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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Ready to turn over a new page : After 24 years in Palo Alto, bookstore


Elllie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The owners of Know Knew Books on California Avenue in Palo Alto are closing shop and relocating to State Street in Los Altos.

A longtime Palo Alto business recently found a new lease – in Los Altos and on life.

Know Knew Books and its variety of 40,000-50,000 used-book titles will soon call 366 State St. home after 24 years on California Avenue in Palo Alto. The store, co-owned by Bill Burruss and Cate Nelson, is slated to open its doors at the former site of Alabasta, The Flower Shop by early October.

Reached by the Town Crier, Nelson and Burruss said they chose to relocate to Los Altos after learning that a lease renewal on California Avenue included a significant increase in the store’s monthly rent.

The duo found their new location “after just walking around” in downtown Los Altos, Burruss said. During that brief visit, the business partners discovered a commercial district with more feet on the street than they originally anticipated.

“I wanted to go to a place where books were loved,” Burruss said. “When we got there, much to our surprise, we found Los Altos to be very active and receptive to us.”

That same day, Nelson called her soon-to-be new landlord and started cementing Know Knew Books’ relocation.

New chapter

Burruss conceded that the store’s lease in Los Altos wouldn’t have been possible as little as a year ago, if not for a new lease on his business’ life – courtesy of Nelson.

Just one month away from being forced to close for good because of financial hardships, Burruss – then the store’s sole owner – had a chance encounter with Nelson.

A frequent shopper and book enthusiast, Nelson learned of the store’s financial challenges and approached Burruss about a possible stake in ownership. She said she soon found a “kindred spirit” in Burruss and talked with him for four hours during their initial meeting. Shortly thereafter, Nelson came aboard, and the rest – as the saying goes – is history.

“I said, ‘I want this store to stay around,’” Nelson recalled. “There’s no other store like it. … The idea of it not being here was not acceptable to me.”

Burruss noted that Nelson’s partnership quickly breathed new life – and energy – into Know Knew Books.

“I was in my last month here when Cate just came in here with no experience – just a love for books,” he said. “She saved my butt. I’m 68 years old, and I don’t know what I would’ve done. I will always think of her as an angel.”

Nelson said she wants Los Altos residents to consider the store more than just a place to buy gently used books in a variety of genres. A fan of costume jewelry, Nelson said she plans to dedicate a corner of the store to showcase and sell some of the 1,500-2,000 pieces she’s collected over the years. In addition, the store plans to sell used DVDs and CDs. Teachers and students, she said, will receive store discounts.

“We hopefully have something for everybody here,” said Nelson, adding that the store will offer free Wi-Fi to customers. “When the store opens, I think people will be blown away by the stock of used books we have, too.”

Burruss said residents can expect to see scheduled events like open-mic poetry readings, as well as nonliterary events like the occasional pet adoption fair and live music performances. He added that the store is also known for “unofficial” events, such as encouraging young artists to sit and create art using the store’s readily available easel or inviting the aspiring musician to play acoustic guitar in front of an audience for the first time.

All are welcome, he said, provided they ask management first.

“It’s a community store, a place that’s available to people who want to teach kids to crochet or whatever they have to offer,” Burruss said.

“It’s about life – a place to do things in real time,” Nelson chimed in. “We want the community to know there’s a place in the city that’s available to them.”

For more information, visit knowknewbooks.com.

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