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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Climate plan outlines greenhouse gas reduction measures

The city has released for public review a Draft Climate Action Plan that proposes a strategy for reducing Los Altos’ greenhouse gas emissions by at least 15 percent by 2020.

The draft results from the Los Altos City Council’s March approval of a minimum provisional greenhouse gas reduction target of 15 percent below the city’s 2005 level of 182,830 metric tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent (MTCO2e). The 45-day public review period closes Friday.

Reached by the Town Crier, Los Altos Senior Planner Zach Dahl said the action plan aims to fall in line with State Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act. The bill, passed in 2006, establishes a statewide goal of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 to 1990 emission levels. Dahl added that while compliance with AB 32 is not a requirement for local jurisdictions like Los Altos, it’s important for the city to remain ahead of the curve. He noted that one-fourth to one-third of all California cities already have a Climate Action Plan in place.

“There are a lot of jurisdictions around the state doing this, so while we’re not necessarily leading the pack, we’re being proactive,” Dahl said, adding that the city could essentially achieve that goal with a 15 percent reduction of its 2005 level. “That is roughly equivalent to the 1990 level (of 155,410 MTCO2e).”

The report outlines reduction measures in five subcategories – transportation, energy, resource conservation, green community and municipal operations – and could actually achieve as much as a 17 percent deduction if approved in full by the Los Altos City Council.

“Some of these (measures) obviously have a bigger impact than others,” Dahl said, pointing specifically to traffic-calming measures, as well as developing and implementing the city’s Pedestrian Master Plan and Bicycle Transportation Plan. “Those three will be the bulk of how we’ll reduce emissions.”

Dahl views the Climate Action Plan as more than just a guiding document to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. If implemented, he said, it could also enable Los Altos residents to enjoy “a better overall living experience.”

Certification of the action plan opens the door for the city to receive state grant dollars, which could potentially offset a significant portion of the $2.2 million estimated for projects outlined in the city’s Bicycle Transportation Plan. Future construction projects will be subject to a more “streamlined” environmental review process.

The Draft Climate Action Plan is available on the city’s website, and residents can submit written comments until 5 p.m. Friday.

The Environmental Commission reviewed the plan at its Aug. 12 meeting. It will also be the topic of a follow-up public meeting slated 7 p.m. Sept. 9 in the council chambers, 1 N. San Antonio Road.

The city council has tentatively scheduled a public meeting to consider the plan 7 p.m. Sept. 24 in the council chambers.

For more information, visit ci.los-altos.ca.us.

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