Fri09192014

News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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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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