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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MVHS honors retiring music director


Photo By: Courtesy of Mary Feliz
Photo Courtesy Of Mary Feliz

After 35 years as Mountain View High’s music director, Robin Kramer will retire this month. Current and former students and colleagues have scheduled a number of events in her honor.

Robin Kramer, Mountain View High School’s first female music director, plans to retire May 31 after more than three decades on the job. Alumni, current students, colleagues and co-workers have scheduled a series of events to honor her contributions to music, education and the community.

Kramer, who began her career at Mountain View High in 1978, founded the marching band, established the orchestral music program and built a department that today comprises 11 instrumental music classes.

The following three events are slated to mark Kramer’s retirement.

• Jazz Festival in the Quad, noon to 4 p.m. Saturday at Mountain View High, 3535 Truman Ave. Community and alumni musicians from Awalt and Mountain View high schools are invited to attend and play at 3 p.m. alongside current students under Kramer’s direction.

• Spring Instrumental Concert, 7 p.m. May 23 at Foothill College’s Smithwick Theatre, 12345 S. El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills. Awalt and Mountain View High alumni are invited to join current students in Mountain View High’s music department at the conclusion of the concert for an encore in Kramer’s honor. Admission is free. For more information, email Elaine Bernard at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

• Open House, 2-5 p.m. June 29 at the home of Janet and Bob Trabucco, 1300 Ranchita Drive, Los Altos. Alumni, colleagues and students are invited to celebrate Kramer’s retirement.

Many current and former students credit Kramer with inspiring them not only musically, but also in their personal and professional lives.

“Without music and Robin Kramer, I would have very likely dropped out of high school,” said Michael Feliz, Class of 2011, now a student at University of the Pacific double majoring in computer science and computer engineering. “Robin treats all her students like the adults and leaders she believes we will become. She gave us responsibilities and trust that taught us to be responsible and trustworthy.”

Twin brothers Dave and James Codeglia, Class of 1999, agreed. Now working at Bad Robot Productions and their own production company, Ghostlight, the filmmakers said the skills they learned from Kramer are essential to their work.

“Combining music and visuals requires an understanding of rhythm, phrasing and theory, all of which we learned at Mountain View High School with Robin,” they said. “But Robin’s real strength isn’t just teaching, it’s in the warm and loving atmosphere she creates in her classroom. She truly changed our lives, and we wouldn’t be surprised if she saved the lives of more than a few students over the years.”

Eleanor Gerrior, a sophomore at Mountain View High, plays three instruments in three different bands and credits her interest in music to a preschool field trip to Kramer’s classroom in 2001, when she was allowed to conduct the high school’s Wind Ensemble.

“Robin always makes me feel good about myself and about music,” Gerrior said.

Kramer’s admirers extend beyond her students. She frequently receives kudos from parents, neighbors, colleagues and the community at large. In March, the Wind Ensemble received Command Performance recognition at the Pacific Rim Music Festival and performed at the historical Hawaii Theater in Honolulu. Two other Mountain View High music ensembles, the Chamber Orchestra led by Jason Kneebone and the A Cappella Choir led by Jill Denny, received similar recognition.

The Disney American Teacher Award for Performing Arts in 1992 is among the many professional awards Kramer has earned during her tenure.

For more information, email Mary Feliz, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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