Wed09172014

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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Project Los Altos artist collecting everyday records from residents

COMM SFMOMA KaterinaSeda-8350
Šedá, above, wants local residents to enter records for best, worst, biggest and smallest for her “Project Los Altos” installation at 359 State St. For more details, visit everythingisperfect.org.

When Katerina Šedá, an artist from the Czech Republic, arrived in Los Altos this fall to research and design a commissioned installation for “Project Los Altos: SFMOMA in Silicon Valley,” she heard from residents time and again that “everything is perfect” in the community.

“I was so tired of hearing this that I wanted to use it in the project,” said Šedá, who decided to collect “ordinary” records for inclusion in “Everything Is Perfect,” a project that culminates in the publication of the “Los Altos World Records” book next spring.

Observing that many local residents were already winners in life, Šedá wanted to produce something that offers a different perspective on what it means to be “the best.” Twisting the assumption that only world records count, “Los Altos World Records” intends to show that every person can be successful at something.

Selecting from a list of existing record categories or one that a resident proposes, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills residents can submit records through Jan. 31, after which the submissions will be verified and category winners declared. As an incentive to enter, every participant who sets a record will receive a certificate and a copy of “Los Altos World Records.”

“The best records are ordinary and easy,” Šedá noted. “This is the paradox.”

Šedá has received approximately 40 entries so far, including Martin Alter’s submission for the “Largest Collection of Rubber Ducks” at 300 and Laura Brewer’s claim to “Fastest Stenographer Using a Steno Machine” at 290-300 words per minute.

Although some records are so unique that they’re unlikely to be surpassed, entries like “House with the Most Evergreen Trees Out Front” at seven, “Largest Conference Table” at 14 feet long and “Most Friends on Facebook” at 869 might draw a challenge.

At its core, though, the friendly competition isn’t about numbers at all.

“I want to connect people through ordinary stuff,” Šedá said. “It’s not really about success as much as it’s about thinking creatively about our own lives.”

To ensure her project’s success, Šedá is counting on participation from local residents, which is more difficult than she expected.

When visitors arrive in the back room of 359 State St., where Šedá’s installation is set up, they will find a desk with a computer and an assortment of accessories – a nondescript setup. So normal, in fact, that some guests have expressed initial confusion. Visitors have wondered why the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art would rent gallery space to another business, while others ask Šedá where her completed project is.

“They don’t understand that this is art,” said Šedá of how her project challenges the mainstream idea that art is something that is finished and sits passively on a gallery wall.

Once guests grasp the concept behind the project, Šedá noted, they’re receptive to her modern art.

She said she still finds coaxing residents to submit records challenging, in part because “they’re afraid their records aren’t special enough.”

Šedá is dispelling the perception by taking to the streets, going door-to-door with project flyers and talking with residents about submitting a record. She would also like to add more children’s entries to the project and is reaching out to school administrators.

Completed submission forms along with documentation of the record (a photo, business card, certificate, etc.) can be dropped off at the 359 State St. submission office 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays; mailed to “Los Altos World Records,” 359 State St., Los Altos 94022; or submitted online at everythingisperfect.org. There’s no limit to the number of entries an individual can submit. For inspiration, view a sampling of photos illustrating current entries in the installation space or in the “Submitted Records Gallery” on the project’s website.

By connecting people who may never cross paths, Šedá is confident that her project will achieve its mission of helping the local community redefine “success.”

“Success is something that divides people, and I’m trying to create a different picture.”

For more information, visit everythingisperfect.org.

COMM SFMOMA KaterinaSeda EverythingisPerfect graphic small

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