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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Boston Marathon survivor recalls remarkable story


Photo By: Timotius Tjahjadi/ Special to the Town Crier
Photo Timotius Tjahjadi/ Special To The Town Crier

John Ortberg, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church senior pastor, discusses the Boston Marathon bombings with church member Amanda North.

Menlo Park Presbyterian Church member Amanda North said the infamous Boston Marathon bombings changed her life forever.

In an interview-style format with Senior Pastor John Ortberg, North spoke to the church congregation June 16 about her unforgettable experience nearly two months earlier. The Silicon Valley marketing tech executive and Woodside resident was near the finish line at the April 15 event to cheer on her 20-year-old daughter, Lili. It was a beautiful day, and North had just received word that Lili was approximately a mile away.

“Moments later, there was a deafening explosion. Clouds of smoke billowed out, and I was blown off my feet,” North said.

At first, she thought it was a camera explosion. Then, after the second bomb blast, she thought, “We’re under attack. … Things just changed in a heartbeat.”

North said she looked next to her and saw a woman with the side of her leg “completely open and gaping.”

That was 29-year-old Erika Brannock, a suburban Baltimore preschool teacher who had lost a portion of one leg and broken the other. Brannock told CNN reporters that when she was down on the ground after the blast, “I had a conversation in my head with God, and I told him I wasn’t ready to go.”

Almost instantaneously, Brannock said, North crawled over to her, and said, “I’m not going to let you go.”

North said she felt a presence inside guiding her.

“I felt calm, I felt focused,” she said. “I thought, ‘I can hold her hands and I can talk to her and I can try to get her to focus on me’” until medical help arrived.

Once she returned to California, North said she prayed daily for Brannock, whose contact information she had neglected to request. Shortly afterward, North was informed that CNN was searching for her, as the network was trying to reconnect the two women.

North has become a local celebrity of sorts, with interviews on CNN with Anderson Cooper and with the New York Daily News and the San Jose Mercury News. She said she has received hundreds of emails and LinkedIn and Facebook messages, lauding the impact of kindness from strangers.

The impact of that day has been far-reaching for North, who decided to leave the tech world after 30 years.

“The marathon (incident) suggested to me (that there’s) no point in waiting,” she said.

After North bid farewell to her high-tech job, she became the first social entrepreneur in residence at Santa Clara University, where she plans to use her professional experience to help artisans in developing countries.

The night after the bombings, North’s daughter told her that they had been spared for a purpose.

“I believe I was spared to do something – I can’t ignore that,” North said after the Menlo Presbyterian service.

Menlo Park Presbyterian Church averages approximately 6,000 attendees per weekend. The church has 270 members and 1,744 attendees from 998 families from Los Altos.

For more information, visit www.mppc.org.

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