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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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Brain doctor brings heaven down to earth after near-death experience

A small crowd huddled closely around Eben Alexander, M.D., before his recent lecture at Sofia University in Palo Alto, hanging on his every word.

It was not surprising given that this is a man whose extraordinary near-death experience just four years ago has given him insights about which most people are more than anxious to hear.

His message was clear and simple: You don’t have to go to heaven – to die or even nearly die – to gain the kind of life-transforming perspective that will change your life for the better here and now.

For Alexander, a neurosurgeon and author of the New York Times best-seller “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife” (Simon & Schuster, 2012), the most lasting takeaways from the week he spent in a coma were: You are loved. You have nothing to fear. There is nothing you can do wrong.

This was pretty heady stuff, especially for a doctor who had always assumed that the brain – an organ that, in Alexander’s case, had completely shut down due to a rare meningitis infection – was the source of consciousness.

“Pull the plug and the TV goes dead,” he thought.

But if this were true, then where did these ideas come from? What do they mean? Are they of any practical value?

Alexander characterizes these and other inspirations as a “direct extension” of divine consciousness itself – an assurance of “the true spiritual self that all of us are destined someday to recover,” an all-encompassing message from God that he said flooded him with “a vast and crazy sensation of relief.”

In other words, heaven – a place perhaps akin to what 19th-century religious reformer Mary Baker Eddy once described as “not a locality, but a divine state of Mind.”

So how does the average Joe tune into these kinds of heavenly bulletins?

“You must do the work,” Alexander said. “At the end of the day, we each have to go deep into our own consciousness, through prayer or meditation, to access these truths.”

Alexander’s talk ended with perhaps the most important insight of them all: the unshakable conviction that “we are all deeply loved and cherished forever.”

In the moment of silence that followed, there was a sense that the good doctor’s message was not just heard but already having an effect on those who came looking for just such an assurance – a little slice of heaven, if you will, here on earth.

Eric Nelson, a Los Altos resident, serves as media and legislative spokesman for Christian Science in Northern California. The First Church of Christ Scientist is located at 401 University Ave., Los Altos, and the public Reading Room at 60 Main St. For more information, visit cschurchlosaltos.

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