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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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Community Services Agency sees need rise, help decline


Ellie Van houtte/ Town Crier
The Community Services Agency’s Food Nutrition Center provides residents in need with nutritious foods they could otherwise not afford.

Community Services Agency (CSA) Associate Director Maureen Wadiak has not only seen an increase in need locally – she’s seen the face of need become more diverse in 2013 as well.

While the agency has traditionally assisted working-poor individuals and families in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View, a rise in the cost of housing (and other economic factors) has led to a recent increase in educated workers seeking help too, she noted.

“We’re seeing a lot of families being forced to relocate out of the area, and at the same time, we’re still serving more people than we did prior to the economic downturn,” she said.

The agency’s diverse population of need includes the likes of Jim, a 41-year-old unemployed semiconductor marketing and sales professional. Jim – whose name has been changed to protect his identity – said the allotment of food he receives from CSA’s Food Nutrition Center allows him to spend his limited funds on other living expenses.

“Food is very expensive, so the healthful food that they provide is something I appreciate a lot,” said Jim, who visits the organization’s Food Nutrition Center once or twice per week. “It’s definitely sufficient for me. I’m single, so I usually don’t take the allotment I’m allowed because if I take more than I need, it’s just going to go to waste. It’s not going to benefit someone else.”

“It’s an economic cushion,” Wadiak added. “Granted, we can’t be a grocery store, but we can certainly be that buffer that gives them a little bit of a cushion to absorb the increases in other things like rent.”

Referred to CSA through another Town Crier Holiday Fund recipient – RotaCare – Jim added that the organization’s food center stands out because of its focus on health.

“It’s really helpful – vegetables, rice, beans, things like that,” he said. “It’s the vegetables I value most.”

The agency’s 2012-2013 fiscal year saw a 4 percent year-over-year increase in clients at its Food Nutrition Center, which offers fresh and packaged food items donated by local stores and nonprofit organizations. Food donations, on the other hand, have remained largely stagnant – from approximately 545,000 items in 2010-2011 to a four-year low of 532,221 in 2012-2013.

Wadiak noted that the agency has experienced an increase in other areas of service, including a 30.4 percent bump in its rent and utility assistance program in the past fiscal year.

The high cost of living in Silicon Valley, she added, has also had a noticeable impact on older residents living on fixed incomes.

“We’ve always had – in the past few years – anywhere from three to five seniors relocating out of the area because of the high cost of housing on an annual basis,” said Wadiak, noting that the agency’s senior lunch and nutrition program saw a 25 percent increase in 2012-2013.

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