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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Simitian discusses bad timing in Los Altos Rotary Club presentation


Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian described his political career as “bad timing all around” in an Aug. 29 appearance at the Rotary Club of Los Altos.

Simitian faced a number of challenges during his previous term on the Board of Supervisors, 1997-2000; as assemblyman for the 21st District, 2000-2004; and as state senator for the 11th District, 2004-2012.

His examples of “bad timing” included serving during the state’s energy crisis, budget crisis and recall of former Gov. Gray Davis. To top it off, in his first six weeks in Sacramento, a driver crashed his truck into the State Capitol building, setting it ablaze.

Once again elected to the Board of Supervisors last November, Simitian and fellow supervisors must address the potential imminent bankruptcy of the ambulance company that serves the area and the possibility its collapse could endanger reliable response to 911 calls.

“Nevertheless,” Simitian joked, “it’s great to be home.”

Simitian summarized his three primary areas of responsibility on the county board: safeguarding the fiscal strength and stability of local government; preparing county residents for the Affordable Care Act’s Oct. 1 enrollment and Jan. 1 operation dates; and solving problems in the 10 cities he represents.

In determining priorities, Simitian said he asks himself, “Does it make a difference in the daily lives of the people I represent?”

According to Simitian, local problems include homelessness, transportation, education, elder abuse, highway safety and prison realignment, a plan that would transfer many state prisoners to county jails.

During a question and answer session, an audience member raised the state’s challenge in funding $1.8 billion in state employees’ pensions and health care. Simitian agreed that unfunded liabilities might be the county’s most pressing problem.

To address the pension problem, Simitian said the Board of Supervisors recently voted to move $100 million from reserves to the CalPERS Employers’ Retiree Benefits Trust to generate a 7.5 percent return rate. In addition, 60 percent of new redevelopment funding will be applied to unfunded liabilities. Simitian said San Francisco lawmakers tackled a similar problem a few years ago in a collaborative way and suggested that Santa Clara County take the same approach.

Marlene Cowan is a member of the Rotary Club of Los Altos.

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