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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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Festival of Lights parade set to float into Los Altos Sunday


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The annual Festival of Lights Parade features the new “Penguin Palooza” float.

This year’s Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade will offer a new entry among its lineup. Prepare for “Penguin Palooza” during the 37th annual event, scheduled 6 p.m. Sunday in downtown Los Altos.

“Penguin Palooza,” two years in the making, features penguins in colorful winter clothing enjoying a party with ice skating, fishing and roasting marshmallows. The new float was created on the bed of “It’s a Small World,” one of the parade’s oldest floats.

“Marie Backs and I have wanted to do skating penguins for a long time,” said Nancy Schneider of her co-worker at the all-volunteer Festival of Lights Parade Association. “I saw ‘Happy Feet’ and thought it had such appeal to all ages. Also, we both thought it was unique, totally different from anything else we had since it featured animals.”

According to Schneider, preparing the new float took much time and effort.

“We had San Jose Repertory Theatre update the base of the float early this year, fix the mechanics, and then had a group from the Stanford University Department of Theater and Performance Studies finish it up,” she said. “It wasn’t easy. There wasn’t anywhere to put the float to work on and finish it up. Erik Sunderman, an assistant technical director at Stanford, actually had to bring the float to his house and work on it there.”

Nonetheless, the project proved a labor of love.

“We had such fun thinking of the colors and the types of costumes to put on the penguins,” Schneider said.

Parade volunteers also redesigned the Mother Goose float.

“She is now sitting with bright-orange feet and a fancy bonnet reading her nursery rhymes, accompanied by her storybook characters,” Schneider said.

The revamped float is courtesy of Jacob Kidd, who worked on Mother Goose for his Boy Scout Troop 37 Eagle Scout project.

The parade’s 60 entries, including high school bands and choruses, costumed characters and 24 illuminated floats, all lead up to the grand finale – an appearance by Santa and his reindeer.

Parade organizers urge attendees to refrain from staking out a viewing spot until noon the day of the parade.

“Please do not use tape and chalk – it makes cleanup very difficult,” Schneider said. “Mark your place with blankets or tarps.”

The Festival of Lights Parade Association produces the parade, which costs nearly $20,000 annually.

“We would appreciate your donations, which allow us to update our floats and costumes,” Schneider said.

For more information, including parade routes and guidelines, visit losaltosparade.com. If there is a rain delay, information will be posted on the parade website after 3 p.m. Sunday. If the parade is rained out, it will be rescheduled Dec. 8.

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