Other Voices: Hidden treasures right outside our front doors

My stupid New Year’s resolution for 2019 was to run every trail in the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District’s preserves – all 260 miles of them. I have been a trail runner ever since I accidentally discovered Rancho San Antonio was only a quarter-mile from my house when I moved to south Los Altos 29 years ago. When we moved to Los Altos Hills 11 years ago, I got very familiar with the town’s pathways.

My stupid New Year’s resolution got put on hold when I got injured running in the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve in March 2019. As a result, my plan changed to finish in 2020. I only have about 11 miles left before I complete the project.

A Mother’s Day remembrance: Honoring my mother and nurse Dina Rosjansky – the angel in white


Although I am an only child, my mother had thousands of children, all loved and cared for by her. They affectionately called her “Deenush, our Angel in White.” Remember the times nurses wore all-white uniforms? That’s why they called them “Angels in White.”

Deenush, born Dina Rosjansky – the beautiful young nurse in Municipal Hospital No. 4 in Vilnius, Lithuania, in the Soviet Union, and later the head nurse of the oncology department in Tel Aviv’s Hadassah/Balfour hospital – had dedicated her life and career to taking care of cancer patients, some as young as 3 years old. Cancer does not discriminate; all ages fall under the spell of this mysterious disease.
The pain, the sorrow and the ordeal of the patients, their families and friends were eased by the confidence of Dina’s superb medical knowledge and skillful treatment, and softened by the caring love she bestowed on all.
The warm touch of her strong hand, a reassuring hug, the chicken soup and a sandwich for those waiting all night in the hospital’s corridors to hear the fate of their loved ones made this incredible woman a mother to so many.
Exhausted after 12- to 14-hour workdays, my mother would rush home, often walking 7 miles. She would climb to her fourth-floor apartment, just in time to cook supper and bring a wonderful smile and loving Yiddish greeting – “mein lichteke and tayere kind” (“my bright and dear child”) – to her only child.

Inserting my hand into her handbag, I would always find an apple or an orange, a real treasure in those “good old days” in Vilnius. I knew that she always thought about me.
And as the times changed, modern technology added a high-tech elevator on 45 Kaplansky St. in Givatayim, Israel, but Deenush still enjoyed climbing four floors of stairs to her beautiful apartment No. 10.
Sadly, I lost my beloved mom 10 years ago. Holding her in my arms until, with her last breath, she whispered in Russian, “Ya tiebia ochen’ liubliu” (“I love you very much”), I tearfully parted with the world’s most admired, loving and adoring mother.
On Mother’s Day, as we gather via Zoom with my family for this special festivity, Deenush is and always will be a part of our lives.
Lina Broydo is a longtime Los Altos Hills resident and member of the Rotary Club of Los Altos.

MVLA grading decision: MVLA vote levels the playing field

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees convened a special meeting April 6 to decide on grading for the spring semester due to the closure of on-site education at our schools. The decision to change grading policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic is being done by all school districts in the Bay Area, and many throughout the country.

Most, if not all, Bay Area school districts are choosing the mandatory credit/no-credit option. This does not imply the board’s decision was correct, but that it aligns with other districts in the Bay Area and allows our students to compete on a level playing field with other students in the Bay Area.

Other Voices: Crisis produces 'cultural antibodies' to combat global climate change

This pandemic is priming us for the urgent battle against climate change. Beyond the coronavirus horizon, we will find a community with strong “cultural antibodies” against global threats. Imagine a world collectively in favor of climate actions that don’t jeopardize planetary health for greed or partisan gain. COVID-19, through fear and tragedy, is allowing us to rise above such attitudes and is changing the minds of millions of skeptics and leaders.

Will we respect climate scientists as we respect Dr. Anthony Fauci? Will we realize that a carbon tax is an urgent mitigating measure? Such changes have never been more likely.

MVLA grading decision: Don't allow pandemic to harm students' records

For the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District’s remaining 39 days of Emergency Remote Learning (ERL), grading that holds students’ academic records harmless from the adverse effects of the abrupt transition to such learning is essential. Unfortunately, the binary credit/no-credit grading imposed April 6 by the board’s 4-1 vote, over my dissent, harms students who have worked hard to demonstrate improvement in their grades. It unfairly denies them any chance to have the “summative assessments” – that is, course grades – their labors have earned.

It doesn’t have to be that way – there is a more sensitive, hybrid system of grading. It not only preserves the protections of credit/no-credit for students whom letter grading would undeservedly harm, but also allows students who have improved, despite ERL’s challenges, to get grades showing that improvement on their transcripts.

Other Voices: Webinar today offers chance to learn about energy efficiency

While it is challenging right now to focus our attention on other things, the Los Altos Environmental Commission and the city of Los Altos continue to pursue progress toward our Climate Action Plan goals. Our current focus is the city’s proposed reach codes. We will be hosting a webinar at 7 p.m. today to present the proposed codes and answer questions.

What are reach codes? They are local building energy codes that “reach” beyond the state minimum requirements for energy efficiency in building design. In the past several months, many Bay Area cities have adopted reach codes that either limit or prohibit the use of natural gas in construction, as well as increase electric-vehicle charging infrastructure. The city of Los Altos is evaluating a reach code that would require new commercial and residential buildings to be 100% electric and increase “EV-read” parking spaces in new developments.

CSA leader offers update amid the coronavirus crisis

Following is an open letter to the community from Tom Myers, Los Altos resident and executive director of Community Service Agency, a nonprofit social services agency serving Mountain View, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

While these are incredibly trying times for all of us, I am blown away by the generosity and spirit of our community, the heroics of our staff and volunteers, and the breathtaking intensity of sudden need among the most vulnerable residents of our community. I want to update you on how this ever-evolving situation has affected CSA, as well as critical client needs.

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. 


Click here for answers.

Schools »

Read More

Sports »

Read More

People »

Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

Browse and buy photos