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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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LAH Council Briefs

Following are highlights from the Sept. 19 Los Altos Hills City Council meeting.

The next council meeting is scheduled 6 p.m. Oct. 17 at town hall, 26375 W. Fremont Road.

Town awards community service grants

After reviewing applications and statements from local nonprofit organizations, the council awarded $51,500 in Community Service Grants for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

Although 17 organizations applied for $90,158 in funding, only 14 received grants. The council voted to remove three applicants from the pool of eligible grantees: the YWCA, the Los Altos Rotary AIDS Project and the Community School of Music and Arts. During the previous grant year, the town awarded the YWCA a $1,000 grant and the AIDS Project a $2,800 grant.

Los Altos Hills renewed the grants of Friends of Deer Hollow Farm ($9,000), Hidden Villa ($9,000), the Community Health Awareness Council ($6,400), the Community Services Agency ($6,100), the American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter ($4,000), the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA ($2,300), the Rotary Club of Los Altos Art Show ($2,200), the Los Altos Mediation Program ($2,100), the Day Worker Center of Mountain View ($2,100), Joint Venture Silicon Valley ($1,800), the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce ($1,800), Next Door Solutions ($1,700) and United Way Silicon Valley ($1,600). The only new recipient, the Center for Age-Friendly Cities, received $1,400.

Mayor Gary Waldeck explained the town’s use of taxpayer funds to underwrite the grants.

“We don’t have a downtown, we don’t have a library or a number of facilities we strongly benefit from,” he said. “Some of these grants go toward making these services available to us.”

Council proposes discussion on schools conflict

When Los Altos and Los Altos Hills city councilmembers convene Oct. 23 for a joint meeting at town hall, the elephant in the room – the ongoing conflict between the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School – may get cornered. That is, if a conversation on how the councils can ameliorate the situation succeeds.

“It’s about time the two cities most affected take a stand and do something about it,” Los Altos Hills City Councilman John Radford said. “Both councils want to see something happen.”

Although Councilwoman Courtenay C. Corrigan said she was concerned that the meeting might get “hijacked by the public,” she noted that the issue connected to other big-picture questions that councilmembers could discuss.

“Why are so many students commuting across town instead of being able to walk across town?” Corrigan asked, noting that she passes by several schools when transporting her children to school.

Other items on the agenda for the joint council meeting include shared funding for a new community and senior center, the sewer agreement, sidewalk construction on West Edith Avenue between Foothill Expressway and Cypress Drive and a proposal for a crossing guard to help students safely cross Foothill at Edith.

Radford, Corrigan selected mayor, vice mayor for 2014

Members of the previous council saved the town nearly $10,000 by appointing the sole three candidates to the council in the 2012 race instead of requiring an election, but they did not anticipate the challenge the decision would present in determining mayoral succession. In the past, the number of votes an incoming councilmember received determined the order of who would serve next as mayor.

During lengthy debate at the last three meetings, the council considered shortening mayoral terms from one year to allow all five members of the council a term as mayor for a shorter length of time. Following the discussion, the council unanimously voted to maintain the existing system of four one-year terms, even if it caused one councilmember to miss an opportunity to serve as mayor. Under the current process, when Waldeck’s term ends, three other members of the council can each serve a year as mayor.

“I’m willing to compromise,” said Councilman John Harpootlian, who agreed to hedge his bets in favor of the current system even though he may not get to serve as mayor.

As the longest-serving councilmember who has not served as mayor, Radford will take the position in 2014. Councilmembers nominated Corrigan to serve as vice mayor.

– Ellie Van Houtte

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