Wed03042015

News

Council considers freezing First St. development

Council considers freezing First St. development


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A pedestrian walks along First Street in downtown Los Altos last week. Future construction on the street could soon be barred by an emergency moratorium on development.

Further construction along First Street could be t...

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Schools

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Former NFL tight end Eason Ramson visited with Blach Intermediate School students, Feb. 13 to share the perils of drug use. Now a motivational speaker, Ramson works with at-risk teens in San Francisco.

Although former ...

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Community

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts


Palmer

When the thriving Music for Minors began to outgrow its capacity, the local nonprofit organization made new friends.

Beginning in late February, Music for Minors – a Town Crier Holiday Fund recipient – partnered with Harvard Business Sch...

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Comment

Dangerous streets: A Piece of My Mind

I’m driving along El Monte Avenue between Foothill Expressway and Springer Road at approximately 6 p.m. on a midwinter evening. In keeping with the “village feeling” of our town, there are no sidewalks and no streetlights.

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Special Sections

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March


Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Oven fries, a slice of feta cheese and the bite of harissa mayonnaise make for a late-winter, early-spring dinner perfectly paired with Cabernet Franc.

I can’t help but wonder whether March will come in ...

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Business

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year


Above Photo by Alicia Castro/Town Crier; Below Rendering Courtesy of SST inc.
Robert Showen, above, the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Lawyers Association’s Inventor of the Year, began researching his ShotSpotter technology in his Los A...

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Books

French novel

French novel "Hunting and Gathering" offers character-driven suspense


Anna Gavalda is a well-known author in her native France, where she has published six books, most of which have met with considerable praise and commercial success. Her fourth novel, “Hunting and Gathering” (Riverhead Books, 2007), is filled ...

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People

HELEN KNOFLOCH

HELEN KNOFLOCH

Aug. 14, 1920 – Feb.12, 2015

Resident of Cupertino

Helen Knofloch, 94, loving wife and devoted mother passed away on Feb. 12th. She was born in Vienna, Austria and moved to Los Altos in 1949, where she met Andy, the love of her life. They resided...

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Travel

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon public recreation space, above, features an elevated pedestrian bridge.

Seoul, South Korea, is a study in contrasts. Having grown quickly, the city is a mix of old and new.

Using...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’


Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Jason Bowen, from left, Adam Poss and Nilanjana Bose star in “The Lake Effect,” opening this weekend at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto and running through March 29.

The TheatreWorks production ...

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Spiritual Life

Is your thought life sabotaging your spiritual journey?

My computer started having problems – there seemed to be some sort of malware running in the background. At first it was just annoying, then it began to slow down my computer, interfering with its basic operations. What is it doing? Why can...

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Magazine

Local events serve up family fun

Local events serve up family fun


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Pecos Bill: A Tall Tale” is slated to open March 20 in Mountain View.

For families seeking a break from the daily routine, events abound this month and next in Los Alto...

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Valuable lessons Ive learned at Canyon Creek Ranch

I have learned invaluable lessons in my 40-year association with the family that operates the Canyon Creek Ranch in Northern California.

This suburban kid can buck a bale, pluck a chicken and chop a pile of wood. I would have never learned the true meaning of hamburger without the experience of hanging around ranchers through the cycle of their year.

Yet the most essential teachings have come from the core values of everyday life on The Ranch, which can be heard again and again, especially as elders teach their children. Consider two of the most important.

‘Put things back where you found them’

The Ten Commandments conclude with “Thou Shalt Not Covet.” It assumes the human trait that sees what another has with envy, if not lust.

On a ranch, it is essential that one share what one possesses when appropriate. This is how tools are tested and improved. How young ones learn to use them. Neighbors share essential supplies if a neighbor runs out and essential equipment when cost-effective.

One of the key rules of such an exchange is the agreement to return the property exactly where it belongs. If you can’t find the shovel when a fire breaks out, the bucket for the table scraps to feed the chickens or your cellphone when the baby is about to be born ... well, on a ranch, and it is true of any place, things often have a place related to their function.

Respecting another’s property, its place and function and returning it to its owner is the opposite of coveting. Because when you put things back where you found them, you honor the person and relationship and your own integrity in the process.

Isn’t that true for relationships as well as things?

‘Clean up your mess’

It is difficult to learn anything on a ranch without making a mess, especially the first time you try it. That’s true of baking a pie, chopping wood, stacking hay or putting a horse away after a day’s riding. It is very appropriate to make a mess as one learns one’s way. My experience of ranchers is that there is a huge code of patience and grace allowing one to do so.

What isn’t tolerated is any sense that you could walk away from your mess and expect someone else to clean it up. Taking responsibility for your actions is an essential part of learning. It is also an essential measure of human maturity.

How many relationships could be saved, how many academic careers could be advanced, how many sleepless nights could be avoided if we simply found the conviction to clean up our own messes?

What did Jesus say?

“Look at the log in your own eye before you point out the splinter in the eye of someone else.” – Matthew 7:5

The only harm in making a mess is running away from it.

The Rev. Mark S. Bollwinkel is senior pastor of Los Altos United Methodist Church, 655 Magdalena Ave. For more information, visit laumc.org.

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