Wed11262014

News

VTA plans for  El Camino Real prompt skepticism

VTA plans for El Camino Real prompt skepticism


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Valley Transit Authority proposal to convert general-use right lanes on El Camino Real to bus-only use received a chilly reception last week.

A Valley Transit Authority proposal that prioritizes public transit alo...

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Schools

MVHS students attempt Guinness World Record

MVHS students attempt Guinness World Record


Barry Tonge/Special to the Town Crier
Local residents participate in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for making the most friendship braceletsNov. 9 at Mountain View High.

More than 300 Mountain View High School students gathered around...

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Community

Bigger, better days ahead for Foothill Veterans Resource Center

Bigger, better days ahead for Foothill Veterans Resource Center


Student veterans at Foothill College can seek support, access resources and socialize at the Veterans Resource Center.
Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Carmela Xuereb sees bigger things in store for the Foothill College Veterans Resource Center. One...

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Comment

Serving those who served us: Editorial

“Thank you for your service” often comes across as lip service to our veterans. As always, actions speak louder than words.

The Rotary Club of Los Altos has taken plenty of action, contributing time and money to improve opportunities for veterans th...

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Business

Report: Los Altos homes priciest in U.S.

Report: Los Altos homes priciest in U.S.


ToWn Crier File Photo
The average cost of a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Los Altos is 30 times more than the price of a similar home in Cleveland, according to a Coldwell Banker report.

The average cost of one Silicon Valley home can purchase ...

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Books

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree


Author Tiffany Papageorge is scheduled to sign copies of new her book 11 a.m. Dec. 6 at Linden Tree Books, 265 State St., Los Altos.

Papageorge’s “My Yellow Balloon” (Minoan Moon, 2014) is a Mom’s Choice “Gold” winner. In the book, the Los Gat...

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People

RICHARD CAMPBELL WAUGH

RICHARD CAMPBELL WAUGH

Richard Campbell Waugh of Los Altos Hills, Ca. died at home October 31, 2014 surrounded by his family and caregivers.

Dick was born 1917, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He earned a BS in chemistry from University of Arkansas and a PhD in organic chemi...

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Travel

Weekday Wanderlust highlights the joys of armchair travel

Weekday Wanderlust highlights the joys of armchair travel


Dan Prothero/Special to the Town Crier
Travel writers at the October gathering of the Weekday Wanderlust group include, from left, James Nestor, Kimberley Lovato, Paul Rauber, Marcia DeSanctis and Lavinia Spalding.

Travel writing should either ̶...

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Stepping Out

Pacific Ballet's 'Nutcracker' opens Friday in downtown Mtn. View

The Pacific Ballet Academy is back with its 24th annual production of “The Nutcracker,” scheduled this weekend in downtown Mountain View.

The story follows young Clara as she falls into a dream where her beloved nutcracker becomes the daring prince ...

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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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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