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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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Back to the future: Renovating the civic center: Other Voices

It is a good thing that the Los Altos City Council wants to review the Civic Center Master Plan. When the people of our town are questioned, among their top priorities are schools, library and recreation. The master plan cannot address the schools, so let’s stick with what we must and can update. There is absolutely no doubt that our civic center needs to be brought up to date. Some suggestions come to mind.

The old Hillview School site must be replaced. It is antiquated and unsafe. The library needs to expand – it is running out of space for all the services it now provides and for future services. Both facilities serve every segment of our community.

For Phase 1, I would suggest we combine these two services at the Hillview site. Many of the patrons of one also use the other. And we can make it safer and easier for them with the inclusion of underground parking. The traffic flow would definitely improve.

Once the library has moved, city hall would have access to the library building and could renovate/expand it to suit its needs. It would certainly make it easier for those using the facility to enter from San Antonio Road, park, conduct their business and exit without having to fight library traffic. This would be Phase 2.

With city hall vacant, the Los Altos Police Department could use that site – again with renovations necessary for their needs. They can keep their eyes on the community, and, for those conducting business with the police, there they are. This would be Phase 3.

Now for traffic flow: People enter from San Antonio (from the new city hall side – one way only), conduct their business at city hall and exit going around the loop onto San Antonio again or continue past the Los Altos History Museum and exit onto Hillview Avenue (as is done now). Those using the Hillview site do not have to fight two-way traffic and cars parking and pulling out in a narrow space and can exit as above.

For Phase 4, perhaps the Bus Barn Theater could expand into the bumpout by the soccer field. As the performances are scheduled mostly at night when city hall is closed, parking would be available without taking away from the Hillview site. Bus Barn could use the Los Altos Youth Center or the old police station site.

Finally, in planning these changes, let us not try to imitate Palo Alto, Mountain View, Santana Row or Europe. We are a charming and much-needed restful community. Let us not change the reasons we moved to Los Altos.

Ida Cohen is a longtime Los Altos resident.

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