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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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School principal remembers slain priest as friend to all


Courtesy of St. Francis High School
The late Rev. Eric Freed formerly served as chaplain and teacher at St. Francis High.

St. Francis High School Principal Patricia Tennant last week remembered the Rev. Eric Freed, S.S., as a man who treated everyone he encountered in the same manner – without judgment.

“He was the everyman priest … he was everybody’s pastor,” Tennant said of Freed, a former St. Francis chaplain and religious studies teacher who was killed in the rectory of St. Bernard Catholic Church in Eureka New Year’s Day. “He was a great listener. He never judged and he truly had an open heart.”

Local police have since arrested 44-year-old Gary Lee Bullock and charged him with the murder. At the time of his death, Freed, 56, was pastor at St. Bernard’s, taught in the Religious Studies Department at Humboldt State University and served as chaplain of the university’s Newman Center.

In a conversation with the Town Crier, Tennant said she initially learned of Freed’s death shortly after a fellow priest discovered his body on New Year’s Day.

“I got a phone call the evening of New Year’s Day that he had been killed. It was a very difficult message to hear,” said Tennant, who added that the school held private Masses Jan. 6 and 9 for grieving students and faculty members. The school also celebrated Mass Sunday in the Brothers’ Chapel in remembrance of Freed.

“There was great disbelief,” Tennant said of the school community’s reaction to Freed’s passing. “I talked to a colleague today and he kept saying that he wants it to be a dream, that he wants to wake up.”

Tennant said she’ll remember Freed as not only a friend to her, but to countless students and faculty members he got to know both during and after his tenure at the school. She noted last seeing him in November, when he stayed at her home while assisting St. Francis faculty members in hosting the school’s annual senior retreat. It was an event, she noted, that Freed looked forward to every year, even after his 2002-2005 tenure at the school ended.

During his stay, Freed walked through the school, popping into classrooms to say hello to former colleagues and speak with students. In one class, she recalled, he held an on-the-spot calligraphy lesson for students.

“He walked into my English classroom and talked to all my kids,” said Tennant, who added that Freed had presided over her daughter’s wedding and also baptized all of her grandchildren. “He was that kind of guy. He was very worldly but so grounded in the human experience that he could talk to anyone.”

Tennant added that Freed’s 20-year residence in Japan, where he entered the Salesian Religious Congregation in 1979 before being ordained as a Salesian priest in 1990, helped shape his approach to people and the world.

“When he talked to kids or adults, he embraced all different cultures and approaches to life because he came from such a broad global perspective,” said Tennant, who attended the funeral service in Eureka last week. “It seemed there wasn’t anything in life that he couldn’t find a passion for.”

Tennant said Freed’s legacy was impactful considering the brief period he served at the school – and won’t soon be forgotten by its community.

“The grieving is open and it’s natural, but we also know he was a man of great faith, and that’s what sustaining me,” she said. “I just know that we loved him, and knowing that he loved us back is a good thing.”

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