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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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Reach Potential Movement Parent Project proves successful


courtesy of Reach Potential Movement
Reach Potential Movement sponsors the Bookshelf in Every Home Project, advancing literacy among children.

When the directors of Reach Potential Movement (RPM) learned of The Parent Project – a training program to empower parents raising difficult or out-of-control children – they knew it would be a perfect fit for their Sunnyvale nonprofit agency, which works with low-income families throughout Silicon Valley.

“The court will often refer parents of kids who are in the juvenile justice system to this program because there is so much results-based evidence that it makes an impact,” said Christy Tonge, who co-founded RPM with Rob Schulze five years ago. “It shows some real turnaround in the youth and in the parent-youth relationship.”

But there was a problem – The Parent Project was only taught in English, and the families RPM serves primarily speak Spanish. RPM remedied that by having its bilingual director of leadership development, Aimee Lopez, become a certified instructor.

RPM first offered The Parent Project last spring. The program proved so successful that Lopez is leading it again this fall. The three-hour sessions run Monday nights for eight weeks at the Gateway Neighborhood Center, where RPM is based.

“We tell the parents, ‘Give us 24 hours of your time and we will guarantee a change in your family,’” Lopez said. “It’s not just parenting tools, but an opportunity to give them hope.”

In the first session, the 15 parents enrolled in the current program learned how important it is to show their children they love them and ways to express it. Other sessions include subjects like active supervision (paying attention to such things as who their children are friends with, what they watch on TV and how to monitor Facebook), drug use and gangs.

Lopez said feedback from participants, who receive a certificate upon completing the program, has been extremely positive.

“In the last session, we had parents in tears saying, ‘Thank you, thank you,’” she said. “It’s exciting to hear that they’re seeing changes in their homes already.”

RPM changes homes in a different way through another popular program. The Bookshelf in Every Home Project not only provides a useful piece of furniture for Mountain View and Sunnyvale families with kindergartners, but also includes reading material. Aided by scores of volunteers, RPM built more than 500 bookshelves this year, according to Tonge, and doled out a bevy of books.

For youngsters struggling to grasp the words in those books, RPM offers a Reading Readiness Program aimed at kindergartners and first-graders falling behind in class. Referred by teachers, the students are tutored by RPM volunteers after school four days a week.

“It’s gratifying and rewarding to see these kids make progress when they get individual help,” said Tonge, who added that more tutors are needed to accommodate students on the waiting list.

When these children and their classmates get a little older, they can participate in RPM’s Dream4College program. It involves taking fourth- and fifth-graders and their parents on a field trip to Stanford University.

“Many of them aren’t thinking about college,” said Lopez, referring to the students and their parents, many of whom did not finish high school. “We try to plant that seed in their heads.”

To reinforce that, Dream4College includes a parent education workshop and classroom-based college and career activities.

For more information, visit reachpotential.org.

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