Tue01272015

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Schools

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on a proposal to exempt ninth-grade student-athletes from taking PE. Students take part in a physical education class at Mount...

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Community

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF


From Midnight Express Instagram
A group of millennial-aged Santas celebrating a night on the town prepare for a safe ride from San Francisco to their South Bay homes, courtesy of Cory Althoff’s new Midnight Express shuttle.

It’s no understatemen...

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Comment

More open than ever: Editorial

One of the Los Altos City Council’s objectives for 2015 is implementing an open-government policy. The title of the policy may be somewhat misleading, because it’s not as if the city has had a closed-government policy. But the new proposal goes beyon...

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Business

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Cassidy Turley, which has offices at 339 S. San Antonio Road, is combining with DTZ following its recent acquisition.

Commercial real estate services companies DTZ and Cassidy Turley have joined forces to operate as a sin...

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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

JUDY HOFFMANN

JUDY HOFFMANN

Judy Hoffmann passed away unexpectedly October 17, 2014 in New York City. It was only fitting Judy would be traveling and enjoying special adventures in so many different places until the very end.

Judy has lived since 1969 in Los Altos with her h...

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Travel

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill


Courtesy of Raúl Cañibano
Cuban photographer Raúl Cañibano is set to appear at Foothill College tonight. His work – including the image “Series: Guajira’s Land, Viñales, 2007,” right – is on display at the KCI Gallery t...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View


Suellen Fitzsimmons/Special to the Town Crier
Christopher Tocco stars in TheatreWorks’ “2 Pianos 4 Hands,” which opened last week.

TheatreWorks’ production of “2 Pianos 4 Hands” is scheduled to run through Feb. 15 at the Mountain View Center fo...

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Spiritual Life

Start something great by ringing in the new year with prayer

There is a tradition, which I’m told originates in the Midwest, that calls for people to pray in the new year. A few years ago, I was invited to a friend’s house and a number of people stayed up until midnight (approximately two hours pa...

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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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FHDA foundation votes to divest fossil fuels

Responding to a campaign by students and citing the community college district’s commitment to environmental sustainability, the Foothill-De Anza Foundation Board of Directors voted to discontinue direct investments in fossil fuel companies and minimize investments in comingled assets that include such companies.

The board set a deadline of June 30 to divest companies with the largest holdings of unburned carbon reserves as determined by Fossil Free’s Carbon Tracker of the Top 200 Fossil Fuel Companies.

The unanimous Oct. 23 vote makes the Foothill-De Anza Foundation the first community college foundation in the nation to commit to divesting from fossil fuels, according to Jamie Henn, communications director for 350.org, a leader in the national divestment movement.

Board President Kathleen Santora said divesting matches the values of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District and its history of leadership in green building, resource conservation and clean energy use.

“Our colleges support environmental stability, so this already is a shared value of our community,” Santora said. “Credit goes to De Anza students for raising our awareness by identifying ways the foundation can act in a more environmentally responsible manner. We appreciate the opportunity to learn from our students.”

Foundation treasurer Martin Neiman said he doesn’t expect the changes to have a significant financial effect on the foundation’s investment returns. In fact, he said, divestment advocates make a case that in the long term, divesting may be a wise investment strategy.

As of this month, the foundation’s portfolio was valued at approximately $33 million, with fossil-fuel companies accounting for approximately 1 percent.

The students’ divestment campaign grew out of a fall 2012 political science class in which they were challenged to apply citizen advocacy and organizing skills toward the solution of an environmental problem. Organized by a handful of students, the resulting campaign gathered support across the campus and won endorsements from the student governments at both colleges.

“As an institution invested in future generations and our local community, we feel strongly that divestment is the next step in helping to create the world that we want to live in,’’ De Anza student Karla X. Navarro said in an August presentation to the foundation board.

Other students addressed the scientific evidence linking the burning of fossil fuels to melting Arctic ice, rising acidity in the oceans and intensifying floods and droughts.

Students took action after learning more about the climate crisis and how it affects people and the environment, explained Karen Quigley, one of the student organizers.

“The more you learn,’’ she said, “the more difficult it is not to do anything.”

Santora and Neiman said foundation board members were impressed with the students’ presentation and the quality of their research.

The Foothill-De Anza Foundation joins six other colleges and universities and more than 20 cities and counties that have made divestment commitments, according to Henn. Fossil Free campaigns are now underway at more than 300 colleges and universities and in 100 cities and multiple states across the country to encourage divestment from 200 fossil-fuel companies that control the majority of the world’s carbon reserves.

For more information, visit gofossilfree.org/commitments.

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