Wed04012015

News

Council eyes bond for Hillview center

Council eyes bond for Hillview center


The Los Altos City Council accepted an $87.5 million cost model for its preferred layout for replacing Hillview Community Center. 

Residents could cast their votes as soon as November on a bond measure to partially fund the redevelopment of...

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Schools

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions


Courtesy of Jane Lee Choe
The Sharp Cheddars, a team of Oak Avenue School sixth-graders, perform at the Destination Imagination state competition Saturday in Riverside.

A team of seven Oak Avenue School sixth-graders traveled to Riverside last week...

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Community

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
All in the family: Mark Heising, from left, Caitlin Heising and Elizabeth Simons make up the board of the eight-year-old Heising-Simons Foundation, now in its new headquarters at 400 Main St. in downtown Los Altos.

The He...

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Comment

What would Bob do?: Editorial

The recent passing of an extraordinary Los Altos resident, Bob Grimm, has generated a range of heartfelt reaction, from sympathy to fond memories, from all corners. That’s because Bob did not discriminate in his desire to help others with his money, ...

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Special Sections

Cars that are right on track

Cars that are right on track


Courtesy of BMW
The BMW M4 is packed with power, featuring 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.

There’s nothing more fun than driving a responsive automobile that feels alive in the curves and eager to go when given more than a touch ...

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Business

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The Los Altos Vault and Safe Deposit Co. is on the market for $4.5 million. Its fortified steel and concrete structure has been compared to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s gold depository.

A downtown Los Altos structure “b...

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Books

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff


The idea that there may have a female pope at one time in history has generated much speculation throughout the centuries. “Pope Joan” (Crown, 1996) by Donna Woolfolk Cross, does not answer the question; rather, the author has created a detai...

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People

JOHN BATISTICH

JOHN BATISTICH

John Batistich of Los Altos Hills died peacefully on March 12 surrounded by his family. John is survived by his wife Claire Batistich (Vidovich) of 67 years and children Gary Batistich of Lodi and Gay Batistich Abuel-Saud of Menlo Park. He is also ...

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Travel

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience


Eren Göknar/ Town Crier
Cavallo Point Lodge comprises former U.S. Army buildings, like the Mission Blue Chapel, repurposed for guests seeking a luxurious getaway.

It used to be a place where batteries of soldiers lived, with officers’ quarter...

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Stepping Out

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View


Courtesy of Kevin Berne
The cast of “Fire on the Mountain,” includes, from left, Tony Marcus, Harvy Blanks, Molly Andrews and Robert Parsons.

TheatreWorks is slated to present the regional premiere of the musical “Fire on the Mountain” this wee...

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Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life Briefs

Oshman JCC hosts Judaism and Science Symposium

The Oshman Family Jewish Community Center has scheduled its inaugural Judaism and Science Symposium, “An Exploration of the Convergence of Jewish & Scientific Thought,” 5 p.m. April 12 at the JCC’s ...

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Magazine

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm


/Town Crier It’s not all cute and cuddly for teens participating in the eight-week Animal Husbandry Apprenticeship program at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills. Mia Mosing of Palo Alto, left, and Sophia Jackson of Los Altos clean the pigpens – one of...

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Morning Forum audience hears tales of our ‘dysfunctional’ nation’s capital


Photo By: Kathryn Tomaino/ Special to the Town Crier
Photo Kathryn Tomaino/ Special To The Town Crier

National correspondent Karen Tumulty said government gridlock in Washington, D.C., has progressively worsened over her 30 years on the beat.

Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent for the Washington Post, offered “The View from the Washington, D.C., Beltway” in a Morning Forum of Los Altos presentation April 2.

Government, according to Tumulty, has become increasingly dysfunctional during the 30 years she has covered politics.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan appointed a bipartisan committee to address the projected shortfall in the Social Security system. Despite the complex and politically hazardous task, Democrats and Republicans came together in an impressive show of bipartisanship, Tumulty said. Reconciling the differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill took only two days, she added, and within three months of the release of the commission’s report, Reagan signed the bill that would ensure Social Security’s solvency in the coming decades.

Over the next 20 years, bipartisan efforts produced tax reform, welfare reform and trade bills. Tumulty offered several explanations for why such cooperation is virtually “unimaginable” in Washington today.

The biggest change, Tumulty noted, is the great division within the country.

“We used to have a four-party system: conservative Republicans, moderate Republicans, conservative Democrats, liberal Democrats,” she said. But now, “no Republican in Congress has a more liberal voting record than the most conservative Democrat.”

Furthermore, she added, because of partisan redistricting, few swing districts remain.

Such changes have made compromise increasingly difficult. To exemplify the consequences of the division, Tumulty pointed to the failure of Congress to pass a meaningful gun control law, even in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., shootings. Recalling the fate of highly respected former Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), who was “primaried” because of his willingness to compromise with Democrats, she said many in Congress fear jeopardizing their jobs if they anger the National Rifle Association.

Tumulty also identified changes in the media as a polarizing factor. Now people get their news from media outlets that “reinforce what they already believe,” she said, and increasingly partisan news stations focus more on opinion and commentary than on objective reporting.

Tumulty urged American voters to reward rather than punish their representatives for compromising with the other side of the aisle so that Congress will become more productive. Otherwise, she said, we’ll see more of the same.

Although we’ll continue to complain about our worthless politicians, she concluded, we’ll have only ourselves to blame for government gridlock.

Morning Forum is a members-only lecture series held at Los Altos United Methodist Church. For membership details and more information, visit www.morningforum.org.

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