Thu05262016

News

FAA report

FAA report "a start" in allaying noise onslaught


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Anti-noise advocates exchange informational door hangers to give to neighbors.

A federal report released last week identifies possible solutions to the aircraft noise plaguing South Bay communities.

The Federal Aviation...

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Schools

Almond community packs meals for those in need

Almond community packs meals for those in need


Courtesy of Polly Liu
Almond School families worked together last month to package more than 15,000 meals for the Stop Hunger Now organization. Approximately 85 volunteers, including students in grades K-6, packaged meals of rice, soy, vitamins and...

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Community

Veteran Marie Houghton Mong: Mapping out a long life of doing

Veteran Marie Houghton Mong: Mapping out a long life of doing


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Marie Houghton Mong relaxes with one of her two 16-year-old cats at The Terraces at Los Altos retirement community.

On the average day, Marie Houghton Mong can be found in her attractive and comfortable apartment at T...

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Comment

Blame it on Rio: No Shoes, Please

In 2008, I wrote a column explaining why I thought Beijing was an inappropriate venue for that year’s Summer Olympic Games. I cited health risks: the city’s terrible pollution and the country’s corrupt food supply chain. I also note...

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Special Sections

Upscale modern: Los Altos Hills home honors DNA of originals

Upscale modern: Los Altos Hills home honors DNA of originals


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Melissa and Nick French, right with son Grayson, pooled their talents to design their dream home. Melissa designed the living room sofa and table.

Melissa and Nick French took “do it yourself” to a new dimens...

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Business

ATHENA awards recognize local leadership

ATHENA awards recognize local leadership


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Chamber of Commerce Mountain View presented this year’s ATHENA Leadership Award to Maria Marroquin, left, and Leane Reelfs, right. The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award went to Diana Bautista, center.

Chamber ...

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People

ERNEST TRAUGOTT

ERNEST TRAUGOTT

Resident of Los Altos 
August 18, 1920 - May 11, 2016 

Ernie died peacefully at his home, just a few months short of his 96th birthday. 

Ernie had an amazing life, born in Germany he and his family fled the Nazi's soon after Kristal...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company's 'Arts Razzle-Dazzle' showcases local talent

LA Stage Company's 'Arts Razzle-Dazzle' showcases local talent


Courtesy of Eileen Eng
Mountain View High junior Julia Rogers, 2015 South Bay Teen Idol winner, is slated to perform at Tuesday’s “Arts Razzle-Dazzle” at Bus Barn Theater.

Los Altos Stage Company shines a spotlight on the perfo...

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Spiritual Life

Former St. Nicholas pastor shares his story as exorcist

The Rev. Gary Thomas served the Los Altos faith community as pastor of St. Nicholas Catholic Parish for several years before he announced in 2005 that San Jose Bishop Patrick J. McGrath had assigned him to study in Rome, not unusual for U.S. priests...

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How knot too right


Photo By: Town Crier file photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo Los Altos students practice their writing skills from the early grades, avoiding the pitfalls of literacy outlined in Nick Thomas’ humorous column. Thomas suggests, “Let’s stamp out mixed meteors forever, and never spit another infinitive again.”

As the new school year approaches, I would like to undress you all today while disgusting a serious education problem facing this nation – the inability of the younger generators to write properly.

It’s a very disturbing trend, because there is a vast suppository of knowledge in the collective minds of today’s youth who are desperately in need of guidance to espresso themselves better.

As one of our grating vice presidents, Dan Quayle, once appropriatingly said, “Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.”

I could not depress it any better than that.

So why do students have difficulty writing?

Well, let me play the devil’s avocado for a moment. Perhaps we could place the blame on teachers and our country’s broken education cistern. But this would just be adding a salt to injury, which really stings. Our educators are amongst the finest in the world, so I don’t believe we should be placing the problem at our teachers’ feats.

Alternatorly, we could ask: Are students too focused on afterschool extravehicular activities?

Perhaps we should also condemn the affluence of the movie industry. Today’s films focus on fantasy and violence, rather than educating an audience. And with prevalent themes of an erotic nature, has Hollywood been grossly negligée in this area?

While all of the above may be partly to blame, the real explanation may lie closer to home.

In reality, much of the fault (and I don’t think this is just a pigment of my imagination) rests with the parents – you know who you are. And if you don’t, modern forensic science can help with the aid of NRA genetic testing.

The simple fact is that today’s parents are often too busy to think about insuring their children’s academic success. Some stressed parents even resource to drinking. I personally know several who currently attend Alcoholics Unanimous.

As a result, the children suffer: They return home to empty houses, have to blow-wave their own TV dinners or eat junk food, then struggle alone to fabricate answers to difficult homework assignments. Where are the parents to warn that Cheetos never prosper!

So is it any wonder that kids neglect their studies and create mischief at school, even those who come from effluent families?

Students have always had a knack for irrigating their teachers, but today’s kids can be very disruptive. Just the other day, I read of a child who opened all the faucets in his school’s arrest room. The water damage was so severe, they had to evaporate the school. Honesty, this nautical behavior leaves me with Butterfingers in my stomach.

Students need guidance – emotionally and academically. Teachers and parents have a responsibility to enrage a student’s mind, and what better way to achieve this than developing writing skills and emphasizing the ability to repress one’s self clearly.

I know that teaching the rules of writing often goes down like a lead baboon, but they are essential tools for invective expression.

Let’s examine some basics.

Tenses: These often cause trouble, especially if you forget them when camping. But I digest.

Punctuation: No English teacher wants to send home students with conjunctionitis or have to perform a semicolonoscopy on a term paper rife with punctuation errors.

What about grammar, I hear you ask? Well, the old battle-ax has been living with us for seven years now and refuses to croak, but I digest again.

I think you can see what I’m incinerating here. No student likes to be prepositioned by a teacher. But developing writing skills can be a huge advantage when considering future career options.

After all, what kid wouldn’t like to become an extinguished American libel filmmaker like Michael Moron? Or a renounced vice president such as Joe Bidet? Or even a visionary inventor, such as Henry Forward?

So as the summer drawers to a clothes and students return to school, I invite them, their teachers and their parents to work together to make more young Americans legitimate. Let’s stamp out mixed meteors forever, and never spit another infinitive again.

(For impugning his writing skills, the author would like to acknowledge his 11th-grade English teacher, Miss Marla Props, a graduate of the Norm Crosby College of Electrocution.)

Nick Thomas has written for more than 200 magazines and newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Christian Science Monitor. Email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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