Fri08222014

Preserve Los Altos parks: Other Voices

Los Altos parks are gems, offering our kids an active alternative to computers and video games and our seniors an oasis of tranquility and beauty.

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Urbanization of downtown Los Altos could be good

I was on a cycling tour of England with 25 Boy Scouts. We entered a charming town in the Cotswolds and parked our bikes in the small town center. I commented, “This sure is a nice little town.” A nearby lady responded, “And it used to be quiet.”

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Refuting claims about Islam: Other Voices

I must speak up to correct the inaccurate “historical records” used to excuse and defend the radical form of Islam in the June 18 “Other Voices” column by Sami A. Ibrahim (“History contradicts claims made against Islam”).

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You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone

For the past four years, I’ve returned to Los Altos for the summer. As a college student on the East Coast, I relished my annual escape from the heavy, humid weather of New England and looked forward to returning to my hometown. Yet these homecomings have never quite been a return to the normal, and they have certainly never been a return to the past.

In some ways, this is due to the fact that I myself am changing. Distance always provides perspective, and my time away from home has certainly done that. In other ways, it’s due to the fact that Los Altos itself has changed. The revitalization of the downtown area that has occurred since I left in 2010 has been noticeable, and it’s exciting to see a bit of the change that in my childhood was only the subject of parental sideline conversations at Hillview soccer games.

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What's your agenda? Better public schools: Other Voices

This is a follow-up to Swan’s columns “A ‘Common Sense’ approach to education” (April 16) and “Reimagining public education” (May 7).

“What’s your agenda?” Among the various comments on my two previous columns about improving our public education, this question begs an answer: “To improve public education by coming up with a plan to have the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School positively coexist.”

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Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place to live and there is much to offer, but we are feeling like we need a little more breathing room.

I will miss the shops in town where the owners are hardworking people who truly care about their customers, regardless of the contents of their wallets – shops like Present on Main Street and Cranberry Scoop on State Street. I will miss the family-run restaurants where the owners are there to show appreciation to their patrons, many of whom they know by name. And I don’t know who I will trust to work on my car like I trust Jeff and Eric at Reitmeir’s on First Street.

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Food for thought

Today I sat outside enjoying the beautiful weather during my lunch break, sandwich in hand and feet up, trying to soak in some much-needed sun. As I munched away on what I deemed the best combination of chicken, bread and cheese I had had in a long time, I couldn’t help but condemn myself for not choosing the salad instead. I sat there considering the fat that might be in the sauce and the sodium that was probably in the chicken – I didn’t even want to think about the carbs in the delicious ciabatta.

Soon I began to feel guilty – for eating a sandwich. I know that it’s ridiculous, but I also realized that I’m not alone. Many of us have felt that twinge of regret after eating one too many slices of pizza, a burger that tasted that much better with bacon, or a cupcake drizzled with caramel.

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