Sat10252014

Photographs as memories: Haugh About That?

Staring at the face tagged on my Facebook page, I bolted out of the chair like a missile exploding from an abandoned silo. I ran straight for the bathroom mirror, praying that it wasn’t so. Pulling back the folds and wrinkles that had somehow magically appeared overnight, I shrieked, horrified, “When did you become a crone?”

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Northern California is not Silicon Valley: A Piece of My Mind

Recently, I visited friends in a small town in Northern California. Not “Northern California = San Francisco as opposed to Los Angeles” but “Northern California = North of Santa Rosa as opposed to San Francisco.” It was a revelation.

North of Santa Rosa, the hills are covered with vineyards or redwood forests, not housing developments.

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Something to talk about: No Shoes, Please

First, there was the Nevada rancher, Cliven Bundy, who began with, “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro …,” which then turned out to be the least offensive thing he went on to say about African-Americans. Next was L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who tolerates his mistress socializing with black people only if she isn’t photographed with them and doesn’t bring them to any basketball games. Finally, the incident when Montreal Canadiens player P.K. Subban scored the game-winning goal in a playoff match against the Boston Bruins prompted Bruins fans to explode on Twitter with comments like, “P.K. Subban is a n-----, everyone know that” and “That stupid n----- doesn’t belong in hockey.”

Bundy is 80 years old, therefore his views on “the Negro” will die with him relatively soon. Sterling will presumably lose ownership of his team, though no one believes that he will go down without a fight. However, he’s already made a contribution: His statements were so egregious that they got even Michael Jordan – famously closed-mouthed when it comes to issues surrounding race – to speak out publicly against him.

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Al the barber's retirement marks end of an era: Other Voices

I was personally disappointed at the minimal coverage the Town Crier gave to Al Galedrige’s retirement (“Al the barber bids farewell,” April 9). While Al may prefer it that way, I must disrespectfully provide some commentary on his truly historical Los Altos barber shop.

My first encounter with Al’s Barber Shop was in the early 1970s after my discharge from the Marines. I was experiencing a little culture shock, as every barber I tried wanted to “style” my hair and required that I make an appointment. Thankfully, I discovered Main Street in downtown Los Altos. As I entered Al’s, I heard him on the phone explaining, “I don’t take appointments. You need to come down, take a seat and wait your turn.” It only got better when I sat down, noticing some less-than-appropriate magazines at the back of the shop and the continuous banter among Al, his partner Louis Piro and their customers. I had found my barber shop.

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SF Symphony league makes music accessible: Other Voices

Recent stories in the media have made the public aware of the value of music education for children, and about local volunteer organizations filling the gap at grade schools that no longer offer music classes.

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Letters to the Editor

Message to LASD trustees differs

I would like to join the nonprofit group Each Student Counts, recently formed by advocates of Bullis Charter School, in urging Los Altos School District taxpayers to contact district trustees. However, the message I recommend that taxpayers convey is appreciation for the responsible stewardship the trustees have over our taxpayer dollars, including parcel-tax funds. If you investigate a little, you will find that the district has a higher API score than four of the five districts mentioned in the charter school group’s ad (Town Crier, May 28) and spends less per pupil than three out of the five. That is a record to be proud of.

I am puzzled by the question posed in the charter school’s ad: “Why Do LASD Taxpayers Pay More?” I spent about five minutes doing a little research and math to answer this question. The answer is so that we can maintain the highest-quality education in the state despite receiving less money per pupil from the state than many districts. The real question to me is why the charter school advocate group couldn’t answer this question for themselves. Their focus on comparing parcel taxes is incomplete and very misleading.

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Letters to the Editor


Don’t be a litterbug

Our city offers beautiful, well-maintained parks and recreational facilities.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all cleaned up after having a picnic, instead of leaving a mess like this? We took the above photo at McKenzie Park May 12 in the early morning.

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