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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Downtown College Prep schools encourage, empower students



Downtown College Prep students spend four 45-minute periods a week preparing college applications, with support from teachers and staff. Traci Newell/ Town Crier

For teachers and students alike, Downtown College Prep schools are a family, and family members don’t let each other down.

“The teachers are committed to helping you out,” said Mario Rodriguez, a member of the 78-student senior class at Downtown College Prep in San Jose. “They give you a sense of comfort and make school feel like home. Here, you actually know your teachers and they spend time with you, and that is something I really value and cherish.”

Downtown College Prep schools are charter schools in the San Jose Unified and Alum Rock school districts. The singular mission for students, most the first in their families to apply to college, is be accepted to and enroll at a four-year university, a graduation requirement.

Last week at Downtown College Prep in San Jose, Rodriguez and his classmates celebrated the completion of the UC and CSU college admissions process.

“It was really stressful, but it was really worth it,” said senior Audrey Aguilar. “I felt like sometimes I was thinking, ‘I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t know if I’m good enough.’ But I just had to get over that fear.”

One of the aspects that makes Downtown College Prep unique is that students spend four 45-minute periods a week preparing college applications, with support from teachers and staff.

Jeff Dagan, senior English teacher, said he has a chart in his room tracking his students’ progress in meeting deadlines for college admissions.

“It’s amazing how many of our students go to college,” he said. “This little rule of having the graduation requirement of being accepted into a four-year university really works to get them going right from the beginning. Making it a structural piece and requirement is the key to why we are so successful.”

Downtown College Prep believes that all students, regardless of academic achievement, could and should be prepared for college success. Five hundred graduates later, the school continues to build transformational learning communities where students become pioneers in their families and communities.

Downtown College Prep is committed to college success. The school’s “To and Through” college completion model ensures that graduates and their families are supported in the pursuit of a college degree. With a focus on students who are historically underserved by traditional public schools, Downtown College Prep families are largely low-income Latino families with limited education.

Next year, Downtown College Prep will add 550 seats in its Alum Rock and San Jose schools. Alum Rock currently serves sixth- through ninth-graders but is growing to eventually continue through 12th grade. Next year, the San Jose school will add a sixth-grade program, which will connect to the current ninth- through 12th-grade program.

The Town Crier Holiday Fund’s contribution supports Downtown College Prep programs in San Jose and Alum Rock.

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