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The hollow towns: A Piece of My Mind

My husband and I recently took a back-roads trip across the country, avoiding the interstates with their urban bypasses as much as possible.

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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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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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Letters to the Editor

LA resident challenges ad claims

For the third week in a row, Rob Fagen and his pro-Bullis Charter School group Each Student Counts continue to spread unhelpful misrepresentations about how our K-8 school district raises and spends money.

Now Fagen claims that the Los Altos School District spent “a substantial portion” of the last $95 million school facility bond on district administrative offices. I checked, and learned that the district spent less than 4 percent of the bond on its administrative facilities and boardroom. Compared with an already frugal 7 percent spending on administrative functions, that seems reasonable.

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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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Summer thumbs for your consideration

Summer is here, and we’re all thumbs:

Thumbs-up: To members of the Peninsula Symphony, who persevered through a rocky season marked by the apparent betrayal of their trusted executive director, Stephen Carlton. Carlton is currently in custody, charged with embezzling nearly all of the symphony’s savings. But symphony supporters held true to the old adage that the show must go on. They pitched in and managed to perform all of their scheduled concerts this season, including the free concert last Saturday in Los Altos. It’s good to know that the 65-year-old Peninsula Symphony is still going strong.

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Letters to the Editor

Global warming based on poor data

The whole climate change debate was initiated by researchers at the University of East Anglia in England. The fake data they had been advertising was uncovered by hackers digging into department emails. This revealed a huge fraud in processing temperature data. There was also clearly an agenda that was an attempt to intimidate anyone who disagreed with the global-warming advocates. Huge sums of money are involved. The head of the department has since admitted that there is no statistical evidence that global warming is man-made.

Investigations of the way temperatures have risen were gathered in order to publish average temperatures that would support global warming. In Siberia, hundreds of stations simply went off- line. This elimination of Russia’s coldest temperatures meant that the average temperature for Russia was bound to be higher. Temperatures for California, in the Sierra, were also dropped, and temperatures for Los Angeles and San Francisco were left in the calculation of the average temperature for California.

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