Inalienable right? How about respect for others?

The January mayhem in Paris is tragic, as are all the other slaughters perpetrated from time immemorial.

We need to understand that when we attack another, whether it is with words or pictures or guns, there are consequences that often reverberate around the world. This particular tragedy in Paris is one more demonstration of that fact. However, it is not only about free speech, but also obligations and responsibility.


What makes a village?: From the Mayor's Desk

I heard recently from Town Crier Editor-in-Chief Bruce Barton that Ladera Auto Works, formerly Village Motors, is going to close. Both were small businesses operating at that site for decades. I was stunned: How could Village Motors leave our village? It might lead us all to ask the question: What actually makes a village?

In my mind, a village is a place that fosters familiarity. A village is full of small businesses, where the business owners know their customers and the clients know their merchants. We get to know each other and, through this familiarity, we choose to support our local business owners.


Another dry year ahead – and flood protection?: Editor's Notebook

I stared into a clear, blue sky, the sun applying just the right amount of heat. It was short-sleeve weather, maybe a smidge above 70 degrees. And it was January.

I reminded myself how lucky we are to be in one of the best parts of the world for mild winter weather. Contrasting this to the heavy blizzards pummeling the East Coast, it seemed as if Mother Nature purposely had it out for those cranky New Englanders (I was once one of them) while the Bay Area could do no wrong.


A better option for school district enrollment growth: Other Voices

There is a better response to the Los Altos School District enrollment growth than those detailed in the article last week (“Parents upset with enrollment growth options”). No wonder parents voice concern about all seven of the options presented – each would cause significant disruption. A better option is to use the land at all existing sites more effectively.

Program additions can be spread over the land alongside existing schools while they remain in place. Indeed, most of the Facilities Master Plan Committee options relate to the scenario of not finding any land for a new school. Truly, even if land is found, it will be too expensive to leave funds for all of the needed construction. The district talks about a compromise of making a miniature, even split, new school site with half of the land of current schools, just 5 acres. This still limits us because that land could cost $50 million or more. Such a small size could cause appreciable construction cost increases.


Senior Middle Age and the new 'Silent Generation': Other Voices

Those becoming octogenarians this year will move into the Senior Middle Age category.

The year 1935 was bland and vanilla, not necessarily the best time to enter the world. We were few in number, as the Great Depression continued.


The case for repaving I-280: Other Voices

Los Altos and Los Altos Hills residents suffer from an aging Interstate 280. Emissions from I-280 have had an adverse effect on our citizens’ personal and financial health. The noise, air and water pollution impact all of us, as does the consequent drop in property values – approximately 14 percent lower for homes near I-280.


Let's be green: From the Mayor's Desk

In Gov. Jerry Brown’s second inaugural address Jan. 5, he proposed three ambitious environmental goals for the next 15 years: increase from one-third to 50 percent the electricity derived from renewable sources; reduce today’s petroleum use in cars and trucks by up to 50 percent; and double the efficiency of existing buildings and make heating fuels cleaner.


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