Thu02112016

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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Small details, big picture

“My A is flat,” I whispered. “It’s OK, no one can hear you,” my friend whispered back to me. We play violin in a local orchestra. We were in rehearsal and it was bothering me that my A string was flat, but I couldn’t tune it because we were in the middle of the first movement of Beethoven’s 5th symphony. Da, da, da, DAAA!

Waking up this morning in a groggy fog after a late night, all I could think about was going over the passages I had missed because I was so intently focused on my out-of-tune string. Over a cup of tea, I could hear the words my friend said to me. Once the caffeine kicked in, I realized that she was right. I wasn’t the soloist, and I wasn’t carrying the melody. Obsessing over being slightly out of tune distracted me from the goals of rehearsal – to learn from mistakes early and to make decisions as we go.

In my “Aha!” moment, I couldn’t help but apply that same principle to the sometimes heated discussions I have been hearing in coffeehouses and reading in emails and newspapers.

There has been much debate lately about math in the school district. Some parents want a more rigorous math curriculum because they believe it will enhance the quality of their children’s education. Other parents argue that the curriculum is fine the way it is and that it affords children a quality of life without added academic stress at an earlier age. There is evidence to support both sides.

There is also debate over stay-at-home working moms vs. career working moms. Some people argue that having a parent at home provides a life for the family that cannot be matched with two parents working outside the home. Others believe that career working moms are good role models for their children and offer more opportunities for independence. There is evidence to support both sides.

Obviously, one size does not fit all, and there are two sides to every coin. But obsessing over the details of the choices we make, if we have the luxury of choice, can sometimes prevent the big picture from coming into view.

It’s easy to get caught up in the details of the here and now and lose sight of what we want for our children in the end – to be happy and comfortable. But at the end of the day, when the dust has settled and everyone is just fine, are we going to look back and say, “I’m glad I spent countless hours arguing over when my child took geometry and defending my status with respect to being a mom”? Or are we going to wish we had spent those hours knowing that those details weren’t going to make or break the quality of our children’s lives as adults because we were focused on what was working for our families?

Preoccupied by the flat notes coming from under my left ear, I missed out on aspects of the rehearsal that could shape my performance in the concert. The quality of an orchestra is only as good as its musicians, the director and the repertoire. It was up to me to make adjustments, to the best of my ability, for my particular situation.

As far as I know, life is not a rehearsal. But I know that with or without my violin, I will do my best, learn from myself and from others, make adjustments and be happy with my decisions, even if no one can hear me.

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