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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Letters to the Editor

Robinson’s story inspires reader

Amid recent articles about bank robbers, scam artists and the continued vitriol in the Bullis Charter School vs. Los Altos School District debate, a heroine emerged who deserves commendation.

Thank you for the inspiring story about a courageous woman, Sarah Robinson (“Rare cancer turns local resident into passionate advocate,” Aug. 14), who is facing a life-or-death struggle with a rare cancer and yet somehow finds the time and energy to help others. This is the spirit that deserves coverage and that inspires us as a community.

Sarah, I wish you permanent remission and many, many years ahead of you to continue your selfless path. You are incredible.

Amy Kull

Los Altos

The Makery a hit with local residents

What a wonderful surprise to walk into the colorful Makery on State Street.

Primary colors of every imaginable craft material are found on the shelves: fabric, yarn, threads, tissue paper, stamps, pre-packaged kits, how-to books and even more. Classes are promised in the near future.

We went in separately and both agreed that we could have spent much more time looking around and getting inspired. Such an exciting addition to State Street. The Makery is sure to become a Peninsula destination.

Barbara Mordo

Los Altos and Lois Adams

Cupertino

BCS lockout furthers LASD political agenda

When you think of the word “teacher,” what are the first things that to come to mind? Most would say: “students,” “schools,” “books,” “learning,” “role model,” “mentor” and a long litany of other positive labels.

One does not think of words such as “shut out,” “ligation,” “fear tactics,” “lack of equitable facilities,” “political agendas,” “deprivation of a civil right.”

Growing up, schools were the safe zone of a community, not a battlefield.

When I decided to go into teaching, the last thing I had ever envisioned for a teacher or a student was being locked out of a school that is ready to open its doors in just eight days. I think about the looks on their faces when I have to tell them that the people who were entrusted by the community with the duty to protect their citizens’ rights to an equitable education have failed them, and failed them miserably.

What message is the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees sending to public school students in the community by locking them and their teachers out of our campus, in order to further their own political agenda?

Jenny Cheng, teacher

Bullis Charter School

Lockout distressing for BCS parents, staff

My child attends Bullis Charter School in Los Altos. I am writing because we need your help. Our teachers have been locked out of their rooms at Blach Intermediate School by the top administration of the Los Altos School District. This is causing unnecessary stress on our staff and parents, who are all aware of what is going on. It is my understanding that district officials are withholding the keys from our staff in order to force our board to sign a faulty lease agreement.

Charter schools were created to promote innovation in education. The innovation at Bullis Charter School has been tremendous. Bullis has thrived despite ongoing battles with the school district and is currently the top-performing charter school in California.

Please help us encourage district officials to treat our staff and children fairly by allowing our teachers into their rooms.

Melissa Nolan

Los Altos

Speed-limit increase poses safety threat

I am concerned about the proposed speed-limit increase on Cuesta Drive between El Monte Avenue and Springer Road.

How does this proposed increase square with the long-term plan to “calm” traffic on a residential street? Raising the speed limit seems like it would be counterproductive to the city’s long-term plan.

How does raising the speed limit increase pedestrian and bicyclist safety? We have many children who bike and walk to the rear entrance to Covington School. Increasing speed limits around a school entrance should be discouraged. A crosswalk should be added on Cuesta at Arboleda Drive.

According to the Los Altos Police, most of the cars on Cuesta in the morning and afternoon hours are commuters taking a shortcut from Interstate 280 to Grant Road/State Route 237. Commuters should be taking Foothill Expressway, as it was designed.

I suggest a “No Right Turn” zone from El Monte to Cuesta during the morning commute hours, and the same in reverse (“No Left Turn” from Cuesta to El Monte) for the afternoon hours.

The truck traffic on Cuesta has increased lately. I believe this is illegal, as they are above the weight limit permitted on a residential street. Police presence needs to be increased to enforce the law.

I encourage the city to implement the City of Los Altos 2011 Collector Traffic Calming Plan for Cuesta. These traffic-calming measures would bring down the speeds on Cuesta, thus eliminating the need to raise the speed limit.

Susan Evard

Los Altos

License plate scanners prompt privacy concerns

The article “Police roll out license plate scanner” (Town Crier, Aug. 7)) should cause Los Altos residents significant concern.

The Los Altos Police Department would be well advised to refuse this “gift” from the Department of Homeland Security immediately. Individual privacy is only one of many issues that implementing automatic anonymous license plate scanning and database tracking of same in Los Altos raises. Few of the benefits of such a practice are positive for Los Altos, the people who live here or anyone else.

Quotes in the article from Los Altos Police Chief Tuck Younis and Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office are so incomplete and (especially) naive as to be laughable.

Maybe I missed it, but did this issue come before the Los Altos City Council? It really should get exposure in open public discussion.

License plate tracking is a much bigger deal than just adding another piece of “free” electronics to a patrol car whilst claiming officer involvement won’t be necessary.

The city council needs to think this through and involve the public.

Bob Perdriau

Los Altos

In search of Good Samaritan

About three weeks ago, my heart caused me to fall in my front yard. Trisha, my daughter-in-law, saw me on the ground and came out to take care of me.

A young man on a bicycle stopped by and asked what he could do to help. Trisha told him to get the neighbor in the house across the street. He did that, and the neighbor came out and called 911. The young man then took off on his bicycle – unfortunately, without leaving a calling card.

I would very much like to know who the young man was, as I’d like to thank him personally for his kindness and help. I hope he reads the Town Crier and will respond to my request.

Barbara Emerich

Los Altos

Parking problem isn’t solved yet

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

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.

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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