10222017Sun
Last updateWed, 18 Oct 2017 10am

Poor air quality prompts games to be canceled at local schools

Smoky skies prompted the cancellation of several h...

Foothills Congregational hosts justice forum

Foothills Congregational Church has scheduled “A F...

First Street office-park project abruptly halted -- reaction mixed

First Street office-park project abruptly halted -- reaction mixed

Courtesy of LACI
A rendering of the First Stre...
Costume Bank gears up for Halloween with wide selection, extended hours

Costume Bank gears up for Halloween with wide selection, extended hours


Photo Courtesy of Costume Bank
“Game of Thrones”...
Los Altos History Museum tells 'Asian Pacific American Story'

Los Altos History Museum tells 'Asian Pacific American Story'


Courtesy of Los Altos History Museum
Japanese-Am...
Bitter pathways debate muddles LAH election of new vice mayor

Bitter pathways debate muddles LAH election of new vice mayor

Courtesy of Bridget Morgan
The proposed pathwa...
LAHS students empower the next generation of computer engineers

LAHS students empower the next generation of computer engineers


Courtesy of CENG
Monta Loma junior mentor Deven ...

News

Wildfires' impact felt locally

Wildfires' impact felt locally

Megan V. Winslow / Town Crier
Los Altos residents Aimee Castaneda, left, and Trish Moore load donated household items from Moore’s front yard into a SUV Thursday. Within two days of posting a Nextdoor.com request for goods to help victims of the ...

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Schools

LAHS students empower the next generation of computer engineers

LAHS students empower the next generation of computer engineers


Courtesy of CENG
Monta Loma junior mentor Deven Merced, right, shares his computer science knowledge with classmate Angel Marshal.

Truly mastering a skill means being able to turn around and teach what you’ve been taught. That’s the case for mem...

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Community

Community Briefs

Schola Cantorum celebrates Halloween

Schola Cantorum Silicon Valley is scheduled to perform two Halloween-themed “Ghosts, Goblins and Ghouls” concerts.

The first is slated 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at First Congregational Church of Palo Alto, 1985 Louis Ro...

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Sports

LA's cross-country team comes through in Clovis

LA's cross-country team comes through in Clovis


Photo by Malcolm Slaney/
Special to the Town Crier Los Altos High’s Owen Mac-Kenzie, above, set a school record at the Clovis Invitational. Fellow Eagle Naomi Donovan ran the second-fastest time in school history there.

The Los Altos High cross-...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

LACI calls halt to First Street Green

It is with great sadness that I am announcing we are not moving forward with the First Street Green development project.

I love Los Altos. It is a fabulous town. As a native of this area, I appreciate how Los A...

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Special Sections

Passion Fit: Reduce risk of breast cancer via exercise, nutrition

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s important to understand the risks associated with the disease and what can be done to reduce them.

According to breastcancer.org, approximately 12 percent of women – that’s one in eight – in the U.S....

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Business

Despite high salaries, Santa Clara County ranks low nationally in discretionary income

Trove Technologies Inc. recently released a study revealing that California ranks third worst among states in discretionary income, despite boasting the fourth highest salaries.

Santa Clara County, along with five other California cities – San...

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People

Noteworthy: Midpen's Abbors announces retirement

Noteworthy: Midpen's Abbors announces retirement


Abbors

 

Steve Abbors, general manager of the Los Altos-based Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, plans to retire after nearly a decade at the public agency’s helm. He will stay on through the end of the year.

“Steve came aboard du...

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News

Wildfires' impact felt locally

Wildfires' impact felt locally
Megan V. Winslow / Town Crier
Los Altos residents Aimee Castaneda, left, and Trish Moore load donated household items from Moore’s front yard into a SUV Thursday. Within two days of posting a Nextdoor.com request for goods to help victims of the Northern California fires and first responders, Mo...

Readmore

Business

Despite high salaries, Santa Clara County ranks low nationally in discretionary income

Trove Technologies Inc. recently released a study revealing that California ranks third worst among states in discretionary income, despite boasting the fourth highest salaries.

Santa Clara County, along with five other California cities – San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Los Angeles and...

Readmore

Sports

LA's cross-country team comes through in Clovis

LA's cross-country team comes through in Clovis

Photo by Malcolm Slaney/
Special to the Town Crier Los Altos High’s Owen Mac-Kenzie, above, set a school record at the Clovis Invitational. Fellow Eagle Naomi Donovan ran the second-fastest time in school history there.

The Los Altos High cross-country team has to hope its strong showing at the...

Readmore

Community

Community Briefs

Schola Cantorum celebrates Halloween

Schola Cantorum Silicon Valley is scheduled to perform two Halloween-themed “Ghosts, Goblins and Ghouls” concerts.

The first is slated 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at First Congregational Church of Palo Alto, 1985 Louis Road, and the second is set for 3 p.m. Oct. 29 at Lo...

Readmore

Comment

Letters to the Editor

LACI calls halt to First Street Green

It is with great sadness that I am announcing we are not moving forward with the First Street Green development project.

I love Los Altos. It is a fabulous town. As a native of this area, I appreciate how Los Altos has kept its charm and has focused on the cit...

Readmore

Spiritual Life

Spiritual Perspective: Celebrating 200 years of Baha'i faith

Every year each faith community commemorates the anniversary of several special events, including those associated with the lives of its founder and other significant people within that community.

            These occasions are times of collec...

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People

Noteworthy: Midpen's Abbors announces retirement

Noteworthy: Midpen's Abbors announces retirement

Abbors

 

Steve Abbors, general manager of the Los Altos-based Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, plans to retire after nearly a decade at the public agency’s helm. He will stay on through the end of the year.

“Steve came aboard during a pivotal time for Midpen and helped us chang...

Readmore

Schools

LAHS students empower the next generation of computer engineers

LAHS students empower the next generation of computer engineers

Courtesy of CENG
Monta Loma junior mentor Deven Merced, right, shares his computer science knowledge with classmate Angel Marshal.

Truly mastering a skill means being able to turn around and teach what you’ve been taught. That’s the case for members of Los Altos High School’s Computer Engineers...

Readmore

Special Sections

Passion Fit: Reduce risk of breast cancer via exercise, nutrition

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s important to understand the risks associated with the disease and what can be done to reduce them.

According to breastcancer.org, approximately 12 percent of women – that’s one in eight – in the U.S. will develop breast cancer over the course of the...

Readmore

Stepping Out

Upstage Theater's 'William Shakespeare' plays this weekend

Upstage Theater’s production of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare” is scheduled Friday through Sunday at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St.

The play stars a group of teens who attempt to cover all of Shakespeare’s 37 plays in less than two hours. The show aims...

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Obituaries

KURT MOTOGAWA

KURT MOTOGAWA

Kurt Motogawa, beloved husband, devoted father and friend to all passed away very unexpectedly on October 7th while vacationing in Florida. He was 56.

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Magazine

'All are welcome' moms group celebrates families helping families

'All are welcome' moms group celebrates families helping families

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Stephanie Braun, from left, Adam Braun and Marty Braun of Mountain View and Michelle Evans, Chloe Knapp and Kevin Knapp of Sunnyvale swing at a recent Las Madres gathering at Marymeade Park in Los Altos.

A parent is born at the same time as her first child, and remad...

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How knot too right


Photo By: Town Crier file photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo Los Altos students practice their writing skills from the early grades, avoiding the pitfalls of literacy outlined in Nick Thomas’ humorous column. Thomas suggests, “Let’s stamp out mixed meteors forever, and never spit another infinitive again.”

As the new school year approaches, I would like to undress you all today while disgusting a serious education problem facing this nation – the inability of the younger generators to write properly.

It’s a very disturbing trend, because there is a vast suppository of knowledge in the collective minds of today’s youth who are desperately in need of guidance to espresso themselves better.

As one of our grating vice presidents, Dan Quayle, once appropriatingly said, “Verbosity leads to unclear, inarticulate things.”

I could not depress it any better than that.

So why do students have difficulty writing?

Well, let me play the devil’s avocado for a moment. Perhaps we could place the blame on teachers and our country’s broken education cistern. But this would just be adding a salt to injury, which really stings. Our educators are amongst the finest in the world, so I don’t believe we should be placing the problem at our teachers’ feats.

Alternatorly, we could ask: Are students too focused on afterschool extravehicular activities?

Perhaps we should also condemn the affluence of the movie industry. Today’s films focus on fantasy and violence, rather than educating an audience. And with prevalent themes of an erotic nature, has Hollywood been grossly negligée in this area?

While all of the above may be partly to blame, the real explanation may lie closer to home.

In reality, much of the fault (and I don’t think this is just a pigment of my imagination) rests with the parents – you know who you are. And if you don’t, modern forensic science can help with the aid of NRA genetic testing.

The simple fact is that today’s parents are often too busy to think about insuring their children’s academic success. Some stressed parents even resource to drinking. I personally know several who currently attend Alcoholics Unanimous.

As a result, the children suffer: They return home to empty houses, have to blow-wave their own TV dinners or eat junk food, then struggle alone to fabricate answers to difficult homework assignments. Where are the parents to warn that Cheetos never prosper!

So is it any wonder that kids neglect their studies and create mischief at school, even those who come from effluent families?

Students have always had a knack for irrigating their teachers, but today’s kids can be very disruptive. Just the other day, I read of a child who opened all the faucets in his school’s arrest room. The water damage was so severe, they had to evaporate the school. Honesty, this nautical behavior leaves me with Butterfingers in my stomach.

Students need guidance – emotionally and academically. Teachers and parents have a responsibility to enrage a student’s mind, and what better way to achieve this than developing writing skills and emphasizing the ability to repress one’s self clearly.

I know that teaching the rules of writing often goes down like a lead baboon, but they are essential tools for invective expression.

Let’s examine some basics.

Tenses: These often cause trouble, especially if you forget them when camping. But I digest.

Punctuation: No English teacher wants to send home students with conjunctionitis or have to perform a semicolonoscopy on a term paper rife with punctuation errors.

What about grammar, I hear you ask? Well, the old battle-ax has been living with us for seven years now and refuses to croak, but I digest again.

I think you can see what I’m incinerating here. No student likes to be prepositioned by a teacher. But developing writing skills can be a huge advantage when considering future career options.

After all, what kid wouldn’t like to become an extinguished American libel filmmaker like Michael Moron? Or a renounced vice president such as Joe Bidet? Or even a visionary inventor, such as Henry Forward?

So as the summer drawers to a clothes and students return to school, I invite them, their teachers and their parents to work together to make more young Americans legitimate. Let’s stamp out mixed meteors forever, and never spit another infinitive again.

(For impugning his writing skills, the author would like to acknowledge his 11th-grade English teacher, Miss Marla Props, a graduate of the Norm Crosby College of Electrocution.)

Nick Thomas has written for more than 200 magazines and newspapers, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and Christian Science Monitor. Email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Reader Comments

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The 129th Rescue Wing Aids in Hurricane Harvey Rescue

Read the full story about the rescue here.
 

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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