Fri09192014

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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Plants make ideal holiday decorations


Courtesy of Laxmi Natarajan
Euphorbia pulcherrima, commonly known as poinsettia, is a popular holiday plant that brings a bright pop of Christmas red to decorations.

With the holidays upon us, it’s time to deck the halls.

Bring the garden inside by making wreaths, garlands, topiaries and other table arrangements to enhance your holiday decor. A look around the yard may yield some interesting results, not to mention being easy on the budget.

Supplement your garden treasures with a trip to a garden center.

Following are some plants that work really well to brighten the holidays.

• Euphorbia pulcherrima, commonly known as poinsettia, is one of the most popular plants during the holidays. Poinsettias come in a variety of colors, including red, white, pink, marbled, burgundy and cream.

• Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, or winter cactus, is great for blooms and comes in different colors ranging from red to orange, white, yellow and pink. The succulent is a very hardy indoor plant that requires very little maintenance in the home or office. The thick, waxy, dark-green leaves with a cluster of flowers above the foliage make it a very attractive plant.

• Ilex opaca, American holly, boasts thick, dark-green leaves and bright-red berries. It’s the ideal accompaniment to many table decorations and holiday garlands.

• Evergreens, such as redwoods, Douglas firs and pines, are used extensively in garlands and wreaths. If you’re lucky enough to have them available in your yard, try creating your own this year. The trick is to wet the branches so that they become a little flexible and are easier to wire together.

• Another good candidate for the holidays is the red or white anthurium, not just for its color, but because its big, bold leaves are stunning and add a touch of the tropics to decorations.

• Amaryllis bulbs, usually sold in garden centers, are available now so that they bloom during the holidays. They make beautiful tabletop arrangements.

• Branches of trees and shrubs like manzanita, curly willow, coral bark maple, flowering plum, bamboo, sword ferns and moss make nice complements to holiday decorations.

• Add driftwood, seeds and pods, pine cones and dried fruits to your holiday decoration toolbox. Savvy decorators glitter it up by spraying gold, silver and/or metallic paint to create sparkling ornaments.

• Use herbs such as rosemary, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks as fragrant decorative materials.

Visit a craft store to purchase a simple wreath base, wire, twine, coir rope and a glue gun to style your own decorations this season.

If you’re not good at craft projects, simply collect some greenery, pine cones and berries and arrange them free-form in a decorative glass jar, bowl, plate, fancy basket or rustic box.

Laxmi Natarajan, a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, is founder of Bagicha Garden & Flora Design, an indoor garden/ plant design and maintenance company that specializes in creating custom living walls, floor plants and desktop arrangements. For more information, call 703-9756 or visit bagicha.com.

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