Mon09222014

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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Busy intersection raises safety concerns


Photo By: Town Crier File Photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo

Students line up to cross Foothill Expressway at Edith Avenue, a busy intersection that parents deem dangerous.

Navigating the intersection where Edith and University avenues converge near Foothill Expressway can be dangerous, according to some local parents who said they would rather buckle their children in the car than let them walk or ride their bikes a few blocks to Gardner Bullis School, Egan Junior High or Bullis Charter School.

“The crossing at Edith and University makes us very nervous as parents, and we always seem to be at the mercy of drivers who need to look for us and slow down,” said Steve Thomas, father of a Gardner Bullis School student.

Thomas, fellow parents and members of the Los Altos Hills Education Committee shared their concerns at the May 20 Los Altos Hills City Council meeting. Unsafe conditions created by blind free right turns to and from Foothill Expressway and Edith Avenue, as well as the abrupt end to the Safe Routes to School pathway at the border of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, topped the list of fears outlined by Education Committee Chairwoman Heather Rose.

“In some places, the visibility is very poor,” Rose noted, “so a car going at expressway speeds turns right onto West Edith as there is no stop and (drivers) cannot see students who are crossing at University, First Street or Foothill.”

The council took no action at the meeting after Los Altos Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw canceled a scheduled presentation, leaving Los Altos Hills advocates unsure of their next steps.

Who’s responsible?

Because the city of Los Altos and Santa Clara County each own portions of the intersection, major modifications would require a cooperative project.

The city of Los Altos stationed a crossing guard at the intersection in 2008, but city officials eliminated the position shortly thereafter when the volume of activity did not appear to warrant the coverage.

Although members of the Los Altos Hills Education Committee claim that more student commuters walk and bike through the intersection in 2013 than in 2008, a recent campaign advocating the hiring of a crossing guard failed.

When the Lincoln Park/Foothill Bike-to-School Group formed eight months ago, members met with Los Altos School District representatives to argue their case.

District Board of Trustees President Doug Smith said the district discussed the formal request for a crossing guard but eventually rejected the plea because “there weren’t enough students using the route to justify a crossing guard.”

Data collected over several days of the 2012-2013 school year recorded an average of 22 people commuting to school through the intersection daily. According to the California Manual on Uniformed Traffic Control Devices – the guide used to evaluate the need for crossing guards at particular locations – at least 40 school pedestrians must use an intersection daily to justify the need for a crossing guard.

Smith deemed the current situation “a chicken-and-egg problem.”

“Without a crossing guard, fewer parents are willing to let their children walk or bike to school via that route,” he said.

Taking matters into their own hands

Some local residents have taken unaddressed safety concerns into their own hands. Lucy Mangas and other parents have served as volunteer crossing guards during the morning commute since September.

Parents have noted an uptick in the number of students commuting on foot and via bicycle to Gardner Bullis School from Los Altos Avenue since the completion of Los Altos Hills’ $1.08 million Safe Routes to Schools project – a multiuse pathway along West Fremont Road between Concepcion Road and West Edith Avenue.

Although frustrated by the lack of a crossing guard, parents said they plan to continue their efforts to improve safety at the busy intersection.

“We fully support anything the cities can do in order to make these intersections safer and easier for our children to navigate,” Thomas said. “We know that a car can be taken off the road every morning if this intersection is improved.”

The Los Altos Hills Education Committee is scheduled to discuss safe routes for students commuting to school 7 p.m. today at town hall, 26379 W. Fremont Ave.

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