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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BCS, LASD dispute split-campus option in court

Lawyers representing Bullis Charter School and the Los Altos School District met in Santa Clara County Superior Court last week to determine whether a split-campus option for the charter school conforms to the intent of state law regarding facilities.

The parties presented arguments related to the district’s 2013-2014 facilities’ offer for the charter school to Judge Mark Pierce, newly assigned to the ongoing controversy.

John Lemmo, attorney for the charter school, contended that the district failed to fulfill its facilities obligation as defined by law. He stated that the law includes a “contiguous site” requirement that the school district must begin its facilities allocation process under the premise that it will provide Bullis Charter School with a single site or adjacent sites and adjust other factors if possible to achieve that result – even if it requires disruption to district programs.

“The Los Altos School District has the discretion to decide how to adjust its facilities in order to provide a contiguous (and reasonably equivalent) site to Bullis Charter School, but it does not have the discretion to decide it prefers not to provide a contiguous site,” Lemmo said.

The charter school’s argument focused on a ministerial duty – which has a prescribed procedure under which it must be accomplished. Lemmo contended that the district did not follow the correct way to allocate facilities, resulting in the split-campus offer.

The district’s counterargument focused on the district’s right to a discretionary duty – which affords the district latitude in determining facilities allocation.

“The district believes that we do have the discretion in how we balance the needs of all students,” said Doug Smith, president of the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees.

Pierce, who did not file a tentative ruling, said he would take the case under submission and file a ruling soon, because there is follow-up litigation between the two parties. He shared his unofficial opinion with the two parties, who have been embroiled in litigation for eight years.

“I find it really disconcerting that so much money is being spent on litigation when the money should be going to the kids and education,” Pierce said. “I think you can all work together. We need to funnel this money into what it is really important, and that is educating the kids.”

The judge added that while he cannot order the two parties to enter into mediation, he highly suggests trying to solve the matter via mediation.

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