Sat09202014

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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St. Francis celebrates first CCS baseball title since 2001


Photo By: Town Crier file photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo St. Francis High senior Michael Strem contributed on the mound and at the plate during the Central Coast Section playoffs.

The St. Francis High baseball team has a lot to celebrate at today’s season-ending party. More than a week ago, the Lancers won their first Central Coast Section championship in 12 years and the first under head coach Mike Oakland.

“It should be a lot of fun,” said Oakland, who just completed his seventh season at St. Francis.

Michael Strem, whose pitching and hitting played a big part in the Lancers’ postseason success, seemed just as eager to reunite with his teammates to commemorate a year that ended with a 10-0 rout of Serra in the CCS Division I final.

“I’m going to miss all those guys for sure,” said Strem, one of 13 seniors on the squad. “We had such great chemistry, combined with talent, all year long. Even when we were down, we fought back. That was huge.”

The Lancers built such a huge lead against league rival Serra in the May 25 title game that it ended early on the 10-run mercy rule. St. Francis scored twice in the fourth inning, added five runs in the fifth and three in the sixth to finish off the Padres at San Jose’s Municipal Stadium.

Although Strem said he “felt confident” the Lancers (30-4 overall) would hit well in the final, he never imagined the game would be so one-sided. The teams split their two West Catholic Athletic League contests.

“I thought it was going to be a pitchers’ duel,” Strem said. “But we jumped on them early, and John had some of the best stuff I’ve seen him throw.”

That would be starting pitcher John Gavin. The lefthander surrendered just one hit and had a perfect game going until the fifth.

Yet Gavin’s complete-game effort, which included eight strikeouts, was only the second-best performance by a St. Francis pitcher during the playoffs. Strem pitched a perfect game – the first in school history – in the Lancers’ opening-round win over Monta Vista.

Each pitcher won two CCS games, with junior Gavin never allowing a run and Strem surrendering three.

For the season, Gavin notched 90 strikeouts and posted a 1.28 ERA, while Strem fanned 79 batters and had a 1.31 ERA.

“We tried to outdo each other every week,” Strem said. “He’d get a shutout and I’d try to match him, and vice-versa.”

This marked Strem’s first season as a varsity pitcher; he primarily played the infield as a sophomore and junior.

“I knew he could pitch – we just didn’t need him – but I didn’t think he’d be this dominant,” Oakland said. “He was phenomenal in CCS – he was lights out on the mound and did a great job at the plate.”

The Boston College-bound Strem recorded five hits and six RBIs in the postseason. Two of these hits came in the final.

Strem was among three starters who batted above .400 this season (along with Chris Baker and Champi Lucca); five Lancers hit at least .300 (Mark Cardinalli, Tyler Deason, Austin Guibor, Kort Peterson and Hunter Simmons).

While stats are nice, Oakland noted that St. Francis’ intangibles were just as important to the team’s winning ways.

“The chemistry was as good as it’s ever been,” the coach said. “They were the most focused and hardest-working group I’ve had in high school or college.”

Five team members are Los Altos residents: Lucca, Matt Bell, Brent Jarvis, Patrick McMullen and Casey Douglas. All of them played Los Altos-Mountain View PONY Baseball.

– Joe Schram contributed to this report

For more photos of the St. Francis High School baseball team, click here.

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