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News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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More than a game: No Shoes, Please

There is a lot about the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito situation that intrigues me. As I write, the full details regarding Martin’s allegations about his tenure as an offensive lineman for the Miami Dolphins have yet to be disclosed. However, by abruptly leaving his team and filing a formal complaint, Martin has been criticized by his former teammates and other NFL players for not standing up for himself and airing locker room dirty laundry in public.

Support for Martin has surfaced, too. People have questioned hazing rituals that really amount to nothing more than sanctioned extortion and abuse, in addition to criticizing Incognito’s use of the N-word in a text message to Martin.

I wasn’t surprised to learn that African-American players on the team found nothing offensive about Incognito’s message. It seems that Americans in general have been spoon-fed enough rap music that the N-word is OK in certain locales (locker rooms) with certain people (Caucasians like Incognito who are conferred “honorary” black status) and under certain conditions (when demeaning language is used to “toughen” someone up or even convey warmth and camaraderie).

However, I was shocked to hear reports that Martin – a Stanford University graduate with Harvard-educated parents – was considered “less black” than Incognito, whose thuggish behavior has been documented since his college career. It reminds me of complaints I’ve heard from African-Americans who say that their own community will accuse them of acting “too white” if they are educated and/or well spoken. Whether or not those misaligned values played a role with the players who lined up to defend Incognito’s behavior is unproven, but something smells weird to me.

The NFL investigation into the Miami Dolphins workplace environment will take some time because it’s not only a complicated situation, it’s also a chaotic hot mess. But I’m fascinated by several arguments already being made in the court of public opinion.

First, there’s the one regarding Martin’s manhood. When that particular assessment is at play, I can almost predict that the definition of said manhood is going to be extremely narrow, rigid and backward thinking, rather than broad, open and current. I wonder how long men will continue putting themselves through that lifetime gauntlet.

Second, there’s the argument that things are routinely said and done in any garden-variety locker room that are unacceptable in other workplaces. That’s called exceptionalism: Organization A is exempt from a normal code of conduct for X and Y reasons. OK, but explain how X and Y serve the common or team good, thereby qualifying Organization A for special dispensation – and “It’s always been that way” doesn’t count as a good reason.

Finally, there’s the admonishment that Martin should have kept things in-house regardless. A situation may merit attention and scrutiny, but it must be done out of public view. I’ve heard that old chestnut invoked under circumstances ranging from safeguarding personal privacy to covering up crimes like child molestation. So unless the Miami Dolphins locker room is a matter of national security, I think transparency regarding organizational practices is a good thing.

I can understand why players might be afraid of a little light, but I’d be more concerned about remaining in the shadows.

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