Fri02122016

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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Venture capitalist offers tips on mixing faith and business

I had an opportunity recently to sit down with venture capitalist Kevin Compton to discuss faith and business. He disclosed his near-death experience, recounted how he discovered his calling in life and offered his rules for success. Compton’s story provides another example of how God is working in the lives of people in Silicon Valley.

What is our purpose in life? This becomes an even more compelling question when a person confronts a near-death experience.

A close call

“Why was I spared? What was I saved for?” These are questions Compton asks himself since surviving what should have been certain death from an accident when he was 7 years old.

Compton and his friends were playing army at a construction site near his home in rural Missouri. When he jumped off a rafter in the house under construction to surprise a friend below, a steel rod punctured his leg, traveled to his intestines and damaged them. His friends helped him the three blocks to his home. His mother, seeing the profusion of blood, rushed young Compton to the hospital.

The attending physician miscalculated the severity of his injury and simply patched up his leg. That evening, the boy’s body started turning black and he experienced severe pain. His parents rushed him back to the hospital. The internist on duty properly diagnosed the extent of the injury but gave Compton little chance of survival. The young doctor “broke every rule in the hospital,” according to Compton, and operated while his parents prayed.

Following the operation, the doctor indicated that if Compton did survive, he would never walk, certainly never run and never live a normal life.

A miracle happened and not only did Compton survive, but he was also able to walk. As a teenager, he ran the 100-yard dash as a Junior Olympian and even played football.

Mixing faith, business

Compton was raised in a Christian home – his grandparents were missionaries, his father had been a pastor and his mother was a devoted follower of Christ.

Christ became more personal to him in high school.

“I never doubted God or Jesus, but I questioned myself – my ability to be a good Christian,” he said. “Am I living up to my potential? Am I living up to my obligations? Am I being a good witness?”

While in college, Compton worked at a local Ford dealership. When the dealership acquired its first computer in the mid-1970s, Compton was asked to make it work. At that point, Compton said, “I found my calling.”

When personal computers entered the market, he started selling them business-to-business. Businessland Inc. acquired the company he worked for, and Compton moved to California in 1986 as an employee of Businessland, the largest PC and networking retailer in the Bay Area at that time.

In the late 1980s, as Businessland was being sold, two of its investors recruited him to join venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Over the next 20 years, it became one of the most successful venture firms in the country, investing in many successful high-tech companies. Compton himself was rated among the top 20 venture capitalists in the world.

In addition to his role with Kleiner Perkins, Compton made a personal investment in the San Jose Sharks, which he sold in 2013. He currently is co-founder of a venture firm, Radar Partners, that invests in early-stage technology companies. In addition, he and his wife are engaged in microfinancing projects in depressed areas in Third World countries.

Throughout his career, he has stayed connected with the community and his church. For more than 15 years, he has taught adult Sunday school classes that have had as many as 150 attendees. He also coached Pop Warner football and helped out at Valley Christian High School. He uses his platform as a venture capitalist to speak all over the world.

Rules for success

Compton offered the following rules for success.

• Live by the Golden Rule. Treat others as you want to be treated.

• Have a sense of urgency. Compton said he works hard to make very few lists and, if possible, tries to take care of things right away.

• Make an effort, knowing that results will vary. “It’s better to just try rather than only trying when you know you won’t fail or waiting until everything is right,” Compton said.

• Think big. You accomplish little unless you have big dreams and act on those dreams, according to Compton.

• Think small. The difference between success and mediocrity is attention to detail, Compton said. He begins every day by reflecting on the previous day and often writes handwritten notes to thank or encourage others.

Skip Vaccarello is a longtime Los Altos resident and founder of a new website, Finding God in Silicon Valley. For a longer version of this interview, visit www. findinggodinsiliconvalley.com. Interviews from this site will be used as part of an upcoming book.

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