Wed05042016

News

MV council adopts rent dispute ordinance, despite reservations

Despite criticism that it lacked teeth, the Mountain View City Council approved last week a second reading and adoption of a controversial program aimed at resolving rental-housing disputes between tenants and landlords.

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alwa...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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Beyond history: Other Voices

In many ways, I think I try to be an adult. Maybe that’s why I drink my coffee black and try to perfect the art of writing checks. It’s why I tune into “Forum with Michael Krasny” on NPR, a discussion on current events, every morning when I drive to my internship. Some days, I’ll admit, I could care less about the topic, like the technology of reading license plates. But other times, I care a lot.

Take the June 26 “Forum,” for example. The topic on everyone’s lips, of course, was the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings on Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor, cases that constituted huge wins for supporters of gay marriage. Listeners called in, expressing their thrill or disappointment, but one caller stood out.

“I just hope that people don’t forget in their euphoria what happened to the Voting Rights Act yesterday,” the listener said, referring to the Supreme Court’s egregious gutting of the Voting Rights Act in its June 25 ruling re Shelby County v. Holder.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 required states with a history of racial discrimination to clear any changes to election law with the federal government to protect voters – usually minorities – from discriminatory practices. In a 5-4 decision, the justices last week struck down the formula to determine areas of preclearance, crippling the Act. It was a huge blow to civil rights groups and a slap in the face to any voter who worries about getting to the polls safely. The argument for the ruling undermined and neglected the fact that the Act is still indispensible in controlling today’s discriminatory practices.

I am outraged with the decision, but I wonder how many of my peers, friends and colleagues care. The ruling certainly generated news coverage on the day it was announced, but I worry about what the listener on “Forum” pointed out – that in an ocean of euphoria or outrage over gay marriage, people may forget about the VRA’s demise.

Last week was crazy – anyone who follows national news knows that. With all the victories or disappointments, we gravitate toward buzzwords instead of regarding all the issues.

I’ll be blunt. I wonder whether gay marriage and reproductive rights are the only issues that my generation, one of teens and rosy-cheeked college students, know and care about. We were in high school when Proposition 8 passed and now are in college as it falls. We debated reproductive rights and watched Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis’ heroic filibuster. It’s poetic history, stories that rise and fall in front of our eyes.

It is easy for us to forget about the history we didn’t witness, like the fight for civil rights. We live in a safe town with an open mind, and we grew up thinking discrimination was dead.

We care about equality, but we don’t view all issues equally. Just because we didn’t grow up to see it happen doesn’t mean it isn’t real. We can’t forget that these problems still hurt us. The story continues.

Maybe that’s what being an adult is about, beyond the coffee drinking and the check writing – caring about the news and today’s issues, realizing they still exist, to nurture history.

Sophie Ho, a 2012 graduate of Mountain View High School, is an editorial intern at the Town Crier. She is a student at UC Berkeley.

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