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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St. Nicholas students give back through the Morgan Autism Center

SCH MAC Eric and Christian PangrazioAs a part of St. Nicholas School’s outreach program, seventh- and eighth-grade students visit and interact with students at the Morgan Autism Center throughout the year.

Sent in groups of four, the St. Nicholas students travel to the San Jose facility to work and interact with Morgan Autism Center children.

The Center is a nonprofit dedicated to helping children and adult clients with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability found in children with 24,000 new cases diagnosed each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is more prevalent than juvenile diabetes, pediatric cancer and childhood AIDS combined.

In California, the caseload has tripled in the eight years between 2002 and 2010, recording a growth from 17,000 to more than 60,000.

“The students at St. Nicholas gain an appreciation, a tolerance and an understanding of children with developmental disabilities,” said Liz Fraiser, a parent who helps organize the visits. “It can be mysterious to them, but they understand that these kids deserve love and respect. You can talk about it, but when they work side by side they really get it.”

The small group helps create a calm and intimate atmosphere for the students to work with the developmentally delayed and autistic students. While at the center, they work on everything from basic eye contact and social skills to crafts and puzzles.

“The Morgan Autism students are always very excited to see our St. Nicholas students and often tell them how much they love them,” Fraiser said. “The St. Nicholas students are very supportive and encouraging.”

One tradition the students often join in is the “Woo Hoo” dance – a festive celebration after students complete a task.

“There is not a time when I do not leave the Morgan Autism kids without a lump in my throat,” Fraiser said. “It is truly a spiritual experience.”

The St. Nicholas students value their time with the Morgan Autism students as well.

“Interacting and bonding with the autistic teenagers was a moving experience that I have cherished,” said St. Nicholas eighth-grader Annie Gallivan. “Spending time with them and getting to know each individual was a lot of fun, and we mutually never failed to put smiles on each other’s faces.”

And the Center students benefit from the unique experience with mainstream students, said Sally Hird, an assistant teacher at the Morgan Autism Center.

“The most important benefit is being able to interact with a typical peer,” she said. “A lot of our students have no other chance to develop friendships with typical peers. They are basically at school with the same types of students. Just being with peers who can speak and tell them jokes and show them how to do things is very wonderful.”

Outreach and community service is an integral part of the St. Nicholas School education. Students work on community service and giving-back projects throughout their years at St. Nicholas and by seventh and eighth grades, they may work with the students at the Center.

Fraiser said that by junior high the students are prepared to give back in a more interactive fashion.

The Morgan Autism Center and St. Nicholas School have a special relationship, which has reached beyond the classroom visits. Last year when the center was looking for creative fundraising ideas, musically inclined St. Nicholas dads stepped up and volunteered to present a restaurant dinner and band concert as a fundraiser.

“It was a great celebration and many Morgan Autism teachers and administrators came and danced the night away with our St. Nicholas parents,” Fraiser said. “All in celebration of this event to help the kids. There is truly a special relationship between these two schools.”

For more information, visit stnicholaslah.com and morgancenter.org.

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