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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Letters to the Editor

Help stop vandalism at Redwood Grove

I’m writing this urgent request to the Los Altos City Council and Police Department to please take immediate action to stop the increasing vandalization at the Redwood Grove Nature Preserve.

In the past, I have observed and documented the destruction and have sent photos to the police and the Town Crier. I have continued to monitor the situation, only to see it deteriorate further.

Today, in addition to the usual cigarette butts, “roaches,” discarded rolling papers and empty beer cans, for the first time I observed black spray-painted tagging on a picnic table and several tree trunks.

Please understand that this intense level of vandalization only began when the property became vacant. It is not going to stop on its own. Acterra, the nonprofit group undertaking the preserve’s rehabilitation, can’t stop it. The occasional strolls through the property by police officers able to momentarily leave their fancy new SUVs haven’t stopped it. The neighbors are oblivious, even though their own properties are at risk from potential fires, etc.

We must have a deterrent. The only solution I see is to have someone living in the caretaker’s house. Perhaps the city could partner with Acterra to arrange that? Even motion-detection cameras directly linked to the police department would not substitute for the presence of a real person.

Redwood Grove is a precious gem in this area. As Los Altos’ population increases, it will become ever more valuable and ever more in need of protection. Please take action while the preserve is still here for all of us to enjoy.

Peggy Hennessee

Los Altos

Cyclists shouldn’t choose chatting over caution

As I read the article about the newly signed law requiring motorists to provide at least 3-foot spacing when passing bicyclists, I thought, “Seems reasonable – bicycling has enough inherent risks, and riders have so little protection” (“Some question effectiveness of new bike law,” Jan. 8).

Everyone is aware of this vulnerability. Yet many bicyclists choose to ride two or three abreast, often outside the bike lane (which is never wide enough for safe parallel riding). By choosing sociability over safety, they reduce their own safety cushion.

The photo accompanying the article makes the point: several bicyclists riding parallel, far outside the bike lane. They share the same roadway with 2-ton vehicles, trusting their lives to the skill and attentiveness of drivers. Vehicle drivers need to be cautious and considerate when near bicyclists. And although our young children learn not to “play in traffic,” riding parallel is fun.

Sadly, no law, regardless of its good intentions, can protect people from the consequences of their making poor decisions. And I think that riding parallel or outside the bike lane is a poor decision.

Michael Rappaport, M.D.

Los Altos

Chef Chu’s staff draws compliments

I would like to thank Larry Chu Jr. and the entire staff of Chef Chu’s for their kindness, support and professionalism when, without much notice and in the middle of the holiday season, they catered my mom’s memorial service after she passed in December.

During the 20-plus years we lived, worked and raised our family in and around Los Altos, Chef Chu’s always came through for the community and its families.

When 15 teens forgot to make a dinner reservation on a busy Friday night prior to a dressy and time-sensitive school event, one phone call to Larry solved the problem.

“When do they need to arrive?” queried Larry. And when I responded, “Oh, about now,” he said simply, “Send them over, we’ll make it work.”

Over the years, my book club has met there too many times to count. We stayed too long, talked too loudly and were always treated wonderfully.

Now, six years after we have moved across the country, a trip to Los Altos is never complete without visiting Chef Chu’s. And Larry always greets us as if we’ve never left.

Chef Chu’s is more than a restaurant, it is a town treasure. When it’s in your backyard, it is easy to forget this. But when you move away, it is easy to realize what you’ve lost. Coming back under stressful and emotional circumstances and hearing Larry’s calm voice say, “We’ll take care of it,” and knowing they would, was a blessing.

Meg Solera

Durham, N.C.

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