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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Resident advocates for Cambodian immigrants: Resident Profile


Apala Egan/Special to the Town Crier
Usha Welaratna of Los Altos authored “Beyond the Killing Fields: Voices of Nine Cambodian Survivors in America.” Now retired, she teaches meditation through the city of Los Altos.

Advocating for Cambodian immigrants and teaching meditation are twin passions of longtime Los Altos resident Usha Welaratna.

Welaratna learned of the plight of Cambodian refugees while teaching anthropology at San Jose State University several years ago. Cambodians celebrate Buddhist festivals similar to those in her native Sri Lanka.

Like other newcomers to the United States, many Cambodians struggle with adapting to the language and culture.

Survivors of the Pol Pot regime’s concentration camps, the immigrants suffered from depression and other mental-health problems. Because their native language is Khmer, and many of the older generation speak French, they have difficulty assimilating.

An immigrant herself, Welaratna was attuned to the obstacles that immigrants face and determined to channel her efforts toward helping Cambodian refugees integrate into their new society. She worked extensively with Cambodian immigrants, encouraging cultural and family activities.

Welaratna chronicled her experiences in a book, “Beyond the Killing Fields: Voices of Nine Cambodian Survivors in America” (Stanford University Press, 1993).

She also helped local Cambodians establish children’s programs.

“She gave us advice, ideas and was very helpful,” said Sophany Bay, a native of Cambodia who now lives in San Jose. “She visited our temple several times.”

Retired from San Jose State University, Welaratna continues to teach, but not anthropology. Los Altos residents can find her at Hillview Community Center teaching meditation, which she has practiced since childhood. She underwent formal training at the Bhavana Society’s Meditation Center in West Virginia.

Many people believe that meditation involves sitting, Welaratna said, but walking meditation, which she teaches as well, is also an option.

“You don’t have to be Buddhist to practice meditation – it is for everyone,” she said. “People may need to focus their minds on a particular object – you can use a picture of a saint or a flower.”

Welaratna is scheduled to teach Mindfulness Meditation courses 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays Feb. 4 through March 25 and 3-5 p.m. Thursdays Feb. 6 through March 27 in Room 2 at Hillview Community Center, 97 Hillview Ave., Los Altos.

For more information, visit losaltosrecreation.org.

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