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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Through seasons of life, House of Grace helps women plant new seeds


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Breaking the cycle of addiction and domestic violence, Jennifer celebrates the role the House of Grace Recovery Program played in her transformation.

When Jennifer starts her new job as a dental assistant this week, it won’t be her first job, but it will be the first time the mother of three stands on her own.

Lost, addicted to drugs and nearing her breaking point, 39-year-old Jennifer needed a helping hand. She found that help at CityTeam Ministries’ House of Grace Recovery Program in San Jose, a faith-based, yearlong residential experience that supports women as they struggle to overcome drug addiction, domestic violence and homelessness.

As a young adult, Jennifer watched others in her family fall into a cycle of drug abuse and domestic violence. Without a support system at home, she moved out by the age of 14, mixed with the wrong crowd and headed down the path of addiction. When she became pregnant at 18, Jennifer vowed to be a responsible mom, but the seeds of her disease had already taken root.

“I wasn’t able to be the friend or mother I wanted to be,” said Jennifer, describing how she lost jobs, friends, partners and even her children during her 20-year drug-fueled descent. “(Drugs) took everything from me.”

Six months into her life at House of Grace, Jennifer is rediscovering who she is, renewing her relationship with God and building a community of sisters with other residents unlike any she had experienced.

“One of the most beautiful blessings of this program is that I get to look around and see the growth and restoration happening around me,” said Jennifer of the program’s 20 other participants. “It’s like being in a garden, and each time somebody new comes, it’s like a new plant that blossoms into these gorgeous new flowers.”

In addition to refreshing her technical skills in dental work through CityTeam’s Compass Academy, Jennifer noted that Bible study, life-skills classes and a network of counselors and peers are contributing to her recovery. For younger program residents, volunteer work in the office, at the onsite day-care center or at a food service center proves a valuable training opportunity that often leads to stronger prospects in the job market.

With residents of diverse backgrounds and ages – some as young as 18 – Jennifer said she feels like she is not only being helped, but is also able to help others find the love, support and encouragement that have been missing from her life.

“We come here broken, and moment by moment we’re restored,” she said. “We stay here long enough to not only see the change, but to have a hand in it.”

For more information, visit cityteam.org/san-jose/house-of-grace.

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