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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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Letters to the Editor

Hoping it will all wash away

When the distracting colors appeared at the intersection of Fourth and State streets, I was dazzled by the bright colors which made my progress crossing Fourth and State streets hazardous because I could no longer clearly see curbs and a safe way to go.

I guess walking downtown may become even more difficult when the remaining five installations for “Project Los Altos” are complete. Painting over grass with royal-blue paint is disgusting. I just hope it will all wash away when the rains come.

Ruth Buneman

Los Altos

Stop signs needed, not paint

I may be one of the few people that doesn’t get all warm and fuzzy about the “Project Los Altos” painted intersection at State and Fourth. I want the Town Crier to give us the full inside detail as to who OK’d this project and where the money is coming from.

I would rather see my tax dollars spent on installing two stop signs at Main and Second streets, making it a four-way stop intersection.

This will create a safer pedestrian crossing as well as a better car crossing.

Bob Jones

Los Altos

What does school choice mean to you?

What does “School Choice” mean to you? When I first heard this term, I thought, “That sounds good, I like ‘Choice.’” But what does it really mean?

One thing that we know it means is “Cost.” We can’t have “Choice” without incurring some “Cost.” Anyone who argues otherwise is just trying to mislead us – or sell us on their choice. So, if “School Choice” costs more, is it still a good thing?

If all of our children were receiving a good education and our government had enough money to furnish educational choice, that would be wonderful. But, guess what? All of our children are not receiving a good education. Some of our children are receiving an excellent education – i.e., everyone in Los Altos public schools and some of our children are receiving a poor education (some areas of San Jose, Oakland and many other districts throughout the country).

So, the question really is: Where are our government dollars best spent? Offering choice to the wealthiest students or helping the students who don’t have a good public option?

This is the world that I envisioned when I watched movies like “Waiting for Superman.” I left the theater thinking, “What can I do to help these kids?”

Little did I know, this movie was funded by a “movement” looking to “reform schools” by offering rich kids more options. If you question this, take a look at the funding behind Proposition 39, the “Charter School Law.”

So, when I thought I was helping kids in need by voting for charter schools, was I right? Or was I accidentally supporting some type of political movement?

Tom Fenstermacher

Los Altos

Appreciates animal control services provided

One morning in August, I went out my front door to pick up my paper and was exposed to a gruesome scene: A dead animal, torn in half, in the middle of my front yard.

I returned to the house, called Los Altos police for advice, and they said they would call Palo Alto Animal Services.

Shortly after, an animal services truck pulled up in front of my house. The officer, William Warrior, picked up the entire carcass before talking to me. He showed me such kindness and compassion because I was obviously distressed. Sadly, it turned out to be my neighbor’s cat. Mr. Warrior talked to him also.

I have lived in Los Altos for 57 years and this is the first time I have encountered something like this.

Hats off to the public service officers who do their jobs so well in serving their communities. I will gladly donate to their fundraising event on Nov. 16 (see more information on page 12).

Pat Christofferson

Los Altos

Local women’s caucus announces formation

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

We would like to introduce ourselves. We are a newly formed organization, the Los Altos Women’s Caucus, composed of active and engaged Los Altos women.

Our purpose is to network with other Los Altos women throughout the city; to inform ourselves on current local events and issues; to foster constructive civic engagement with our various governing bodies; and to interact effectively on community issues.

We have been following your recent discussions about civic engagement in city affairs.

We have a strong interest in developing additional interaction between the community and city officials.

We encourage you to continue the dialogue about how to increase citizen participation in civic affairs. You could start such an effort by sponsoring:

• A workshop that includes citizens and businesspersons participating in a conversation with the council on civic engagement.

We would like to share our research on civic engagement that is utilized in other jurisdictions, including our neighboring cities. A few examples of approaches being employed by our neighbors are:

• Publishing a quarterly newsletter to the community.

• Annual or biennial citizen and business satisfaction surveys.

• Neighborhood-based community meetings/workshops on issues of localized importance.

We also support efforts to create a culture that welcomes citizen input. For example, the council could:

• Structure council meetings so there is more time for members of the public to comment on high- interest agenda items.

• Place items in which there is a lot of interest early on the agenda, ahead of the consent calendar and after public comments.

• Resume the practice of work/study sessions on issues that require deeper thought and dialogue before action is contemplated.

• Meet in various locations around the city to encourage more involvement on the part of the community.

We look forward to working together with you in the future.

The Los Altos Women’s Caucus: Brenda Taussig, Marge Bruno, Marie Young, Mary Prochnow, Emy Thurber, Vicki Reeder, Jane Reed, Andrea Eaton, Amy Pearl, Anabel Pelham, Robin Abrams, Maddy McBirney, and Penny Lave

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