Fri09192014

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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City of Los Altos debuts new website


City Of Los Altos screenshot
The city of Los Altos introduced a revamped website Friday that includes a plethora of additional features and capabilities.

The city of Los Altos unveiled a new website Friday that city officials say will boost their ability to disseminate information to the public.

The new website’s debut comes after nearly a year of research and development that involved every department in the city, according to City Manager Marcia Somers.

Somers noted that the new site includes an emphasis on user-friendly features – such as the ability for users to more easily access content and keep abreast of city events. She added that the website, initially unveiled in beta form at an Aug. 13 Los Altos City Council study session, “provides the flavor and feel of what Los Altos is all about.”

The city’s process in developing the new site included the use of focus groups to gather specific feedback on the website’s aesthetics – including the home-page design – as well as various other aspects. Somers said the city also examined several other municipalities’ websites to gain a better understanding of the content and features needed for the new Los Altos site.

“We probably looked at over 100 websites from other cities to see what worked for them,” said Somers, who added that the new site now allows each city department to manage its own content, versus the centralized internal process previously required.

“It’s one of those things you want to get right the first time,” she continued.

Among a host of new features on the website is an interactive map that pinpoints the locations of current city projects and outlines various details, such as project descriptions, costs and timelines. The site also includes another new feature – a directory that lists the email address and direct phone number of each city staff member.

In addition, Somers noted that residents would be able to submit maintenance service requests and police reports as well as file traffic complaints online. Residents can stay informed about city events by signing up for email notifications – which Somers called “essential” in the city’s ability to communicate about upcoming events “in a more timely manner.”

“It also reduces the staff’s time in terms of, ‘Who needed this, and who needed that?’” Somers said. “That’s something we were doing manually before.”

Somers said the site will continue other features, such as posting the agendas, minutes and audio and video recordings of city council and some commission meetings.

To access the new site, visit losaltosca.gov.

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