Thu09182014

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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Ideas, but no decisions on First Street mailboxes


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council is debating whether to relocate the city’s drive-thru mailboxes.

A new home remains elusive for the five U.S. Postal Service drive-thru collection boxes currently housed on First Street.

The city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission (BPAC) last week opted against offering a recommendation on where to relocate four of the five mail-drop boxes after some members said they lacked adequate information to move forward.

“Fundamentally, I think we need more information,” said BPAC Chairwoman Suzanne Ambiel. “I don’t think we can make a recommendation tonight.”

The action, or lack thereof, comes after the Los Altos City Council directed BPAC in late June to recommend alternative downtown spots for the boxes, which receive nearly 2,000 pieces of outgoing mail daily at the drive-thru location on First Street. A city staff report recommended relocating the boxes to a pair of downtown locations: two boxes at the end of a driveway in Parking Plaza 2 near Second Street and two at the end of a driveway in Parking Plaza 3 behind Chase Bank.

At the time, Los Altos Public Works Director Jim Gustafson said the mail receptacles required relocation as a safety measure to avoid potential incidents among vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists on First Street.

While BPAC members came up short on a recommendation, they offered suggestions on possible locations for the mailboxes during the July 24 discussion.

Commissioner Jim Fenton noted that he “was not a fan” of the current recommendations for plazas 2 and 3.

Commissioner Karl Danz agreed that none of the suggested plaza locations “seem workable.”

Fenton said he was “intrigued” by the idea of placing the boxes near the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce building on University Avenue.

“It just seems like there’s room there that we don’t have in the downtown triangle,” he said.

Some members mentioned a cutout parking area on Edith Avenue, near its shared intersection with San Antonio Road, as a potential location.

Ambiel cautioned that locating drive-thru mailboxes there could increase the potential for conflicts between cars and cyclists – particularly students riding to school. Members discussed other locations, including the drive-thru bank lanes at Bank of the West on Main Street and alternate locations within Plaza 3, such as one near the exit to San Antonio Road.

Finally, the need to relocate the mailboxes at all was questioned. Planning and Transportation Commissioner Jon Baer, speaking on his own behalf, told BPAC commissioners that the First Street drop-off location has worked for decades and offers better visibility to motorists and nonmotorized traffic than other sites.

“Where they are right now is a pretty damn good place,” Baer said.

Danz concurred, telling his colleagues that the boxes’ current location may indeed be the most viable spot in the downtown triangle.

“I’m pretty disposed to leaving them where they are now,” he said.

Reached by the Town Crier, Los Altos Transportation and Project Manager Cedric Novenario said the impetus for relocating the boxes is to situate them closer to the downtown U.S. Postal Service at 221 Main St. He added that city staff will review some of the locations suggested by BPAC and report additional information to the commission in August.

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