Wed01282015

Good compromise on PE exemptions: Editorial

While “Deflategate” captures the national sports headlines, the local issue of physical education class exemptions for freshmen seems a much worthier sports topic for discussion.

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees broached the subject two weeks ago amid persistent pressure from parents who objected to some freshmen student-athletes being denied exemptions from taking PE classes.

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More open than ever: Editorial

One of the Los Altos City Council’s objectives for 2015 is implementing an open-government policy. The title of the policy may be somewhat misleading, because it’s not as if the city has had a closed-government policy. But the new proposal goes beyond the minimum requirements set by the Ralph M. Brown Act, the state’s open-meetings law, to broaden the city’s overall transparency and openness.

The policy’s impact is two-fold: maintain an open-government page on the city’s website, including a brief description of the Brown Act; and post council agendas on the website with longer public notice, in this case, eight calendar days before the actual meeting.

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Holiday thumbs: Editorial

Thumbs-up: To the new members of the Los Altos City Council, Los Altos School District and Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District boards, all of whom were recently sworn in after their victories in the Nov. 4 election. New faces include Jean Mordo and Mary Prochnow on the council; Sangeeth Peruri and Vladimir Ivanovic on the elementary school board; and Fiona Walter on the high school board. We’ll continue to benefit from incumbents Tammy Logan (LASD) and Debbie Torok and Joe Mitchner (MVLA) serving another four years.

At the same time, let’s bid a respectful farewell to outgoing councilmembers Val Carpenter and Jarrett Fishpaw, trustees Mark Goines and Doug Smith (LASD), and Judy Hannemann, retiring after more than 30 years on the MVLA board. Thank you all for your service.

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Looking forward in 2015: Editorial

Why all the hooting and hollering, the champagne-glass clinks, the assembled crowds just to join in a countdown to the new year? Are we celebrating another year older and wiser or joyfully distracting ourselves from reminders of our mortality?

The real reason for celebrating is hope. Starting a new year means wiping the slate clean and mapping plans for a better life ahead. We look forward to good things happening.

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Enough with the bus-only lanes: Editorial

It seems that the Valley Transportation Authority is trying to validate its service to our region with its latest master plan to add express bus lanes along El Camino Real.

VTA representatives presented their latest bus-route improvement plans Nov. 20 in Mountain View. The agency proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes along a 17.4-mile stretch of the King’s Highway between Palo Alto and San Jose. The BRT routes would be in addition to existing bus service, only this system would be, according to VTA officials, “fast, frequent and reliable.”

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Maltby's closing? Say it ain't so

For the past 17 years, Maltby’s has been Los Altos’ answer to Cheers, the fictional Boston bar where “everybody knows your name.”

It’s a casual, comfortable English pub-style place that reflects the roots of its British-born proprietor, James Maltby. It’s a home away from home for the regulars carrying on jovial conversations while nursing a beer. It’s a small business that has managed to survive while many other restaurants and retailers in Los Altos have come and gone.

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Serving those who served us: Editorial

“Thank you for your service” often comes across as lip service to our veterans. As always, actions speak louder than words.

The Rotary Club of Los Altos has taken plenty of action, contributing time and money to improve opportunities for veterans through the Veterans Resource Center at Foothill College. Young vets are getting a new start in civilian life, thanks to the work of the center.

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