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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Don't wish it away: Haugh About That?

Like a 5-year-old waiting to dive into a sea of birthday presents, I watched out the window in overzealous anticipation for the arrival of my daughter Jenni.

Eight years ago, my second child decided to make a pit stop in San Diego on her way home from the University of Arizona. Instead of just visiting, she grew roots and became firmly planted there. Fortunately, she finally saw the light and decided to move back to be with the ones who love her most – namely, me.

Watching her pull into the driveway, I rushed to scoop her into my arms, swaddling her like when she was a newborn in her pink, fuzzy blanket. I was beyond elated to have her home – and then I saw her car.

“What is all that?” I asked with a slight tremor in my voice.

“Can you believe it? We were able to get all my stuff home!”

With her father’s help, sitting in my driveway were two Volkswagen Jettas crammed with what looked like an overflow of someone’s belongings from the TV show “Hoarders.”

I practically choked with the fear that comes from OPC (Other People’s Clutter). I had not envisioned every nook and cranny of my clean and highly organized home to be overtaken by her belongings. It took me six months to clear out my dad’s world from my garage. It was now starting all over again.

“Jenni, you can’t be serious.”

“Oh, Mom,” she said cheerily. “I’ll be moving out again in September. It’s only for three months.”

This was true. It was a temporary situation until she began her new job as a first-grade teacher at Oak Avenue School, but I found myself thinking that day couldn’t come soon enough. I knew my pack rat would return with a few steamer trunks, but I didn’t expect her to bring the entire Titanic.

Later that evening, exhausted from stacking boxes and finding shelves for her former life, I lay on my bed and stared at the ceiling as shame cultivated slow, hot tears to blanket my cheeks. I’d been beyond excited to have her come home. Why was I upset over a few personal items? Then I remembered a similar moment not long before.

I’m a creature of my own habits. I like order, knowing what to expect and when it will happen. As my dad tiptoed through his final transition, the days became painfully long. The dying process is a mystery, and I found myself dangling hopelessly on the end of a frayed tether, ashamed because I wanted it all over.

Knowing the minute he was gone that I’d want him back again, I decided to offer up a different prayer: “Please, God, don’t let me wish him away.” It was time for that prayer once again.

Realizing I’d been given a rare opportunity to have my adult child all to myself, without the interference of her other siblings, I made a vow.

Jenni, I promise I won’t become that nag you knew in your youth who barked over wet towels on the floor, dishes in the sink or shoes and empty water bottles scattered willy-nilly. I’ll close my eyes as I pass by your bedroom in the event a bomb goes off during the night while I’m sleeping, and I’ll lovingly fold the laundry you left piled on the floor. Our time together is short and I want to enjoy you. Soon you’ll leave and the house will be clean once again. And just like with your grandfather, I’ll wish I had you back here, mess and all.

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