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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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Denial for all the wrong reasons: Editorial

It’s a given that no one likes traffic and noise. So it seems logical that a request by two schools at Union Presbyterian Church to expand enrollment by 20 students would increase traffic and noise around its location at 858 University Ave., right?

Not so fast. A traffic analysis conducted by Los Altos city staff reported virtually no difference in traffic if the schools’ enrollment were capped at 120 students rather than the current 100. In addition, several improvements have been made in the two years since the Los Altos City Council last denied the 120-limit request, including striping along University to help manage auto traffic and the schools’ commitment to carpooling and staggering their opening and closing times to reduce congestion.

But despite recommendations for approval from city staff and the Planning and Traffic Commission, the council last week once again denied an amendment to the church’s current use permit to allow a maximum of 120 students.

We believe that the majority of the council was wrong to reject the increase (Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw and Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins voted in favor of it), for what came down to a dismissal of the traffic study and a refusal to acknowledge that factors beyond the schools were adding to traffic and noise in the neighborhood.

Councilwoman Val Carpenter was particularly out of line in one of her reasons for denying the request, claiming that the schools have too few students residing in Los Altos. Her provincial rationale failed to account for the church itself, which has been in Los Altos more than 100 years and has a long history of contributing to the community.

Carpenter suggested that the 600-student Bullis Charter School could occupy the 6-acre site instead, should the church’s schools be forced to move to another location. At least, she reasoned, the traffic and noise would come from more local residents. Hmm. Would residents somehow tolerate noise and traffic from 480 additional students, knowing the students are from Los Altos families?

Union Presbyterian Church has been a good neighbor. The church needs the revenue the schools generate, among its facility rental sources, to maintain its mission. It’s clear that a 20-student increase wouldn’t impact traffic, but rejecting the increase could hurt the schools and ultimately the church. Sorry, council, but your priorities are all out of whack. Your denial is a slap in the face to a longtime friend.

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