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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Help One Child supports at-risk youth and their families


Courtesy of Susan Herman
Help One Child’s new program provides a safety net for families by offering children a temporary place to live in lieu of foster care.

With all the ways Help One Child has aided at-risk youth over the years, staff and board members could have easily spent several hours of the nonprofit’s 20th-anniversary banquet touting their accomplishments. Instead, they used the spring event to launch another ambitious program.

The Los Altos-based Help One Child announced that it would be the San Francisco Peninsula hub of Safe Families for Children, a national movement designed to deflect children from foster care. An alternative to child welfare custody, the program provides a safety net for families in crisis that have nowhere else to turn by offering their children a temporary place to live.

“It’s a very natural extension of what we already do,” said Susan Herman, Help One Child’s executive director. “We are already recruiting families to open their homes to at-risk youth. We are already supporting those families who have adopted or opened their home to these children.”

Serving Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, Help One Child assists at-risk children in and out of the foster-care system by recruiting, training and supporting those willing to house or otherwise help them. When the faith-based organization asked people attending the banquet to champion Safe Families for Children at their churches, Herman said they did so enthusiastically. The next step was to work with the churches and the counties to create referral networks.

“If you’re a single mom who has lost your job and there’s no room at a shelter for you and your children, you can come to Help One Child as a sponsor of the Safe Families for Children program for help,” she said. “We will find a family supported by their church that will open their home for no compensation and care for those children until the parent or parents are able to complete their endeavor, whatever it might be. Maybe somebody has to go to alcohol or drug rehab, or maybe there’s some short-term criminal sentence that needs to be completed.”

The program offers what Herman called “nonresidential placement” as well.

“Sometimes a family needs extended help – taking their child to school early in the morning or making them dinner – and those kinds of connections have been made,” she said.

Over the summer, Help One Child connected volunteers with 11-year-old Alex.

“His father just needed some extra help that normally a family member would provide, but he was alone – the mom was no longer in the picture,” Herman said. “We must have had 15 people offer to have (Alex) into their homes for dinner. Two people offered to bring him to youth group activities at their church during the week while his dad was working. Someone sent him to camp and we took him to our camp. His summer was filled with people inviting him to join their activities. Every time we saw him, he told us how grateful he was.”

Help One Child recently ramped up its Supper Club program. The staff organizes volunteers to cook meals for youth living in nine group homes and two receiving homes (for emergency placement) throughout the two counties.

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