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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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Los Altos fowl festival: Tour de Coop returns for second year Sept. 14


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Tour de Coop will showcase Casey Carsten’s backyard chickens.

Approximately 1,000 people pedaled their way around the Los Altos area to meet the exuberant owners of backyard chickens during the inaugural 2012 Tour de Coop. This year’s event is shaping up to be even larger.

Scheduled 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 14, the Tour de Coop will showcase 34 chicken coops in neighborhoods on the Peninsula and in the South Bay, according to organizer Scott Vanderlip, a Los Altos Hills resident.

In addition to more backyard chicken-coop owners – and chickens – for participants to squawk about, the self-guided bicycle tour will include coop stops boasting beehives, cistern water systems, organic composting systems and backyard gardens.

After a successful launch last year, Vanderlip said expanding the tour to include different forms of urban homesteading seemed like a good complement.

“It’s amazing what you can do, how sustainable how you can be on a quarter-acre lot. … It doesn’t require acres of land to grow, to have coops and bees,” he said. “A lot of these should be pretty inspirational to other people.”

The 2013 Tour de Coop offers five routes for participants to cycle – ranging from family-friendly loops of 5-10 miles to a more challenging loop of 60 miles that runs from Menlo Park to San Jose. Although some coopsters may offer lemonade or baked goods for sale, Vanderlip encouraged participants to prepare accordingly for the ride.

Los Altos resident Casey Carsten said she is eager to share with tour participants how seamlessly her chicken coop and bees meld with her lifestyle.

A proponent of the quality, taste and appearance of fresh eggs, Carsten said she dreamed of owning chickens much of her life and finally made the leap to ownership after attending last year’s tour.

“I had this feeling that it would be always very messy and smelly,” she said. “But you just clean it up and compost and put it on the vegetable garden. … It’s a cycle. It’s kind of satisfying.”

Chicken ownership has been enlightening for Carsten and husband Jack, an avid gardener, who have discovered unexpected benefits.

Instead of ushering melon rinds, carrot tops and food trimmings down the garbage disposal or into the trash compactor, Carsten feeds them to her chickens. Her six hens deliver three to four eggs daily in shades of brown, green, blue and white, prompting wide eyes and smiles from her visiting grandchildren.

“It’s the first thing they do when they come over,” said Carsten, describing how her grandchildren flock to her coop to check on Tinkerbell and Batman – the names they gave two of the hens – and examine their nests for eggs. “They get so excited when they find them.”

For more information, visit tourdecoop.org.


Tour de Coop preview - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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