Sun02142016

News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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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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