From the City Manager's Desk: Fulfilling our mission


For those of us who work for Los Altos, the mission is “to foster and maintain the city of Los Altos as a great place to live and to raise a family.” The city’s employees take this mission seriously and – individually and collectively – do our best to make Los Altos a special place to live, work and play.


'Between the World and Me': Black in America

Allyson Johnson 

Imagine a dolphin swimming through the ocean depths and suddenly becoming aware of the water being salty – something so normal it had never been noticed in the environment surrounding the dolphin every day – so normal it had assumed salty water as a universal fact. Then imagine that dolphin struggling with the concept of fresh water. That would be something of the way I felt on reading “Between the World and Me,” Ta-Nehisi Coates’ award-winning exposition on what it is like to be “black” in America.

It had never quite gotten through to me, despite reading a fair number of books by African- and Afro-American writers, that the concept of “race” that so permeates our society is almost a uniquely American idea. Other societies also make distinctions by skin color, preferring light-colored skin to dark-colored skin in their ideal of beauty, but only America makes the abrupt unilateral distinction between “black” and “white” that places a segment of our citizens irrevocably on one side of a chasm that the rest of the citizens do their best to ignore.


The intervention: Haugh About That?

By the stern look in her chocolate-colored eyes, I found myself on the defensive. It was the same look she and her three siblings gave whenever I royally messed up.


Letters to the Editor

The Rotary Club of Los Altos has scheduled its annual Cioppino Feed 6 p.m. Feb. 26 in the Garden House at Shoup Park, 400 University Ave.

The Cioppino Feed launched in 1972 and now benefits the student veterans at the Veterans Resource Center at Foothill College.


Was Going to Call Him Today: Poetry Corner

Courtesy of Charline Loehrig Barbano
Charline and Don Loehrig, pictured here in 1940, grew up in Dayton, Ohio. Don died Jan. 1.

W hen my son came over to say


Some goals to accomplish in 2016: Editorial

The start of a new year always brings the hope of accomplishing goals that proved elusive in years past. We offer the following goals for 2016 – goals a lot easier said than done, but ones that must be accomplished for our community to move forward.

• Finalize the Los Altos School District enrollment growth plan. After an anticlimactic 2015, we hope that this will be the year the district’s strategy takes shape, whether it be purchasing land for a new campus or restructuring its existing ones. The district has $150 million at the ready, thanks to the 2014 voter-approved Measure N bond. We understand district officials want to make the best decision possible, and any decision is bound to be criticized in some quarters. But the passage of time won’t make purchasing land any easier. To repeat Superintendent Jeff Baier’s comment, “If not now, when?”


Letter to the Editor

Report low-flying aircraft noise

Los Altos residents have noted the dramatic increase in low-flying aircraft over Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Palo Alto. The Federal Aviation Administration has arbitrarily changed landing patterns for San Francisco International Airport, and it directly affects Los Altos residents.

If you love living in the flight path of an airport, congratulations, you have your wish – enjoy the pollution, noise and lower home values.


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