Fri09192014

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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Coyote sightings prompt warning to residents


Photo By: Courtesy of California Department of FisH & Wildlife
Photo Courtesy Of California Department Of Fish &Amp Wildlife

Police caution residents after reports of coyote sightings near Los Altos High.

A local animal services official warns Los Altos residents to keep a watchful eye on their small pets this summer because coyotes are lurking.

Connie Urbanski, interim superintendent of the city of Palo Alto’s Animal Services Division, told the Town Crier that a handful of recent coyote sightings, plus the discovery of two deceased cats in late May, raised concern about the welfare of small household pets in the area. Urbanski’s agency provides animal services to Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

She noted that while coyote sightings in Los Altos are not uncommon – given the city’s close proximity to hill country – the spring and summer often bring more of them to the area. That’s because it’s the time of year when juvenile coyotes learn to fend for themselves and discover new food sources.

“This has been a very prolific year for wildlife,” said Urbanski, pointing to underlying factors such as a shorter rainy season. “The young being taken care of by mama are now going out and learning to hunt and care for themselves.”

Urbanski’s words of caution came after Los Altos Police received multiple reports of coyotes spotted in residential neighborhoods, including one sighting on Alicia Way – near Los Altos High School – prompting a May 30 appeal to the public to keep domesticated cats indoors.

Urbanski said the coyotes in question are simply acting as nature intended by seeking an accessible food source. Small pets could be at risk, particularly from dusk until dawn when coyotes are typically most active.

“Even small dogs could become prey … anything small that’s vulnerable,” she said.

Urbanski added that it’s not uncommon to see a coyote in residential areas like Alicia Way, noting that nearby dry creekbeds act as “a freeway” for the animals.

“They can get to a lot of places using the creeks, especially now that they’re drier,” she said. “That’s a normal routine for them.”

Resident’s tale

Los Altos resident Diane Heckman knows all too well about the dangers coyotes can pose to household pets.

Heckman suspects a coyote ventured into her neighborhood through the Permanente Creek bed at Heritage Oaks Park on Mc- Kenzie Avenue May 29. Heckman said her 11-year-old Tabby cat, Hobbs, went outside at 4:30 a.m. and was found dead less than two hours later by a neighbor.

“I had no idea there were coyotes running around in Los Altos,” said Heckman, whose veterinarian confirmed that her cat was likely the victim of a coyote attack. “It’s not disturbing to me, but it’s just odd to me for it to happen in a suburban area. … I don’t think I would’ve let (Hobbs) out if I had know there were coyotes.”

Heckman added that her family’s other cat, Suzie, has mostly remained indoors since Hobbs was killed.

“She’s a prisoner right now,” Heckman quipped.

Urbanski listed several steps residents can take to discourage coyotes from seeking suburban sustenance. Her advice:

• Don’t leave pet food outside.

• Secure garbage cans with a bungee cord.

• Don’t leave small pets outside from dusk to dawn.

• Lock all cat and dog doors from dusk to dawn.

• Go outside with pets when they do their “business.”

“If people do these kinds of things, the coyotes will go back to the hills and hunt for other food sources, like squirrels,” Urbanski said.

She added that although coyotes are not a threat to people “at this time,” residents should not approach them. Injured coyotes or those with a litter of pups are typically more protective and aggressive when confronted, according to Urbanski. Residents who spot a coyote are advised to contact their local police department immediately to seek assistance from animal services.

“We haven’t seen (aggressive behavior toward humans), but I don’t want to take that possibility out of the picture,” Urbanski said. “There should be no situation where a member of the public should try to interact with them.”

To report a coyote sighting or incident, contact Los Altos Police at 947-2770.

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