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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Fallen Leaf neighbors want to be left alone: Other Voices

The Stevens Creek Trail has become a touchy subject among many South Los Altos property owners.

A 2008 feasibility study determined that the best route for continuing the trail from Mountain View was via Fremont Avenue to Grant Road and Foothill Expressway. Somehow this has morphed into a possible route down Fallen Leaf Lane. It sounds innocent until you discover that one of the city’s options is to use the easement (approximately 9 feet) for sidewalks and bike lanes from each side of the street.

The city easement contains tall oak, redwood and pine trees that were planted decades ago. Rose bushes, flowers, irrigation and more have been lovingly maintained and improved to enhance the rural look of the neighborhood. Can you imagine your easement turned into a sidewalk?

Sidewalks? Whoa there, city officials! The founders of Los Altos wanted to keep the rural feel of the town. Mind you, when my family moved into our current home on Fallen Leaf Lane in January 1960, there was an orchard across the street, Fremont had no median, there was a railroad track where Foothill Expressway is and we rode cardboard sleds on the summer oat grass down the hill from the top of Arboretum Driven to the bottom, where Interstate 280 is now.

Fast forward to the meeting at Grant Park June 18. I stopped to ask an elderly couple if they needed help with their walkers. “No, thank you, we can manage. We had to come – how could the city do this?” was their reply. These are stewards of yesteryear and their successors, the young families with the same mindset that were drawn to this neighborhood because it is not a cookie-cutter master plan of tract homes, sidewalks and bright streetlights.

At the meeting, Los Altos City Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins said the proposed 60-foot widening for sidewalks and bike lanes on Fallen Leaf Lane was no longer under consideration. However, green-painted bike lanes, narrowed intersections with sidewalks and plantings and other designs are still under consideration – just to accommodate thousands of cyclists and pedestrians who would potentially use the trail.

I spoke with a Sunnyvale resident after the meeting and asked what Sunnyvale residents thought of the trail. After several promptings, he admitted that even though they have sidewalks, they don’t want bike lanes or the loss of street parking.

From the proposal for a roundabout at Fallen Leaf Lane and Fremont Avenue to the Stevens Creek Trail, the city’s lack of timely communication with residents begs the questions: What has happened to the Los Altos we fell in love with? Doesn’t our beleaguered neighborhood deserve a break?

Bonnie Osborne is a Fallen Leaf Lane resident.

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