Thu09182014

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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Hurdle remains for project on Third Street

A downtown mixed-use project looks to be one step away from final approval by the city.

The Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) Aug. 15 unanimously approved six of seven outstanding conditions for developer David Luedtke’s three-story condominium and office space project at 86 Third St.

The move comes after the Los Altos City Council unanimously voted in May to send the project back to the PTC for further review and approval, citing concerns that included the building’s parking management and below-market-rate (BMR) units. Prior to the council’s May review, the PTC in April recommended approval of the project – which calls for 20 condos and 5,500 square feet of first-floor office space.

Reached by the Town Crier, Los Altos Senior Planner Zach Dahl said the remaining hurdle is the building’s exterior look, noting that some PTC members weren’t “comfortable” with the materials proposed for the commercial side of the building.

“They basically requested a different material than the (scraped) limestone for that side of the building,” said Dahl, who added that Luedtke’s team is reviewing the use of other materials and is tentatively slated to return to the PTC in October.

Exterior aesthetics aside, the project met six other specific conditions outlined by the council – including a request to upgrade one two-bedroom BMR unit into a three-bedroom dwelling.

“I think they get great kudos for the affordable housing. … They went above and beyond in a way that’s extraordinary,” Commissioner Phoebe Bressack said, noting the building’s BMR offerings of a two-bedroom, one-bathroom unit and a three-bedroom, two-bathroom condo on the building’s ground floor.

In addition, the PTC approved a parking management plan that includes opening the building’s underground parking garage during business hours to those patronizing its offices. Other approved conditions included a plan to prewire 11 underground parking spaces for the future installation of electric-vehicle charging stations and a master sign program for the building.

Although the project remains in the city approval pipeline, Dahl said Luedtke has remained patient and willing to make adjustments throughout the process.

“He’s been very receptive to the changes,” Dahl said of the developer.

Prior to casting his vote in favor of the six conditions – as well as a separate vote in favor of continuing the PTC’s exterior materials review – Commissioner Jon Baer noted that he and his colleagues aimed to create the best project possible for the city and the developer.

“When you’re a chef and you make something bad, you eat your mistakes,” Baer said. “But when you build a building that doesn’t work, there’s not much you can do about it.”

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