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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Child Advocates: Providing guidance for youth in foster system


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Jacqueline Moreno, right, a teen in the foster-care system, receives support from Los Altos resident Jeannie Conner through Child Advocates of Silicon Valley.

In and out of the foster-care system from the age of 2, Jacqueline Moreno did not experience a carefree childhood.

In eighth grade, she attended school when her mother would allow. Usually, Moreno was too busy taking care of her four younger siblings while her mother slept off a night of partying.

But Moreno, now 18, was blessed with persistence and a desire for a better life. Although she attended only a quarter of her middle school classes, she graduated with straight As and received the only scholarship her school awarded.

After eighth grade, Moreno and her siblings were once again forced into foster care. The foster-care system is complex, with many different therapists and social workers appointed to oversee the welfare of the child.

Child Advocates of Silicon Valley pairs adults with children in the foster-care system to provide a voice for children in the courts and to guide them through the complicated process of being a dependent of the state.

A little more than a year ago, Child Advocates volunteer Jeannie Conner, a Los Altos resident, walked into Moreno’s life and helped her deal with a difficult problem regarding her living situation. They ended up in court, with Conner offering Moreno support through the process. But their relationship has blossomed beyond their courtroom collaboration.

“A lot of foster youth don’t really have a person they can go to,” Moreno said. “A lot of them don’t have relationships with parents or their families. It’s hard because you are alone a lot. So having an advocate fills in that hole, and you actually have someone you can go and talk to.”

Moreno explained that though there are many people looking out for children in the foster-care system, they are paid to do so. Conner is different because she volunteers to help, Moreno said, making their interactions more “comfortable.”

Moreno moved around a lot during her high school years, with Conner beside her to shepherd her through her graduation and help her transition to college. Moreno currently attends Foothill College.

“She can help me make decisions,” Moreno said of Conner. “It is so easy to make the wrong decision. I know she is there because she wants to be, and I know she will give me the best advice because she really does want what is best for me. I’ve learned a lot from her.”

And the relationship isn’t one-sided, either – Conner said she has benefited from her time as a Child Advocate as well.

“I love watching how well she is doing,” Conner said of Moreno. “It is such a pleasure getting to know her. Knowing what she has gone though, she is an inspiration to me. She is very much a part of me, and I think she will be for many, many years.”

Child Advocates plans to use contributions from the Town Crier Holiday Fund to help recruit and train new volunteers like Conner, with an aim to serve more children in Santa Clara County.

For more information, visit BeMyAdvocate.org.

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