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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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Holiday book drive benefits children in need

I walked into my office last week and saw a huge box of children’s books donated anonymously for our annual book drive. It was a wonderful surprise, a reminder of how supportive the Los Altos community has been in our efforts to promote local literacy, confidence and creativity.

Books are at once a great escape and an even greater equalizer. When I was younger and had moved across the country with my family, I didn’t know many people. I spent hours reading, poring over biographies, historical fiction and narrative nonfiction. I would stay up half the night finishing a book started on a whim in the middle of the afternoon.

These days, I find my habit of needing to finish what I start to be an occasional handicap. Recently, Jojo Moyes, author of the best-sellers “Me Before You” (Penguin Books, 2013) and “The Last Letter from Your Lover” (Penguin Books, 2012), has been known to unintentionally thwart my afternoon plans after I innocently peruse the first few pages of one of her novels.

With the omnipresence of technological gadgets and interactive devices, we must continue promoting the simple act of reading more than ever. The social, emotional and economic impacts are hard to ignore. Research has uncovered a correlation between the amount of time children read for fun on their own and an increased level of reading achievement. Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are three to four times more likely to drop out in later years. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that more than $2 billion is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because of reading problems.

At my Green Ivy Educational Consulting office, I can quickly tell when students read regularly for fun. Parents often ask me how to improve test scores on standardized tests such as the ISEE, SSAT, HSPT, SAT or ACT (enough acronyms?). Typically, my answer is to encourage students to read more – even math skills are improved with increased reading, especially on tests with word problems. Reading helps with critical thinking, problem solving and creativity, in addition to offering a great way to relax and escape from the stresses of being a preteen or adolescent.

We are collecting books 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays through Dec. 19 at our Los Altos office, 302 Main St., Suite 201, on the second floor above US Bank. There is a drop-off container in our front waiting room.

In the past, we have had entire elementary school classrooms clean out their bookshelves to participate. We are gathering books in new or gently used condition for children and young adults. All books are donated to The Children’s Project, which distributes them to hospitals, homeless shelters and the homes of children in need in the Bay Area.

Help us reach this year’s goal of 500 books.

Ana Homayoun is founder and director of Green Ivy Educational Consulting. For more information, call 472-0617 or visit greenivyed.com.

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