Sat09202014

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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Hidden Villa volunteer rediscovers fountain of youth as a tour guide


Laurie Aubuchon/Special to the Town Crier
Hidden Villa volunteer Peter Thurston crawls through The Rabbit Hole, one of the few guides to attempt passage through the small space. The tunnel allows visiting children to enter the farm’s organic Education Garden.

Being a kid again is one of the benefits Peter Thurston, 73, enjoys about volunteering at Hidden Villa. The retired marketing programs director at IBM Storage Systems joined the Hidden Villa Board of Trustees in 2009.

In his role as Hidden Villa farm and nature guide, Thurston teaches schoolchildren from all over the Bay Area about the nonprofit educational farm and wilderness area located in Los Altos Hills.

While his enthusiasm about the job is not unique among Hidden Villa guides, on occasion his method of entry into the organic Education Garden is. Scooting on his belly, using his forearms and feet to propel himself forward, he has delighted children by crawling through a diminutive portal called The Rabbit Hole – a child-sized tunnel into the garden.

Exploring the surrounding hills, Thurston said he strives to make the children comfortable.

“We focus on making the kids fall in love with nature,” he said. “They fall in love, and then they learn.”

Guides promote the connection by hiking and playing games with the children as they facilitate farm experiences.

“Every time I’m done with a tour, I really feel good,” Thurston said.

Residents of Los Altos Hills for 43 years, Thurston, his wife Carol and their three now-grown children have enjoyed many walks at Hidden Villa.

“My wife had them all go to camp here,” Thurston said of Hidden Villa’s summer camps.

Thurston also contributes his time at Environmental Volunteers and Filoli, but his Hidden Villa experience is special.

“Being on the board is a real honor,” he said, “but being with the kids is a real joy. I’ve never had a bad day here. I really haven’t.”

Hidden Villa invites potential volunteer guides to observe an upcoming school tour 8:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at the preserve, 26870 Moody Road, Los Altos Hills. Call 949-8643 prior to joining the tour.

If visitors subsequently decide to volunteer, all necessary training is provided free of charge. No experience is required.

For more information, call 949-8643 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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