Fri09192014

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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Deadline placed on civic center plan


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A family takes advantage of the unseasonably warm January weather to lunch outside at the Los Altos Civic Center on Hillview Avenue. The complex housing a community center, city hall and police station is the subject of renovation plans.

One of the Los Altos City Council’s priorities for 2014 now has a deadline.

Los Altos City Manager Marcia Somers told the Town Crier that the city’s process to update its Civic Center Master Plan – which would include updated plans to replace Hillview Community Center with a modern multiuse structure – will be complete in approximately 10 months. The city council established the timeline for the project at a Jan. 14 study session.

“This is a very aggressive schedule, but we think we can meet it. The short time frame will help us stay focused,” said Somers, who was slated to unveil a more detailed process schedule at the Jan. 28 council meeting, held after the Town Crier’s press deadline.

Somers noted that the effort isn’t necessarily meant to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the existing master plan for replacing the city’s aging civic center facilities – particularly Hillview. She said a large component to the update effort will be a comprehensive review and validation of information already contained in the original master plan, completed in June 2009. Somers added that she believes “the majority” of the information in the current master plan will remain valid.

“There’s a lot of good work already done on what are the (public’s) interests and needs,” said Somers, who retained the services of Anderson Brulé Architects to develop an updated master plan.

Still, Somers noted that the update will explore new aspects for consideration as part of the master plan. During the hour-plus study session, several councilmembers expressed a desire to examine the benefits, drawbacks and costs associated with underground parking as part of a new community center. Two councilwomen – Val Carpenter and Jan Pepper – also shared their desire for adding a community pool facility option to the master plan update.

“We’ll see during public engagement opportunities where that falls out,” Somers said of the idea to add underground parking to a community center design concept. “It is obviously a more costly option.”

According to Somers, another key aspect to the update includes gathering ample feedback from residents.

The 10-month schedule, she said, will include no less than eight opportunities for residents to offer feedback and suggestions on various elements – such as a community center design concepts and programming needs – from the beginning to the end of the update process. Those opportunities, she added, could ultimately come in the form of workshops, city council study sessions and other public events.

Somers said the city will also look at ways to engage residents online as part of the update process.

“Not everyone is going to be interested in every element we’re trying to validate,” she said. “There are going to be different groups of constituents interested in different things.”

Somers said she hopes that the update process will lead to its intended consequence – a new community center building all residents can enjoy for decades to come.

“I think the community will really benefit from having a comprehensive multigeneration, multipurpose community center,” she said. “We have one (currently), but obviously without the quality that the community desires.”

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