Wed05042016

News

MV council adopts rent dispute ordinance, despite reservations

Despite criticism that it lacked teeth, the Mountain View City Council approved last week a second reading and adoption of a controversial program aimed at resolving rental-housing disputes between tenants and landlords.

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alwa...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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Stanford scholars: Hurricane Katrina did not raise awareness of poverty

Contrary to a popular notion reported in news coverage of Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 Gulf Coast disaster did not reveal to most Americans that widespread poverty and inequality are the nation's "dirty little secret."

Rather, most Americans were aware of these problems before they were highlighted by the devastation of Katrina, according to a new study by Stanford sociologists. As a result, the event did not become a watershed in the debate over poverty, as some pundits had forecast. In fact, awareness of poverty and inequality actually decreased among some groups of Americans after Katrina, suggesting that some people may have reacted negatively to news coverage by what they claimed to be a "liberally biased media," according to the study, "Did Katrina Recalibrate Attitudes Toward Poverty and Inequality? A Test of the 'Dirty Little Secret' Hypothesis."

The paper, co-authored by sociology Professor David Grusky and doctoral student Emily Ryo, will be published in the spring edition of the Du Bois Review. Lawrence Bobo, the Martin Luther King Jr. Centennial Professor, co-edits the 2-year-old, peer-reviewed journal on race in the social sciences. The forthcoming issue, which includes a paper by education Professor Emeritus John Baugh, is devoted to new research related to Katrina.

Grusky and Ryo based their findings on data from the 2004 and 2005 Maxwell Polls on Civic Engagement and Inequality based at Syracuse University. The nationally representative surveys, which included a comprehensive list of questions on poverty and inequality, were conducted in October 2004 and October 2005. Taking place just after Hurricane Katrina, the latter poll allowed the researchers to gauge how attitudes changed following the disaster.

According to a Pew Research Center poll, 70 percent of the U.S. adult population claims to have paid "very close attention" to news about Katrina, making it the fifth most closely watched story in the last 20 years.

"It follows that Katrina had the potential to recalibrate public ideologies in ways far more profound than, say, the release of yet another government report on inequality and poverty." Grusky and Ryo wrote in the study.

According to the researchers, journalists broached many themes in their coverage of the disaster, but a common one was that Katrina cast a fresh light on the depth and extent of poverty in America.

Ryo uncovered this popular theme during an online search of national and local newspaper and broadcast reporting on the disaster, which, she wrote, was summed up by a poverty expert quoted in Newsday Oct. 2: "There has been a pulling back of the veil that hides poverty in America. ... All of a sudden, people are saying, 'Do we really have that level of poverty here? Are there people really trying to hold families together with substandard education, living in substandard housing and with no financial resources to fall back on?'"

Ryo, a fourth-year graduate student, said that after Katrina she, too, had accepted the premise that Americans had been "completely unaware" of the size of these problems. "It's easy to buy into the story that if only we had known about the extent of poverty in America, we would have buckled down and taken care of it," she said.

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