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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Cookbook author offers sweet presentation at Morning Forum


Kathryn Tomaino/Special to the Town Crier
Cookbook author Francine Segan engages the Morning Forum of Los Altos crowd during her Nov. 5 appearance.

Noted cookbook author Francine Segan’s warmth, energy and enthusiasm charmed the Morning Forum of Los Altos audience Nov. 5.

Segan, a food historian and lecturer, is a frequent guest on the Food Network, the Discovery and History channels, CBS and PBS. She based her Morning Forum presentation on her cookbook “Dolci: Italy’s Sweets” (Stewart, Tabori and Chang, 2011).

Upon entering the lecture, Segan gave each attendee a packet of five distinct Italian chocolates. The samples included 85 percent dark chocolate (all chocolate), 70 percent dark chocolate (chocolate and some sugar), 51 percent dark chocolate (chocolate and more sugar), dark chocolate infused with limoncello (chocolate and lemon liqueur) and milk chocolate (one-third chocolate, one-third sugar and one-third milk). She asked the audience to smell the chocolates and listen to the sounds as they snapped off bits of the confections. Finally, audience members tasted the samples to determine their favorites, with Segan describing each one’s unique characteristics.

Chocolate has an Italian history, according to Segan. In the early 1500s, Christopher Columbus discovered cocoa beans in the Mayan region of Central America and brought them back to Spain for Queen Isabella. By the 1800s, Italy became the major manufacturer of chocolate. Today, she said, chocolate is widely loved and eaten in Italy, where espresso is often served with a piece of chocolate.

In “Dolci: Italy’s Sweets,” Segan compiled dessert recipes from all regions of Italy.

“Cooks in each region use different ingredients,” she said.

Segan added that local foods determine desserts.

“Depending on the area, desserts are made with chocolate, herbs, fruits, nuts, honey, cheese and, surprisingly, pasta and vegetables (such as eggplant, spinach and radicchio),” she said. “There are even desserts containing meat.”

While most Italian districts grow nuts, often they grow different nuts, Segan noted.

“Piedmont has hazelnuts, Sicily has almonds and pistachios, and Rome has walnuts,” she said. “Desserts in Piedmont, Sicily and Rome use the nuts that are available.”

There are more than 100 pasta desserts, according to the author, many of which are fried.

“In Italy, anything fried is delicious,” she said.

The Morning Forum of Los Altos is a members-only lecture series that meets at Los Altos United Methodist Church. For membership details and more information, visit morningforum.com.

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