Sat09202014

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

No mystery in downtown parking

The city of Los Altos Downtown Parking Management Plan and the Downtown Public Parking Data sheet both accurately report the number of parking spaces, despite comments to the contrary (“Los Altos mysteries explored,” Jan. 29).

In the mid-1990s, the city purchased two downtown parcels – 400 Main St. and 230 First St. The private businesses operating in those locations were allowed to continue, and the city opened up 54 of the existing parking spaces for public use. While preparing for the eventual sale of the property, the city demolished the buildings in 2010 and used the site as a staging area to minimize construction impacts of the downtown beautification and First Street streetscape projects.

In 2012, with those projects complete, the city chose to allow, on a temporary basis, unregulated parking on the empty, unimproved lot while the site plan was under development. From April 2012 to August 2013, a total of 96 parking spaces were available.

The city’s Downtown Urban Design Plan identifies the First and Main site as a key gateway to the downtown and indicates that future development of the site should incorporate a “mixture of land uses, with retail on the ground floor” (Downtown Urban Design Plan, page 35). The development underway accomplishes that goal and will provide a welcoming entry into the downtown, which will promote vibrancy and economic vitality in downtown Los Altos.

To review the Downtown Parking Management Plan and the Downtown Urban Design Plan, visit losaltosca.gov/masterplans.

Marcia Somers

Los Altos City Manager

Leaf-blower violations merit citations

I am responding to a letter in another local newspaper regarding the Los Altos police beat, which reported 11 persons cited for illegally using gas-powered leaf blowers in Los Altos. The letter writer indicated that this was a waste of police time and taxpayers’ money.

Does the letter writer know about pollution?

The California Air Resources Board documents that the exhaust pollution from one gas blower used for one hour equals the smog produced by 17 cars driven for one hour.

Green alternatives include an electric blower, which has less power to stir up dangerous particulate matter, and a rake and a broom, which provide healthful exercise for the user.

The Los Altos City Council and other councils in the state and the U.S. acknowledged the detrimental environmental effects of these machines and banned them.

We commend the police for taking care of our citizens and citing the lawbreakers who violated our local ban, in effect since 1991.

Myra Orta

Los Altos

Yes to bond measure – if BCS goes to Morgan Hill

After receiving multiple survey phone calls on the wording of the school bond measure, my response has become somewhat brief.

I am all for it, up to $40 million, with one stipulation: Bullis Charter School must reside in Morgan Hill.

What? Oh yes – Morgan Hill! The legal requirement for a location in Santa Clara County would be met.

Bullis Charter School can continue to provide quality education services while cherry-picking enrollment and avoiding those with special needs, less-fluent English and substandard affluence. The obligatory $5,000 tuition will be paid without question.

It does beg the question of why Los Altos Hills doesn’t seek private financing for its own students as a strictly private school, which by all other aspects it is. Land is available.

Oh – by the way, if the stipulation of Morgan Hill isn’t met, my answer to the bond measure is no.

Kurt Ayers

Los Altos

Kudos to The European Cobblery

As a former mayor of Los Altos and downtown property owner, I extend a very special thanks to the many Los Altans and the Town Crier for quietly and politely letting both The European Cobblery and its landlord, Passarelle Investment Co., know how special the shop is to our village.

It provides a unique service, and they are staying – a welcomed development.

A final special thanks goes to The Cobblery and Passerelle.

Ron Packard

Los Altos

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