Thu09182014

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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Pinewood School hosts Duncan Sheik in concert


Emily Copriviza/Special to the Town Crier
Pinewood students, from left, Annie Whitacre, Carolyn Ehrlich (on guitar), Justin Stangenes and Talmage Wise perform in “Whisper House” in the school’s November production. Duncan Sheik, who cowrote the musical, will visit the school next month to perform.

Thanks to a connection with the Pinewood School Performing Arts Department, the school’s Upper Campus is scheduled to host a concert featuring Duncan Sheik, the Grammy and Tony Award-winning singer-songwriter and composer.

In November Pinewood produced the high school and regional premiere of the musical “Whisper House,” which Sheik co-wrote with Kyle Jarrow.

After finishing his ninth studio album, Sheik will kick off the Northwest leg of his national tour at Pinewood. His Broadway blockbuster “Spring Awakening” springboarded the career of actress Lea Michele and many others. His No. 1 hit from the 1990s, “Barely Breathing,” was recently featured on the TV shows “Glee” and “Girls.”

Pinewood connection

Spencer Williams, chairman of Pinewood’s Visual and Performing Arts Department, said he wanted his students to stage “Whisper House” after he saw the premiere at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego.

To secure the rights to the musical, which were not subject to the typical licensing process of plays and musicals, Williams, “on a whim,” contacted Jarrow about the possibility of performing “Whisper House.” Jarrow replied, “Absolutely.”

“As a musical-theater educator, it was one of the most exciting and educational things we could do,” Williams said. “The students were able to create the characters without seeing so many other versions of the production on YouTube. It’s pretty rare to get to do that. Most don’t even get to do that in college.”

Williams invited Sheik and Jarrow to the Pinewood performance, but scheduling conflicts prevented them from attending. After reading that Sheik was embarking on a tour that would bring him to the Bay Area, Williams, “on another whim,” called Sheik’s manager and asked if the singer would stop by Pinewood to chat with students about musical theater.

Williams once again received an enthusiastic reply, with Sheik’s manager proposing a concert at the school, preceded by a VIP event for students.

“I’m very excited to hang out with the students and talk to them about music and theater,” said Sheik in a phone interview with the Town Crier. “I think that kids being encouraged to make music or theater or any kind of art in high school is incredibly important.”

Sheik said he thinks that too often nowadays students are consumers of media more than creators of art.

“I really appreciate kids making art,” he said. “When high school kids do things like this – especially a show like ‘Whisper House’ – it’s incredible they pulled it off.”

Broadway success

Sheik, 44, has spent the better part of the fall in London working on the theatrical debut of “American Psycho,” which recently premiered at the Almeida Theatre.

He launched his musical career in 1996 with his eponymous debut album, which earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Male Vocal, featured the pop hit “Barely Breathing” and sold 750,000 copies.

Sheik plunged into the musical-theater world in the early 2000s with “Spring Awakening,” for which he wrote the music and Steven Sater the book and lyrics. “Spring Awakening” won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical and eight Tony Awards, with Sheik earning Tonys for Best Orchestration and Best Original Score, and a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album.

“When I wrote ‘Spring Awakening,’ my real intense feeling was that there was a lot of musical theater being well made and beautifully done, but stylistically the music had no connection to the rest of the music people listen to – the popular music of the day,” he said. “I feel like the theater can and should reflect the stylistic taste of the public that is going to see it.”

“Spring Awakening” boasted an indie-rock sound that garnered accolades from the theater world. Sheik’s most recent work, “American Psycho,” has a 1980s-influenced electronic dance sound.

Pinewood performance

Sheik’s concert at Pinewood will feature selections he wrote for his musicals, songs from his catalogue as a recording artist and new music from his upcoming album, “Electric Domain,” scheduled for release later this year.

His new sound was “very much influenced by the aesthetic of electronic dance music,” he said.

The concert benefits the Pinewood Performing Arts Scholarship Fund. More than 10 students received scholarships of varying amounts last year, allowing them to travel and perform with fellow students at the Vatican. Pinewood students are scheduled to perform in Notre Dame in Paris this year.

Sheik’s concert is scheduled 8 p.m. Feb. 7 at the Pinewood Upper Campus Theatre, 26800 Fremont Road, Los Altos Hills.

Tickets are $50, $100 and $150 (for the VIP package).

To purchase tickets, visit tinyurl.com/SheikTickets.

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