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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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Abandonment issues: Read it or leave it?


When one thinks of abandonment, it is likely to bring to mind being jilted by a lover, or being left alone as a child. Generally, it is not thought of as a good thing.

But I contend that sometimes, knowing when to leave – and then actually following through on it – can be a very good thing.

I am referring to the shameful behavior of choosing not to finish a book you started. There are those among us who would consider that downright promiscuous behavior, equating an uncommitted reader to that of an unfaithful lover. I am, however, not one of those people. Quite the opposite, really.

Of course I want to honor the author, who no doubt sacrificed much of his or her life charting a plot and carefully structuring sentences that might provoke readers to neglect their jobs and families so they can read just one more page. I have been that person, and I have read those books – but I could count them on one hand.

And the thing is – those riveting books are different for everyone. An engrossing page-turner for one person may provoke a ho-hum response from someone else. I have read some disturbing and totally unsatisfying best-sellers, like “The Tale of Edgar Sawtelle” (Ecco, 2009) by David Wroblewski, and also read some little-known books that changed my life, such as “The Difference Maker” (Nelson Business, 2006) by John C. Maxwell. It’s best not to judge people by what they like to read.

What do you do when you eagerly pick up a new book and want so much to fall in love with the story, but 100 pages into it, you still don’t feel that gush of euphoria you so desperately need to get you through your otherwise unhappy life? (That is a lot of pressure to put on an author!)

Well, my advice is to abandon it. And I don’t mean just drift away from it, wallowing in a mire of residual guilt. I mean decide that you will seek happiness elsewhere. Don’t keep it around the house as a constant reminder of your inability to commit and your wavering loyalty. That, my friend, is the gateway to years of therapy in an effort to resolve your eroding self-image.

I realize that there are at least two camps on this subject: those who will happily walk out of a bad movie or get rid of a book, with the attitude, “It’s bad enough I threw money at this, I am sure not throwing my time at it as well” (moi), and those dedicated to summoning the effort to complete everything they start, proudly displaying great intestinal fortitude.

I’m just saying … I really do applaud those never-give-up readers and in some ways wish I were more like them. It’s kind of a catch-22 – neither way seems totally admirable. In fact, the book “Catch-22” (Simon & Schuster, 1961) by Joseph Heller, according to the website Goodreads.com, is the book most commonly not finished by readers. I think that’s kind of ironic.

Sharon Lennox-Infante, a Los Altos resident, is contributing editor for Book Buzz.

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