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News

Obama visits Los Altos area

Obama visits Los Altos area

President Obama made a fundraising stop today at a private residence in Los Altos Hills, an appearance that spurred traffic disruptions, helicopters scouting overhead and protesters. In the wake of his visit, unknown persons, apparently no fans of ...

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Schools

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall


Town Crier File Photo
Starting in the fall, daily use of laptops in the classroom will be standard operating procedure for students at Los Altos and Mountain View high schools as the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District launches a pil...

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Community

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'


Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.” ELIZA RIDGEWAY/ TOWN CRIER

A massive troupe of young people and grownups gathered in Los Altos this summer to stage the latest iteration of a childhood sta...

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Sports

Football in July

Football in July


Town Crier file photo
Mountain View High’s Anthony Avery is among the nine local players slated to play in tonight’s Silicon Valley Youth Classic.

Tonight’s 40th annual Silicon Valley Youth Classic – also known as the Charlie...

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Comment

Pools should be included: Editorial

Los Altos residents should be receiving calls this week from city representatives conducting a survey to determine priorities for a revamped Hillview Community Center.

Notice that we did not say “civic center” – chastened by a lack of public support...

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Special Sections

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Trang Ly, left, reviews blood sugar readings on a smartphone with Los Altos resident Tia Geri, right, and fellow participant Noa Simon during a closed-loop artificial pancreas study for Type 1 diabetics.
...

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Business

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Longtime Palo Alto law firm Thoits, Love, Hershberger & McClean plans to open an office at 400 Main St. in Los Altos after construction is complete in November.

A longtime Palo Alto law firm plans to expand into L...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

Resident of Palo Alto

Richard Patrick Brennan, journalist, editor, author, adventurer, died at his Palo Alto home on July 4, 2014 at age 92. He led a full life, professionally and personally. He was born and raised in San Francisco, joined the Arm...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

PYT stages 'Shrek'

PYT stages 'Shrek'


Lyn Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Dana Cullinane plays Fiona in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Shrek The Musical.”

Peninsula Youth Theatre presents “Shrek The Musical” Saturday through Aug. 3 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts...

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Spiritual Life

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting


Courtesy of Carolyn Barnes
The newly built Los Altos church in 1914 featured a bell tower and an arched front window. Both continue as elements of the building as it stands today.

Foothills Congregational Church – the oldest church building ...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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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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