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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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Letters to the Editor

Consider conflicts when casting votes

While the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees has been tasked with deciding how other district schools should be run, the entire point of a charter is to allow Bullis Charter School administrators to make those decisions for themselves.

Now the district board has gone too far – officials are continuing to lock out teachers and students from the Blach Intermediate School campus, at this writing eight days before the start of school.

They refuse to hand over the keys until Bullis Charter School bows to their will and ideology by allowing only a few grades to have access to the campus and further preventing half of those grades access to outside areas while they are there for recess, lunch or PE.

As a parent volunteer for many years at Bullis Charter School, I have gotten used to making lemonade out of the lemons the Los Altos School District board has given us.

The two-campus situation was a big fat lemon. The solution of rotating grades for focused learning sessions was one of best glasses of lemonade we’ve made. But it seems to have infuriated the district board to the point of irrationality.

It shows the true, sad and ugly agenda of the district trustees that they would lock out children and teachers. Please remember what these officials have done the next time you are asked to elect a representative to the Los Altos School District board.

Christine DiBona

Los Altos

Trail route could threaten serenity

The Town Crier insinuated recently that we in south Los Altos who gathered at the Bay Area’s Stevens Creek Trail meeting were rude to loudly oppose the trail running down a quiet street in our neighborhood.

Our frustration comes because of a threat to our way of life. (I guess it’s not rude to completely alter other people’s lives.) This call for south Los Altos to embrace a large thorn in our lives made me wonder how the outsiders promoting it would like those loud voices outside their bedroom windows. Add the sound of bicycles, lots of voices, dogs barking and throw in a bit of litter. Want that 24/7? Probably not. And neither do we.

Whether we relocated here recently or have lived here 59 years, as I have, we all moved here for the quiet, low-key feel.

What scares me about this intrusion is the lack of caring that comes from the moneyed and powerful Stevens Creek Trail backers. Our feelings and lives are insignificant to “the cause.”

So it’s too damn bad if we’re loud about not wanting a well-traveled trail 20 feet from our beds. Don’t like the noise we make? Imagine having that noise 24/7 where you live.

I am hoping we can keep public places in public places.

Beverly Caballero

Los Altos

Vote Yes on A, then enjoy library

I admit it. I’ve come to take for granted the kind of library we have in Los Altos.

When I hear about Measure A and am reminded that a parcel tax that’s been in place for 20 years is up for renewal, it really is a wake-up call: I need to abandon my complacency long enough to return my mail-in ballot – with my Yes vote for Measure A – so that I can go back to relaxing about the library to which I’ve become so accustomed.

For 20 years, we’ve gotten used to the convenient hours, the enhanced collections and the expertise of a library system that derives its strength from countywide experience and responsibility for exceptional (and award-winning) library services.

Yes, I like the library we’ve got and I wince at the thought that we might have to adjust our expectations because Measure A did not pass. Won’t you join me? Please vote Yes on Measure A.

Bob Simon

Los Altos

Zimmerman column contains errors

I was frustrated by the factual errors and unsubstantiated comments in Grace Acosta’s column regarding the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case (“Neither guilty nor innocent,” July 24).

Acosta proclaimed Zimmerman to be “far from innocent” despite a jury’s decision to the contrary. This after she admitted that she “didn’t follow the Zimmerman trial carefully.”

More disturbing is the blatant misinformation in her column. She wrote, “For example, the Stand Your Ground law is something worth rethinking, considering the consequences of not obligating people to walk away from violence when a legitimate opportunity to do so exists.”

That statement is absolutely false. In late June, I completed four handgun classes in Florida taught by law enforcement officers and state-licensed instructors. The curriculum included an extensive discussion of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

Firing on an attacker is a last resort when no apparent means, including fleeing from an assailant, exist to avoid potential death or great bodily harm. Stand Your Ground is not the “blast away” permission implied by Acosta.

There are many other facets and nuances to this complicated, polarizing case involving the unfortunate death of a young man, and some details may never be known.

What is known is that misinformation distorts civil discussion and makes common ground among sensible people harder to find.

John Gordon

Los Altos

Parking problem isn’t solved yet

Ted and Jerry Sorensen’s “Other Voices” column was so self-serving that it was sickening (“Three solutions for improving downtown parking,” Aug. 7).

They say that there’s no parking problem right now. The implication is to let their (unmentioned) project go forward without building adequate parking, and maybe others without building any parking.

With this thinking, there soon will be a problem, which they, as offered in other forums, suggest be solved by bulldozing the trees and small shrubs in our existing parking plazas so that they can be re-striped into narrower slots.

Because of the curves of these lanes in our plazas, this will make it even harder to park and perform ingress/egress from our cars. Even this would be a short-term solution, especially if the Los Altos City Council permits more construction in the plazas themselves.

Naturally, the Sorensens don’t suggest a parking garage, which would be very expensive for them and other downtown businesses as well as taxpayers. Ultimately, a parking garage will be necessary.

My suggestion is for the city council not to approve any more projects without adequate parking. Also, pick a site now for a future garage and protect it so that when the time comes, we are not left with a site without any access to any street whatsoever – i.e., don’t let the city council box us into a corner.

Paul Brooks

Los Altos

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