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News

West Nile fogging commences today

West Nile fogging commences today


Courtesy of the Santa Clara County Vector Control District
Fogging commences Wednesday within the highlighted area.

The detection of West Nile Virus-infected mosquitos means that Santa Clara County officials will begin mosquito fogging operations...

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Schools

LASD trustees reopen negotiations with Los Altos Teachers Association

The Los Altos School District Board of Trustees last week directed staff to reopen negotiations with the Los Altos Teachers Association, a move intended to shore up the district’s financial picture.

According to the district’s current co...

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Community

LA teenager crowned Miss Golden State, advances to national pageant in Florida

LA teenager crowned Miss Golden State, advances to national pageant in Florida


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Alexandra McCarthy, crowned Miss Golden State Teen in July, earned “Ms. Personality” honors from her peers.

Alexandra McCarthy has a ways to go before reaching her coveted role as a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Bu...

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Sports

After rough year, Eagles aim to soar once more

After rough year, Eagles aim to soar once more


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High senior running back Patrick Vargas snares a pass in practice last week.

Don’t dismiss the Eagles. Coach Trevor Pruitt is adamant that his Los Altos High football team will be better than expected.

&#...

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Comment

Car spotting 2015: A Piece of My Mind

When I was a kid, September was exciting, almost like Christmas, because that was when the Big Three automakers would reveal the new models for the upcoming year.

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Special Sections

Loving on the Edge

Loving on the Edge


Courtesy of Ford
The Ford Edge has been redesigned for 2015. Ford lengthened the wheel base and added cargo space, among other things. The Titanium model sells for approximately $42,000.

Once in a while, a vehicle we test-drive is just right for our...

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Business

Wine bar aims for October opening

Wine bar aims for October opening


Rendering courtesy of Honcho
Honcho, the wine and beer lounge on First Street, expects an October launch. A rendering of the space reveals the interior layout, which includes bar and lounge-style seating.

A downtown libations lounge that anticip...

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People

LOIS CAROLINE WALLES

LOIS CAROLINE WALLES

November, 1928

Lois lost a long and courageous battle with a prolonged illness on July 14th, 2015. She passed away knowing how well she was loved. She was always the life of the party and loved bringing everyone to her home for dinner or an event,...

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Travel

Carmel Valley Ranch unveils upgrades

Carmel Valley Ranch unveils upgrades


Courtesy of Carmel Valley Ranch
Carmel Valley Ranch recently upgraded its Vineyard Oak suites, which feature sweeping views, rocking chairs and private outdoor tubs for soaking under the stars.

Things are heating up at Carmel Valley Ranch, with 30 n...

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Stepping Out

'Dead Man' comes alive at Bus Barn

'Dead Man' comes alive at Bus Barn


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” includes, from left, Marjorie Hazeltine (as Hermia), Kristin Walter (Jean) and Adrienne Walters (Carlotta).

Los Altos Stage Company opens its ...

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Spiritual Life

Inside Mountain View

MV actress/playwright Garvin wins NY festival award for

MV actress/playwright Garvin wins NY festival award for "Corners Grove"


Courtesy of Undiscovered Countries
Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin received a New York arts festival award for a featured role in “Corners Grove,” a play she wrote.

New York recognized that one of Mountain View’s own can “make it there” when the Planet C...

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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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