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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Unwrapped gifts make the best presents: The Rockey Road

The radio presets in my car are KDFC, KFOG and KQED. When my children are in the car, they like to scan for their favorite stations. Yesterday, they landed on a station playing holiday music. I quickly saved the station with my No. 4 preset and realized that I had never done that before. I wondered if that was a sign that this holiday season is more meaningful to me than past seasons.

I love giving gifts to show my appreciation, and, admittedly, I love receiving gifts. But the best gifts I’ve received are not wrapped in paper or purchased, they’re not even handmade. They are the gifts that have developed over time, from friends and family; basically, what I’ve learned from their character and compassion. Let me explain.

Today I spent an hour at my friend Vivi’s house. Vivi’s house is not a typical house. It’s a modern design with minimalistic decor. The most striking feature of her home is its openness, physically and lovingly. There are no hallways and very few doors, all of which are hidden pocket doors. With no window coverings, sunlight fills the home. With clean lines and colors eschewing the clutter of material possessions, the eye is allowed to focus on the beauty of the outdoors through the expansive windows and glass doors. From the garden, we collected fruit and dried bean pods for planting in my family’s garden. Vivi’s focus in life is family and sharing, and the mindful architecture of her home reflects that philosophy. It was designed to create an open space conducive to spending family time together rather than apart in divided rooms, and she’ll happily share the most intimate parts of her home for inspiration. Even the garden was thoughtfully designed to yield an abundant crop to nourish and be shared with anyone within reach.

Caring for others and believing that everyone deserves a fair chance are what make my friend Rhonda special. People aren’t perfect, and while it’s hard for most to bite their tongues in awkward situations, Rhonda naturally offers a smile. Without taking sides, she has a way of looking deeper to explain disparity and seeks solutions toward mending. She finds reasons to forgive rather than perpetuate animosity and will bend over backward to bring peace into someone’s life. She is love’s biggest fan and the epitome of forgiveness and understanding.

A few years ago, I went through a rough patch and felt that I wasn’t making the best decisions. Sharing a love of music and a stand in an orchestra gave my friend Corrie and me ample opportunity to spend time together. Hanging out in her garden, picking bean pods and tomatoes while getting much-needed rabbit therapy, allowed me to smooth out my days. I’m endlessly impressed by her compassion for people, animals and plants. Without hesitation, Corrie will throw money in a tip jar or hand a few dollars to someone in the cold on the street. All of her rabbits are rescues, and she nurses them with love through to their last breath. She’s not afraid to speak up for someone if they’ve been unfairly treated. But while I admire this in Corrie, perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned from her is perspective. She has taught me that while having compassion for others, you also must do what’s right for yourself rather than what someone else wants from you.

These little gifts I have received from my friends along the way make the holiday season special for me. The festive lights, music and glittery garlands create the ambience, but the people in my life and what makes each one special create the reason for celebration. No, this season isn’t any more meaningful to me, I’m just glad to have good friends. From my family to yours, Happy Holidays.

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