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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Traffic expert promotes roundabouts for Los Altos


Photo By: Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Traffic expert Michael Wallwork extols the safety benefits of roundabouts in Los Altos at a May 15 forum.

A traffic expert deems roadway roundabouts an ideal solution that demands a second look from skeptical Los Altos residents.

“Even a bad roundabout works,” said Michael Wallwork, a transportation engineer whose mission is to take the traffic-calming mechanism mainstream.

Since constructing Melbourne, Australia’s first roundabout in the 1970s, Wallwork has designed 800 roundabouts across the globe. He said roundabouts are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also much safer than signalized intersections. Melbourne’s 4,000 roundabouts recorded 57 accidents during a four-year study, while its 2,500 signalized intersections reported 1,352 accidents during a similar period.

Wallwork appeared at the Los Altos Forward-sponsored forum “Picture This: Roundabouts in Los Altos?” May 15, weighing in on a proposed roundabout at the convergence of San Antonio Road, Main Street and West Edith Avenue.

“It’s an expanse of asphalt,” he said of the current condition of the busy three-way intersection. “Each movement is working on a different phase, making waits long.”

Installing an elliptical roundabout at the intersection would benefit both pedestrians and motorists, according to Wallwork. Instead of waiting at a signal, he added, drivers could seamlessly merge into a traffic circle, yielding to pedestrians as they cross San Antonio to and from downtown to the civic center area.

Assistant City Manager James Walgren said the city has studied installing a roundabout as part of the Civic Center Master Plan, an effort to make the intersection “safer, more visual.”

Walgren emphasized that the redesign of the intersection could not only shorten the pedestrian link, but also allow the creation of a more appealing gateway entrance to downtown. Although further study by a traffic engineer, public review and council approval are still needed, he added, the vision for a roundabout is one that could come to fruition if the city secures project funding.

A recent proposal for a roundabout at the intersection of Fremont Avenue and Fallen Leaf Lane met with opposition from neighborhood residents.

“The concerns people have are the same in every community,” Wallwork said.

Because the roundabout concept is new to many U.S. cities, Wallwork said he frequently meets with residents to dispel misinformation about pedestrian and cycling safety as well as fire truck and emergency personnel navigation through traffic circles. With pre-project education, he said, proposals move forward 90 percent of the time.

When a roundabout is well designed, safety and operations improve immediately, according to Wallwork. Although the initial expense for a roundabout may be higher than stop signs or traffic signals, he added, the reduction in accidents and fatalities justifies the cost.

“It’s up to the people whether they move forward or give up,” Wallwork said of roundabouts in Los Altos.

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