Last updateWed, 27 Jul 2016 10am

Light hearts and heavy metal: A Piece of My Mind

I am at the Caravan Lounge in San Jose, the darkest, smallest public space I have ever visited. I am surrounded by black T-shirts, black denim jeans and black leather jackets. A singer at the other end of the bar is screaming over the noise of two extremely amplified electric guitars and a snare drum set. I have earplugs in my ears, but the vibration of the bass guitar is still rattling my breastbone and echoing in my shoulder blades. I am wearing black slacks and a black T-shirt emblazoned with two skeletons, one of which is stabbing the other. My sister M is standing next to me wearing the same shirt. She turns to me with a wide grin and mouths above the din, “Isn’t this great?”

I am here basically because my sister’s husband was brought up in Brazil. When M heard that a trio of Brazilian women musicians needed a place to stay while they recorded their next album, she and her husband volunteered their spare bedrooms, expecting perhaps a nice string trio. Instead they got Nervosa, an up-and-coming Brazilian thrash metal band.

Letters to the Editor

Is eminent domain fair to landowners?

In December, I got a mailing from the Sempervirens Fund asking for donations for the 125,000-acre Great Park to link up and protect the redwood forests from Silicon Valley to the Pacific Ocean. Linked to the Great Park is a possible expansion of the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.

Since the 1900s, my husband’s family has had property within this area that we cherish as part of our legacy. I am part of a group of approximately 250 people who own 60 parcels of land, of which Sempervirens currently owns two parcels. Our area is a prime acquisition target because of Waddell Creek and Big Basin’s trail to the ocean, even though the redwoods are second or third growth, not old growth.

Letters to the Editor

Model could improve LA government

The rejection of Measure A in November tells me that the Los Altos City Council does not have a set of sound principles in conducting its business. As a result, a lot of time, money and effort were wasted.

We need to learn from this mistake. I propose to the council that it should run Los Altos as a successful business (e.g., Google Inc.). The organization is there:

Death and life: No Shoes, Please

I like funerals. This isn’t to say that I’m happy when people die, or that I’m perversely attracted to sorrow and grief. But over the years, I’ve attended my fair share of services, and there are certain attributes – respect, gratitude, love and kindness – that in a funeral reach depths that I don’t see very often on display either in everyday life or on other special occasions.

You would think that given its commanding name, Thanksgiving is the day when cups runneth way over, or that Christmastime – with its governance over peace on earth, goodwill toward men – would be swollen with magnanimous behavior and serenity. But that’s not always the case. I’ve found that stress around major holidays often brings out the worst in people – in stores, seasonal parties and even at family dinner tables.

Six days left: Haugh About That?

Staring into the imploring eyes of the woman sitting across from me, I cringed. What she was asking was so beyond my comfort zone, I actually felt fear seep into every pore of my body.

LASD, city should use land more efficiently: Other Voices

As a Los Altos School District parent and Los Altos property-tax payer, I have to express my disappointment in the current slate of district trustees and our city council.

Large-scale survey needed to determine civic center's fate: Other Voices


After eight years, progress toward Los Altos Civic Center redevelopment is endangered and progress toward relieving elementary school crowding is stalled.

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