Sat02132016

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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Hang on to your books

I had a crippling dream recently. What if I couldn’t instantly access the answer to anything in the world I wanted to know?

I could go on and on about what-ifs, all ultimately tied to: What if my computer quit working? What if all the computers and servers that provide instant everything quit working? I will not elaborate on the way this might happen (we all know and appropriately fear the dreaded cyber attack), but what if it did? I can imagine a return to books. Think how valuable they could become – especially those encyclopedias and dictionaries.

Throughout history, prior to the technology revolution, the oral tradition (storytelling) and then the written word sustained our knowledge of just about everything. I remember how satisfying it was to go to the library and pull out the encyclopedia I needed to dig into for a class assignment about bugs or ancient Egypt. It was time-consuming and took real effort. But in that effort, learning became a true process – not just a minimal flick of my fingers as I typed a question into the Google toolbar.

The older I get, the more fleeting the information is in my brain. It’s just not as “sticky” as it used to be. My guess is that in today’s world, we are bombarded by so much information that we simply run out of byte space, so the minute we get the content we want, off it goes to who-knows-where to make room for the next bit of minutia coming our way.

But if I have to do some actual work, like reading a book to “learn” something (not just know it for a second or two, and never actually use that information), then I remember it. It also helps because we remember the book itself, how big it was and the color, etc. The feel of it becomes linked to the knowledge.

A cluttered mind is a scary place: I am anxious about what I don’t know yet but feel like I need to know to control my universe and, at the same time, housing all kinds of useless information that works itself out as worry. So, I am resolved to live more on a need-to-know basis by resisting the insane inclination to check my cellphone and email every second I am not engaged in an activity tied directly to my survival.

Perhaps I’ll take up reading poetry from a book, which takes some time to actually absorb and understand. And think how entertaining I will be to my friends and loved ones. Maybe, when they start talking about the frightening condition of the world and the imminent demise of our ecosystem, I’ll simply reply in my new Zen demeanor, “A rose is still a rose by any other name …,” at which point they will no doubt slowly back away as they Google on their cellphones “how to tell when your friend is losing it.” I’ll let you know how this works out for me.

Sharon Lennox-Infante is a Certified Life Coach who lives and works in Los Altos. For more information, visit sharonlennox.com.

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