Sat09202014

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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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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