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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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Why is Pope Francis Time's 2013 Person of the Year?: No Shoes, Please

Here’s how Nancy Gibbs, managing editor of Time magazine, explains it: “For pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world’s largest church to confronting its deepest needs and for balancing judgment with mercy, Pope Francis is Time’s 2013 Person of the Year.”

Compare that to Sarah Palin’s remarks about the pope being “too liberal” and Rush Limbaugh’s histrionic response that the pope is a “Marxist” simply because he has asked us to redirect our attention to the poor and disenfranchised.

Personally, I think he is doing precisely what any Christian leader ought to be doing, and it’s weird that some of us are put off or even threatened by that. I mean, the pope is advocating for those in need and admonishing the greedy. Isn’t that the Christian thing to do?

At the same time, I don’t think that Pope Francis should get any more power to spread his message than some TV coverage and the bully pulpit; it’s never a good idea when a religious leader is in charge of, for example, the armed forces or a political system.

However, like his predecessors, the pope has a big voice and a huge audience, and he’s chosen to use both in favor of people who have neither. That’s power enough, I believe.

I applaud the pope when he says we need to stop focusing on abortion and homosexuality. I don’t think he’s necessarily abandoning these issues entirely; he’s merely trying to push them down on the world’s agenda so that the more pressing problems of global inequality and human suffering can claim a higher spot. As reported, the pope sees the Church as a field hospital with high cholesterol.

And he’s right to do this. In terms of size, the number of those affected by starvation, cruelty, war, disease, poverty and lack of opportunities dwarfs the number of people in the world affected by abortion and gay marriage. And you can certainly make the argument that homosexuality in particular is not a source of human suffering.

As heated as the debate over gay marriage can get, same-sex couples do not inspire trauma or violence, unless of course you happen to walk over to that dark side on your own steam and legs.

I don’t know what the pope’s message to the world will be on Christmas Day, but from the looks of it, he’s all in. Therefore, I hope that on that day of family, joy, gifts and glitter, he maintains our focus on the people who don’t have access to those things, because they, too, are worthy of our attention and compassion.

For now, Pope Francis seems to be the best person to exert that kind of moral authority, not because he’s the pope, but because he walks the talk and doesn’t get self-righteous about it. His vision is simple and straightforward – we are our brothers’ keepers – and he’s unwavering on that point. I don’t think anyone in recent memory has made it any plainer.

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