3), the team is assured the division title and a berth in the Central Coast Section playoffs.

Did Radford ever imagine the upstart Eagles (10-6 overall) would be in such a position?

“I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “But after the preseason, I sat down with each player and told them where they fit in and asked them what their goals were, and they all said their goal was to win league – that’s been the mindset.”

Not even a slow start deterred Los Altos. The Eagles dropped four of their first five matches, but only one was within the division.

“The guys knew more about the league than I did,” Radford said. “They were confident that when we got into league, we’d face challenges but still be victorious in most of our matches.”

Both of Los Altos’ league losses went five games. The Eagles avenged the loss to Cupertino – sweeping the Pioneers last week – and hope to pay back Fremont Friday in a match that may decide the league champ.

“It’s going to come down to will and who makes more smart plays and the least amount of mistakes,” Radford said.

The coach tries to reduce his team’s mistakes by stressing volleyball IQ and noted that his players are getting smarter by the match.

“They’ve gone from elementary kids to seniors in college as far as learning the game,” Radford said.

Perhaps no player has improved more than senior middle blocker Ian McColl.

“He’s woken up the last five or six matches,” Radford said prior to last week’s home win over Cupertino, in which the 6-foot-4 McColl notched 13 kills. “He’s seeing everything in front of him.”

Radford praised assistant coach David Moore for his work with McColl and fellow senior Spencer Simonides, a 6-8 middle blocker who’s also playing tennis for Los Altos this spring.

The Eagles are not only imposing in the middle but can do damage on the outside as well. Opposite hitter Alex Blackburn, a senior, tops the team in kills and outside hitter David Stien is second. Stien, a freshman, recorded a team-high 15 kills against Cupertino April 24. “He’s done great,” Radford said.

Another ninth-grader, setter Nathan Smith, has surpassed 500 assists.

“He’s running the offense with flying colors,” Radford said. “I couldn’t have asked for more from a freshman – or a senior.”

Three seniors not previously mentioned have contributed to the cause as well – outside hitter John Dai and defensive stalwarts Mathias McAfee and Paul Bergevin. The coach said Dai has racked up 74 kills (despite missing four weeks with an injury), libero McAfee “has become our defensive guru” (team-best 241 digs) and Bergevin has “lit up the back row” in limited action.

In honor of Senior Night, Los Altos created a theme for Friday’s finale against Fremont (6:45 p.m. start). Titled “Stash Bash,” the players are trying to grow mustaches for the occasion and may hand out paper ones to fans, according to Radford, who said his facial hair will be “in full bloom.”

For more photos of the Los Altos High School boys volleyball team, click here.

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