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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Firefighter's green thumb produces stations lush garden


Laura Tang/Special to the Town Crier
Mike Robbins of the Mountain View Fire Department grows vegetables and fruit trees in the garden at Station No. 1 on Shoreline Boulevard.

When Mike Robbins was stationed at Mountain View Fire Department Station No. 1 at 251 S. Shoreline Blvd., he spotted an overgrown patch of weeds behind the firehouse and saw an opportunity to transform it into a flourishing garden.

His project has since attracted the attention of the surrounding community. The public is invited to take a walking garden tour 11:15 a.m. Saturday, starting from the Mountain View Public Library to Station No. 1.

Robbins cultivated his love of gardening from an early age.

“I helped my family garden in our yard not just as a hobby, but as part of the household,” he said. “Being part of that experience really helped me to grow, and when I had some time at the station, I started doing more of it.”

His green thumb carried over to his job at the station, where he constructed three 18-foot-by-4-foot beds.

New gardens have been sprouting in the other four Mountain View stations, where he and his co-workers cook meals with the fresh, seasonal produce.

“Initially, people were apprehensive, but when they saw the garden’s tangible effects, they became interested,” Robbins said.

Robbins attributes his success to techniques he learned from Love Apple Farms’ classes in Santa Cruz.

“Soften the soil deeper than you expect the roots to grow,” he said. “When roots aren’t prohibited, they can expand and pull in more nutrients, and you end up with productive growth.”

Another successful technique is growing flowers to attract bees that can increase plant pollination.

“I’ve created a self-sufficient ecosystem out of my garden and it has made a world of difference,” Robbins said.

Today, his garden thrives and people from around the community contribute. Robbins said he and his co-workers form a close-knit group, and the garden has become an important part of their home.

Saturday’s tour begins in the lobby of the library, 585 Franklin St. The walk to Station No. 1 will take approximately 10 minutes. To register, call 903-6337 or visit goo.gl/Li9Lo.

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