Fri11282014

Pet peeves: The Villaj Idiut

By Frank Hughes

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but there is a concerted national campaign to eliminate texting while driving, as there should be.

But let me ask you this: How is it possible that texting while driving is any less dangerous than, say, driving with a pet on your lap?

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The Book Nest: Gone but not forgotten: Other Voices


Schmitz

By Ryan C. Fowler

I want to encourage others to remember The Book Nest, a mainstay of the downtown landscape for many of us who grew up in Los Altos, and to thank the man behind the counter. It would be a shame for the community to forget the bookstore and what Ed Schmitz did for Los Altos and for me.

I recall walking into that unostentatious house my sophomore year at Los Altos High School. I selected books from the shelves and wandered into the front room, with its built-in red wooden desk and an old cash register. An older gentleman with a wide smile and a very large, fluffy cat glanced at me. After I had read for a bit, the cat plopped down on the book on my lap and the man and I struck up a conversation about author John Steinbeck. That was our first conversation, more than 28 years ago. The numerous others we shared affected my path and resulted in what I do today.

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Further reflections on security versus privacy: A Piece of My Mind

When I wrote last month’s column (“Security versus privacy,” Oct. 1), I was angry and upset. The local middle school, where I had been tutoring as a volunteer, notified me that in order to continue I would have to undergo a background check by the FBI, the Department of Justice and the local police department at my own expense. This requirement is now “district policy.” The cost to each potential volunteer would be $67. I felt that this was an unwarranted invasion of my privacy, a heavy-handed attempt by the district to shield itself from lawsuits in case anything bad happened and a serious deterrent to potential volunteers.

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Letters to the Editor

Photo promotes ‘fabricated’ event

The Town Crier’s Oct. 15 “Peek into the Past” photo from 1976 of horsemen celebrating “the bicentennial of the de Anza expedition of 1776” actually documents fabricated history.

While the de Anza expedition did arrive in Northern California in 1776, the same year the U.S. Declaration of Independence was signed, the group did not pass through Los Altos Hills.

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Letters to the Editor

Tree removal should require notification

Recently, when a developer wanted to remove five beautiful Douglas fir trees, my neighbors and I discovered how tree removal occurs in Los Altos.

Although there is no requirement to notify nearby homeowners, luckily the developer was gracious enough to do so. We called in another arborist, who determined that the trees could be saved.

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Thumbs-up after the election: Editorial

In the wake of the election, we’re all thumbs.

Thumbs-up: To all the candidates participating in the local races. Regardless of the outcomes, we salute your involvement and commitment to making a difference for the better in our community. During our interviews, we met candidates who exhibited passion, expertise and sound knowledge about the governing bodies they wished to represent. A campaign is a gauntlet of filing fees, fundraising, forums, meet-and-greets and door-to-door visits. It takes special people to endure the grind of a campaign.

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Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We understand that the Los Altos School District has been working for several years planning for enrollment growth, and that the content of the bond measure is a reflection of that. We now take into account the fact that the district could only afford to build one new campus at best given the funding limit of the bond measure, even though two campuses were recommended and are needed.

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