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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Local resident MacVicar intensifies effort to support returning veterans


Photo By:
MacVicar

Los Altos resident Duncan MacVicar, a West Point graduate who served in Vietnam, has supported veterans’ and their causes for years. Following his retirement from the high-tech industry, MacVicar has advocated on behalf of veterans in areas ranging from counseling to lobbying legislators.

“I was in the process of retiring from a high-tech career, and it was an easy decision for me to devote my time to veterans’ issues as much as possible,” MacVicar said.

Many of today’s returning veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, which can lead to impaired memory, language difficulties and psychiatric disorders resulting from head injuries suffered on and off the battlefield.

A supporter of court-supervised therapy in lieu of jail sentences for mentally ill veterans, MacVicar lobbied for an amendment to state law that allows for treatment rather than jail. The bill passed unanimously and was signed into law in 2011.

“Today, mental issues are two to three times greater than those for Vietnam veterans – and Vietnam was bad,” MacVicar said. “More soldiers are surviving due to better body armor and equipment, and the ratio of wounded to killed is higher today than in Vietnam. Traumatic brain injury is a signature mood of these conflicts.”

According to MacVicar, damage from the use of improvised explosive devices in the long-running conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, coupled with multiple tours of duty, have caused service members major psychological and neurological trauma.

In addition to the physical and mental challenges they confront, once veterans return from deployment and re-enter civilian life, another difficulty awaits: finding employment. Many vets enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces directly out of high school. And while serving their country, few vets are able to accumulate college credits or vocational skills to help in the challenging job market.

MacVicar volunteers at Foothill College’s Veterans Resource Center, a nonprofit organization attempting to address veterans’ job prospects. MacVicar holds workshops at the center, which offers career counseling and academic support for vets returning to college. The Rotary Club of Los Altos donated funds to purchase each veteran at the center a Smartpen, a ballpoint pen with an embedded computer that records a class instructor’s voice and synchronizes the lecture with notes that users write in a designated notebook. A form of assistive technology, the Smartpen is especially helpful to those suffering from PTSD.

MacVicar is a longtime volunteer for a variety of local agencies, including the Methodist Church, the American Cancer Society, El Camino Hospital, the Craigs- list Foundation, the Career Action Center and the Community Services Agency, which last year honored him as a “Hometown Hero.” He co-founded the North County Homeless Housing Coalition and the California Veterans Legal Task Force.

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