Mon11242014

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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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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History contradicts claims made against Islam: Other Voices

I was disappointed, but not surprised, to read about the Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley’s guest speaker Nonie Darwish’s hateful message denouncing the “ideology of Islam that cultivates a climate of fear with promise of death to nonbelievers” (“Islam critic decries culture of fear in Conservative Forum talk,” June 11). Historical records contradict Darwish’s false allegations.

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Taking it easy in "The Big Easy"


Grace Acosta is a Los Altos resident. Email her at theacostafamily @sbcglobal.net.

I had never been to New Orleans. I had seen the devastation of Hurricane Katrina on television, of course, and I knew it to be the birthplace of jazz. From some long-forgotten history book, I remembered, too, that back in the day, it was a hub of the slave trade – a city in which Africans and African-Americans were bought and sold at auctions, many ferried along the same Mississippi River whose levees broke during Hurricane Katrina.

I knew about the “Who Dat” chant of the New Orleans Saints, bead throwing and king cakes at Mardi Gras, and all the famous culinary delights: po’boy sandwiches, gumbo, jambalaya, beignets and chicory coffee. I didn’t know about alligator sausages and pralines, but once I arrived, those delicacies became evident as well.

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The joys of debate: Other Voices

By James Naumovski

“How do I get out of here?” was my only thought as I contacted my brother, my confidant, to devise a new ploy to escape debate camp. “Mom is a sucker for health. I’ll just tell her that the food is really unhealthy and all junk food – she’ll let me come home!”

I dropped hints about the bad food. With each phone call, I came closer to my goal. It worked, but Mom asked me to hang in until the weekend. As the week crept by, I kept thinking, “Now’s my chance.” But I never took it.

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Is there a doctor in the house?: Other Voices

I went to The Boardwalk June 4. On the surface, it looked like one of The Boardwalk’s best nights: tons of people, sports on the TV, familiar faces and catching up with friends. Of course, the reality could not have been further from that snapshot.

This was the final night for The Boardwalk. It closed after the inability to come to lease terms with the new landlord. The landlord had recently received design approval to expand the building, adding 3,647 square feet of new office and retail space, including 915 square feet on the ground floor.

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Northern California is not Silicon Valley: A Piece of My Mind

Recently, I visited friends in a small town in Northern California. Not “Northern California = San Francisco as opposed to Los Angeles” but “Northern California = North of Santa Rosa as opposed to San Francisco.” It was a revelation.

North of Santa Rosa, the hills are covered with vineyards or redwood forests, not housing developments.

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