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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The big picture on our schools: Editorial

Now that our local public schools have closed for the summer, it’s the appropriate time to look at what we have had and continue to have: great schools.

We may already know that, but it’s easy to be distracted by the negativity out there that diverts from what’s actually happening in the classroom.

We get hit from all sides, locally, statewide and nationally. The facilities rift between Bullis Charter School and the Los Altos School District shifts our attention from the fact that the charter and district schools are among the best in the state, based on the latest test scores.

We get caught up in the politics of the intractability of the California Teachers Association over tenure, but if we focus on our local districts, our teachers are, overall, pretty darn good. Whether it’s the Los Altos School District or the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District, our local teachers are passionate and engaged in helping students learn.

Districts all over the state are dealing with tight budgets. But the struggles are not nearly as challenging for our elementary and high school districts. Both are basic aid districts, which means they receive funding based on property taxes from the surrounding community. They’re relatively well off because we are. And the districts collect millions more each year from their parent-run foundations and PTAs.

Of course, good school districts in turn benefit the community by attracting new residents who are consistently willing to pay top dollar for homes in the Los Altos area.

But what we should really take pride in – beyond budgets, test scores and property values – is how our children are being raised.

Success stories abound as local students look to make a difference in the world and seek to get involved with causes like helping those less fortunate. Some of that ambition and effort is attributable to strong families, but it also comes from the classroom. For example, Los Altos High School instructor Robert Freeman is teaching early lessons about philanthropy through his students’ efforts in One Dollar For Life, a nonprofit addressing poverty in Third World countries. Our school districts are prime breeding grounds for the next generation of leaders. Now that’s something we can all agree on.

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