Fri02122016

News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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A war of words

When Shakespeare wrote, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet," he sure wasn't talking about U.S. policy in Iraq.

There are lots of names you could call President Bush's recently unveiled plans for that beleaguered, befuddled nation, but Bush's preference appears to be "troop surge." Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice calls it an "augmentation." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid calls it an "escalation," and I bet Jon Stewart of "The Daily Show" will eventually coin a phrase for it that gets bleeped on air when he utters it.

According to Frank Luntz, author of "Words That Work: It's Not What You Say, It's What People Hear," roses smell sweet or foul depending on the nomenclature. As a G.O.P. pollster, Luntz was the brains behind swapping out "death tax" for "estate tax" and "climate change" for "global warming."

Luntz disapproves of all three choices: surge, augmentation and escalation. He believes the Bush administration should have gone with a "re" word, like "reinvestment" or "re-establishment." "Re-" words, he claims, convey a thoughtfulness and direction shift that the American people are looking for, and would have mitigated Bush's "stay the course" obstinacy that many now regard as folly.

As for me, a lover of words, idioms and languages in general, I don't give a hoot what you call it, though I think "re-Baathification" would have been hilarious. I just think sending 21,000 additional troops to Iraq while threatening Iran and Syria on national television (though I am not opposed to doing it privately) isn't going to help.

Now, I admit, I am the absolute opposite of a military expert - I think gun usage is almost always cruel, and I have no sense of geography, topography and direction - so my opinion is probably worthless in these matters.

Gen. John Abizaid, former top commander of U.S. troops in the Middle East and a fluent Arabic speaker, wasn't keen on the idea either. However, Abizaid's been replaced by Adm. William Fallon, a Navy guy in charge of Iraq, which is virtually a landlocked country. I guess Fallon will come in handy when we take on Iran and Syria.

Call the strategy what you will, but let's hope it doesn't turn out to be Bush's "Hail Mary pass," another term I've heard thrown around lately by military guys who look like they've been around the gridiron a few times.

The Iraq war has cost lives, limbs, human suffering and maybe even our country's economic stability. Expense for the war is $2 billion per week, and because we don't have the tax revenue to pay the bills, we've been selling U.S. bonds by the barrel to China.

The Bush administration doesn't have a catchphrase for that dicey financial relationship yet, but I won't smell a rose by any other name no matter what you call it.

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