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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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Voters renew annual library district tax


Town Crier File Photo
Voters last week approved renewal of a $33.66 annual tax for the Santa Clara County Library District, which includes the Los Altos main, left, and Woodland libraries.

A mail-in ballot measure to renew a Santa Clara County Library District tax overwhelmingly passed last week. Needing two-thirds approval, Measure A received 81 percent of the vote.

More than 48,000 residents in 267 precincts within the library district voted in favor of the renewal Aug. 27, which extends for 20 years an annual $33.66 tax per single-family home. Specific voting results for Los Altos and Los Altos Hills were not available by the Town Crier’s press deadline.

In late June, the Los Altos City Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution supporting the measure, five days after a similar symbolic vote – also unanimous – by the Los Altos Hills City Council.

“(The vote) shows that all the people who use the library system throughout the county appreciate what we have,” said Los Altos City Councilwoman Jan Pepper, the council’s representative on the library district’s Joint Powers Authority Board.

Los Altos librarian Jane Cronkhite added that the favorable vote was a crucial step in the library district’s ability to maintain its level of service.

“I think we have excellent services at the library, and I’m just happy we’ll have them for another 20 years,” Cronkhite said. “I’m just really grateful to the community.”

Cronkhite delivered a presentation to the city council in June outlining the effects on the district library system if the measure failed to meet its two-thirds benchmark for renewal. Among other things, Cronkhite noted at that time, some libraries would have been forced to reduce staff and hours of operation, while also facing the possibility of eliminating the district’s book mobile and youth reading programs.

In addition, Cronkhite said at the time, all Measure A tax dollars raised within a particular city are “returned for the benefit and operation of the local library in that city.”

Locally, Cronkhite added, the loss of Measure A funding would have eliminated offerings like the library’s summer reading program, which had more than 1,000 participants – children and adults – this year.

“Those are the types of things that keep people reading and keep families reading together,” she said, noting that the annual tax funds approximately 18 percent of the library district’s annual budget.

Los Altos Library Commissioner Darwin Poulos, also a member of Friends of the Library of Los Altos and Community, told the Town Crier that the library group was confident the measure would pass the test with Los Altos and Los Altos Hills voters.

“There was no genuine concern at all about Los Altos and Los Altos Hills – we knew (local voters) would pass this,” he said. “Our concern was with some of the other communities in the district, who maybe saw this as another tax. That’s why it was important to stress to voters that this was just a renewal.”

Pepper concluded that the vote showed that residents consider the library system a boon for their communities, noting that “it’s great that we get to maintain what we have here.”

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