Sat05282016

Blame it on Rio: No Shoes, Please

In 2008, I wrote a column explaining why I thought Beijing was an inappropriate venue for that year’s Summer Olympic Games. I cited health risks: the city’s terrible pollution and the country’s corrupt food supply chain. I also noted that the “only gold medals count” mentality of the Chinese government was antithetical to the spirit of the Olympics themselves.

Everything I wrote was already well-known. The air in Beijing was infamously foggy with contaminants. The director of the State Food and Drug Administration had just been executed – yes, put to death – for accepting bribes and egregious dereliction of duty. Chinese athletes openly spoke about how the governing bodies of their respective sports considered silver medals to be worthless.

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Letters to the Editor: housewives, airplanes and more

Housewives deserve an apology

Frank Hughes’ May 18 “Villaj Idiut” column, “Housewives of LA,” generated quite a response. Following is a sampling of the letters the Town Crier received.

 

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Housewives of LA: The Villaj Idiut

Bumble waiter: Hello, ladies. May I take your drink order?

Housewife No. 1: I don’t see this on your menu, but I had this really superb wine at the Rosewood spa last week when I was getting my mani, pedi, herbal facial, Brazilian wax, back wax, tramp-stamp enhancement and three-hour hot-stone massage. I got a glass with each treatment, it was only like $15 a glass. I think it was called “Charles Shaw.”

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Apology from the Town Crier

We are truly sorry that readers have taken offense at Frank Hughes’ May 18 op-ed column, titled "Housewives oif LA." We did not anticipate the rancor it would generate.

Satire is a risky form of humor that can be hurtful if not taken in the proper context. “Saturday Night Live” has been going at it for more than 40 years and the Los Altos “Follies” for more than 20. The columnist was spoofing Bravo’s “The Real Housewives” franchise.

We acknowledge and salute the hard work of the full-time mothers in this community.

Charitable legacies give forever: Other Voices

 

Prince’s death late last month triggered an incredible outpouring of sympathy from admirers around the globe. Everyone knew about his tremendous talent as a songwriter and performer. What is only now coming to light is that Prince was also a generous philanthropist during his lifetime, donating millions of dollars to nonprofit organizations worldwide.

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Oh, behave!: Editorial

It’s a good thing the young historical essay contest winners and Girl Scouts recognized at the beginning of the May 10 Los Altos City Council meeting didn’t stay for the duration. They would have witnessed a poor example of civic engagement at a meeting marred by needless drama and dysfunctional leadership.

First, the approval of a resolution disbanding the city’s downtown parking committee over Brown Act (the state’s open meetings law) violations drew protests from both committee members and their opponents, chiefly two former Los Altos mayors, Ron Packard and David Casas. Their group, Friends of Los Altos, raised the Brown Act violations and triggered a third-party investigation. The arbiter agreed that there were violations and recommended disbanding the committee. However, the arbiter also ruled that the city could use the information the committee gathered as part of the public process for creating a downtown parking plan. That didn’t sit well with Casas and Packard, both of whom issued threatening responses (Casas: “Tonight is not the end of this saga – this is not going to go away.” And Packard: “We did not threaten to sue the city, although tonight we’re coming close to it.”). View the webcast at losaltosca.gov to see for yourself.

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Mortgage mania: Other Voices

I have this self-punishing habit of collecting real estate flyers while out walking my dog. I take them home to my husband and we half-laugh, half-cringe at the listed prices. We speculate about the scores of people who will undoubtedly shell out six figures over a seven-figure asking price to own one of these 800-square-foot shacks: Are they nuts?!

Once the veins in my neck stop bulging, I file the offending slips of paper in my circular filing cabinet. Those printed on sturdy card stock earn a reprieve and live among the junk mail Matt and I use to scoop up and re-home errant spiders.

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