Sat12202014

News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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A day in court: Who would constitute a jury of his peers?

I recently received a jury summons, so I dutifully appeared along with 50 or so others in a Palo Alto courtroom, waiting and watching while the attorneys followed the process of choosing the jurors who would be called upon to render a verdict in this criminal case.

The judge explained that the accused would be representing himself, and that he had been fully advised of his rights according to the law.

We learned that he had been accused of an instance of abuse involving his spouse/significant other, and that there was a secondary accusation of having violated an order to refrain from contacting children related to the accuser.

As the attorney/accused questioned prospective jurors, it became evident that this was an interracial relationship.

Each attorney is permitted 10 peremptory dismissals, plus further dismissals “for cause,” such as admitted bias or strong emotional reaction to some aspect of the case.

Both attorneys explored the possibility that jurors had either personally suffered abuse or were in a close relationship with someone who had. The number of prospective jurors who fit this description was startling, and a significant portion were dismissed after declaring themselves unable to set aside their emotions for the sake of a decision based on the facts of the particular case.

Another group of individuals receiving closer scrutiny involved those employed in some form of law enforcement or who were closely related to someone who was. This category included attorneys at law, child welfare workers and those closely associated with women’s shelters – none of which surprised me, considering the nature of the accusation.

One line of questioning that took me completely by surprise: The accused asked each prospective juror whether he or she is religious or deeply involved with a church or community of faith. I was further dismayed that only three out of 30 or so jurors claimed any significant involvement in matters of religion or faith. The attorney/accused offered no explanation or excuse for his obvious presumption that a Christian either would not or could not weigh evidence as fairly as, say, an atheist or agnostic.

For decades, our society has pounded out a drumbeat of inclusiveness, diversity and nondiscrimination. We have very recently seen nonstop news coverage decrying racial profiling in reference to a case that was not predicated on racial profiling. And yet this man in a courtroom plunged ahead, profiling Christians and people of faith as being incapable of rendering a just and fair verdict, effectively excluding them from the justice process.

I have one question for him: Exactly what would constitute a jury of your peers?

Faye M. Brown is a Los Altos resident.

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