Wed09172014

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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City Council Briefs

The Los Altos City Council took the following actions at its Sept. 24 meeting:

Historical house conversion approved

The council approved by a 4-1 vote a permit application allowing the conversion of a single-family Milverton Road home listed on the city’s Historic Resources Inventory into an accessory structure. Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw cast the dissenting vote.

The Costello family, owners of the property, plan to convert the nearly 100-year-old home into an accessory unit by removing the kitchen. The conversion would allow the construction of a new home on the property. The Los Altos Historical Commission designated the home, built circa 1916, as a Historic Resource in 2011.

In the late 1890s, members of the Costello family purchased several plots of land at what later became Costello and Covington roads, according to the city staff report. Some members of the family played a role in establishing and operating the San Francisco department store O’Connor, Moffatt & Co. – now known as Macy’s.

The historical home in question currently sits on a family-owned plot of more than 2 acres – designated as Lot 12 – bordering Adobe Creek. The land is part of the larger Morningside Planned Unit Development, created in 1985 with the addition of 10 townhome-style condominium units, the staff report stated. As part of its approval of the development at that time, the city restricted the Lot 12 site to only one single-family dwelling on the property.

The council voted in favor of the Costello family’s request despite objections from some Morningside residents about potential privacy concerns related to a new home development on the site.

Councilwoman Val Carpenter supported the historical home’s conversion because the alternative could mean demolishing it.

“The owners absolutely have a right to have one home on this private property of over 2 acres,” said Carpenter, who noted before the council’s vote that just 1 percent of the city’s buildings were listed on its Historic Resources Inventory.

“To me, it’s important to preserve these reminders of our past,” she added.

Directional signs OK’d

The council unanimously approved the installation of directional signs that would point highway motorists toward downtown Los Altos.

At a cost of $5,000, the signs will be installed at the northbound and southbound approaches to the El Monte Avenue/Road exit on Interstate 280. The council approved the installation after a city staff report indicated that it “is a common practice for cities to have highway signage indicating which exit leads to their downtown.”

The report noted that though there are existing signs along 280 marking exits for the city of Los Altos and Foothill College, there are none on the highway or the exit ramp specifically directing drivers toward the downtown area.

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