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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Veteran TV broadcaster Belva Davis shares uphill climb with Rotarians


Photo By: Steve Pomeroy/Special to the Town Crier
Photo Steve Pomeroy/Special To The Town Crier

Belva Davis addresses a crowd at a Rotary Club of Los Altos meeting May 30.

Award-winning journalist Belva Davis addressed members of the Rotary Club of Los Altos May 30, sharing how she overcame tremendous odds growing up in Louisiana to become the first female African-American TV reporter on the West Coast.

Davis’ memoir, “Never in My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman’s Life in Journalism” (Berrett-Koehler, 2012), describes in detail her tumultuous youth as the child of a 15-year-old mother in the segregated South, shuffled among seven families who could offer only temporary space.

One of her uncles sued Armour Meat Packing Co. after an industrial accident ended his ability to work, an unheard-of challenge at that time for an African-American. Her family moved West when she was 8 years old to an overcrowded project in Oakland, with 11 people sharing a two-bedroom apartment.

Despite the difficulties, the family’s move to California was “the best thing that ever happened to me,” Davis said, because she attended Berkeley High School and became the first in her family to graduate.

Davis learned at an early age to stand up for herself, particularly when racism and sexism reared their heads. As early as third grade, when her new teacher “corrected” her given name of Belvagene to Belva Jean, Davis insisted on using her proper name. Such challenges encouraged her to advocate for herself. She learned how to “get along” through such experiences, she said, not through any anger-management courses.

After working her way up to become a disc jockey at KSAN radio, Davis realized she wanted to be a journalist at the 1964 Republican Convention at the Cow Palace, when she and another African-American journalist were jeered out of the venue with racial slurs and thrown garbage. It was scary, she said, but when she witnessed other news people reporting their outrage, she decided she wanted to be like them.

She began writing for Jet magazine, and then the Bay Area Independent newspaper in Oakland. During the turbulent political demonstrations of the 1960s, Davis found ways to advance the causes of equality and black pride, including producing the Miss Bronze Northern California Beauty Pageant.

As the first female African-American journalist to cover many landmark stories, she interviewed Linus Pauling and reported on such high-profile events as the birth of the Black Panthers, the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk and the beginning of the AIDS epidemic.

Over the next two decades, Davis made a name for herself as she worked through the ranks as news anchor at KPIX-TV, KQED Public Television 9 and KRON-TV and as host of KQED’s “This Week in Northern California.” After a career that spanned nearly 50 years, she retired last November.

Davis said that during a speech she gave for Korean journalists, she encouraged them, “Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality.” One of the Koreans responded, “Me and my friends, we don’t dream anymore.”

Her goal in writing “Never in My Wildest Dreams,” Davis said, was to shine a light on the everyday injustices that many African-Americans rose above and to inspire all people to strive to achieve their dreams.

Marlene Cowan is a member of the Rotary Club of Los Altos. For more information, visit www.losaltosrotary.org.

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