Thu09182014

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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Online comments: Rank your priorities, values


Comment up-voting

More than 40 readers weighed in on our online comments system in response to a Nov. 13 poll (please add your thoughts at goo.gl/j9AfoH).

The Town Crier launched the survey because we want to provide the most useful and least annoying comments system that technology (and our office’s IT budget) can supply.

By a three-to-one ratio, readers felt that “up-voting” comments – tallying thumbs-up or thumbs-down to indicate sentiment – was more annoying than helpful.

Although the Town Crier’s comments system, like many others, is designed to prevent one person from voting multiple times, any tech-savvy user can circumvent those controls. It doesn't sound as though legitimate voters are finding this feature particularly useful, so we’re likely to remove the comments voting system unless we hear from many who love it.

That brings up the next subject of hot debate – to what extent people should have to identify themselves openly and/or consistently in the comments section. Town Crier staff administrators are able to see the email address associated with each comment on our site. That information remains private, but it gives us a handle on who is commenting when.

Some readers made it clear on the survey that they suspect a small number of individuals may operate multiple, seemingly different, aliases. We’ve observed many instances where that accusation was incorrect. Commenters may not choose to share their identity publicly, but they often use email addresses known to staff to match with real human beings.

The Town Crier could start asking readers to log in to our website to leave a comment. That doesn’t prevent people from making up multiple identities, because spoofing email addresses (and even IP addresses) is easy to do in this day and age. Or, we could require that people comment using only their real names. Given how often lawsuits fly over schools issues in this town, doing so may gag voices that previously felt comfortable speaking.

As a staff, we’re collectively conflicted about the competing values of privacy, freedom of speech and transparency. No solution is foolproof, so we’re asking the community as a whole to share their preferences.

– New Media Editor 
Eliza Ridgeway

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