Mon09222014

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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Letters to the Editor

Resident bemoans negative impacts of BCS

I am writing to express my great concerns about Bullis Charter School.

Bullis Charter School has tripled in size and can no longer accommodate what it initially intended. Now there are far too many students crowded into a tiny campus that is not built for that population. Because of this, there are very negative impacts on our small, cozy neighborhood, including:

• Massive gridlock traffic on West Portola Avenue, which affects regular nonschool commuters on San Antonio Road. It takes me at least 10 minutes to exit my driveway on West Portola, and I am always fearful that I will hit the numerous students and people milling around. In the afternoon, I am stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to get home.

• Great safety concerns for all children and adults walking or biking to school because of the heavy traffic on the roads.

• Cars taking shortcuts at great speeds through our neighborhood and posing danger to children and adults walking to school.

• Cars blocking the fire hydrants and our driveways, as well as creating problems for garbage collectors.

• Excessive car noise and pollution, thus depreciating our neighborhood value and every resident’s quality of life.

Los Altos School District Board of Trustees: Please help Bullis Charter School find its own permanent site that is not one of the existing district schools and that is in an area with an infrastructure that can deal with the insane amount of traffic generated by this commuter school.

Monique Yao

Los Altos

LASD needs to stop the circus

I am another Town Crier reader with no affiliation to either the Los Altos School District or Bullis Charter School. Several years ago, I asked the Town Crier to develop a timeline so that we could make some sense out of this ongoing saga.

The recent letter from Rajiv Bhateja of Los Altos Hills pointed out how “time and again the district has fallen on its face in court” (“Resident supports bond because of charter school,” Oct. 2). Yet the response letter from Rebecca Hayman of Los Altos states, “The charter school expects the district to bend to its demands and continues to weaken the already scarce financial educational resources by engaging in lawsuit after lawsuit” (“Letter favoring BCS deemed ‘offensive,’” Oct. 9).

Perhaps a review of the timeline is needed.

The reason the charter school was even proposed was that the district closed Bullis-Purissima School Feb. 10, 2003, and the kids of Los Altos Hills had to commute to other schools.

The parents proposed a charter school to fill their family needs at the closed school – that is why it is called Bullis Charter School. The timeline shows that the district rejected the proposal May 14, 2003.

Sept. 10, 2003, the Santa Clara County Board of Education approved the charter for Bullis Charter School, and the district has been fighting it ever since.

Bullis Charter School has to go to court to defend itself and to receive the equal facilities that a school district is required to provide under Proposition 39, passed Nov. 7, 2000.

I agree with Bhateja that this “circus has to stop.” It certainly is not a battle of what is best for the kids. It’s simply a battle of who wants to be the boss.

Bullis Charter School continues to make great progress. It is time that the district stop the circus. The district is beginning to look like the clown.

Bob Moore

Los Altos

Los Altos council backs intrusion on residents

Note: Following is an open letter to the Los Altos City Council.

A little background reading you may be interested in regarding your recent decision to subject innocent citizens of Los Altos to surreptitious surveillance.

The police department will use hidden cameras, day and night, taking photos at the rate of tens of thousands a day and sharing them (read: placed on an electronic network) with a so-called fusion center – an invention of the federal government, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency, which are paying Los Altos to implement this intrusion on innocent citizens.

You will also find information indicating how bloody naive the council was when it said it would monitor and demand limits on the data.

You have no prayer of limiting either distribution or storage longevity of the massive amount of data to be gathered. You can’t even control the collection of data on innocent private citizens. Neither can the police department do any of these things.

Do any of you read and contemplate current events beyond those concerning the “village”?

I’d welcome comments if anyone thinks this missive is inaccurate.

Bob Perdriau

Los Altos

Students can’t be forced to eat in cafeteria

After the flurry of controversy my letter to the Town Crier sparked last month, I was pleased to see that your editorial that agrees with me (“Food-truck restrictions not necessary,” Oct. 9). Notwithstanding the reaction from several other readers to my position on the subject a couple of weeks ago, my conclusion remains the same as yours.

The students are well aware of their choices in diet and the nutritional effect on their health. It’s their prerogative to eat the food they want, regardless of the National School Lunch Program. Moving or banning the food trucks won’t force the students to eat in the cafeteria.

And as I suggested in my previous letter, the only rationale your editorial saw for the food-truck ordinance, which impacts residential neighbors with noise, traffic and trash, is easily solved. Embracing the food-truck service by bringing it on campus and providing some picnic tables and trash cans would result in a safe, clean environment, with a variety of lunch choices. The school can extend invitations to gourmet food trucks that serve the most healthful foods. And it will make the students happy. What’s wrong with that?

Ron Knapp

Los Altos

Food vendors serve as ‘attractive nuisance’

I am responding to your Oct. 9 editorial, “Food-truck restrictions not necessary.”

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees is engaged in fighting childhood obesity in our community by requesting that the Los Altos City Council adopt an ordinance that prohibits mobile food vendors from parking in our residential neighborhoods. Neighbors nearest Los Altos High School strongly support such an action, as these mobile vendors serve as an attractive nuisance.

The Mountain View City Council has enacted an ordinance that accomplishes what the Los Altos City Council is being requested to do. This proposal would also restrict mobile food vendors from operating in front of our elementary and junior high school campuses.

Currently, our students are eating food from these vendors that may not be served on our campus because it is unhealthful – high in sugar, fat and salt, all contributors to childhood obesity.

For those students desiring to leave campus for lunch, our downtown is within walking distance and there are many eateries that provide nourishing and nutritious foods. Our students would be supporting our downtown merchants!

We want to keep mobile vendors away from our schools and out of our neighborhoods.

Barry Groves, Ed.D. Superintendent,

Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District

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