No Shoes, Please: Flying those 'Friendly Skies'

We’ve all seen the video of Dr. David Dao being booted off a United Airlines plane, his face bloodied, his abdomen exposed.

Due to the company’s already well-deserved reputation for abysmal customer service, frequent flyers and the public at large regarded the incident as shocking, but not particularly surprising. Therefore, when a man in his late 60s gets dragged down the aisle of an airplane – suffering a concussion, damage to his sinuses and the loss of two teeth – plenty of people sardonically viewed it as part and parcel of “Flying the Friendly Skies.”

Letters to the Editor

What happened to courtesy on job site?

Several decades ago, when construction began to get heavy in Los Altos, the Planning Department agreed to show some consideration to surrounding neighborhoods. They created a handout titled “Courtesy on the Job Site” and distributed it to contractors along with their building permits. The “courtesy” involved unnecessary noise, particularly loud radios, along with a list of other requirements.

Why is this no longer done?

Letters to the Editor

First Street park would enhance charm

I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment expressed in Asher Kohn’s article in the March 29 Town Crier (“Have we lost that Los Altos feeling?”). We need more buildings in Los Altos like the Packard Foundation headquarters, and the “village charm” of Los Altos can be maintained even as we develop a vibrant downtown.

To preserve the village look and feel, we can use scale and design. Buildings that come up to the lot line but conform to city code can (as we have seen) create a canyon effect, but new buildings need not go all the way to the edge of the property line. They can instead be stepped back so that any third-story element is basically invisible from the adjacent sidewalks, and trees and green space can be an integral part of their plans, as the Packard building has successfully shown.

From the City Manager's Desk: Downtown Vision project needs your feedback

Over the last several years, there have been many community discussions regarding development projects and how they may or may not fit the character of Los Altos. Ask one person what makes Los Altos unique and you might hear comments about its small-town charm, yet someone else may remark about the specialty shops they can only find in Los Altos. As a new resident, I’m coming to find my own definition of what makes Los Altos such a wonderful place to live.

As stewards of your city, the Los Altos City Council and staff have initiated a community vision process for the downtown area. The Downtown Vision effort will include multiple opportunities for the community to engage in the process and share ideas. The objective of the process is to gather feedback from all community members to identify the most preferred direction for maintaining and enhancing the vitality of downtown Los Altos. For the Downtown Vision project to be successful, we need to hear from you.

You had me at 'hello': Other Voices

I was born into an analog world and destined to die in a digital universe. That’s OK with me. I love change and welcome this cutting-edge technology where information is but a click away. It’s impossible to download “life,” especially if your power cord is unplugged, but laughter is a universal connection – and sometimes you just gotta laugh!

A friend’s recent “conversation” with his teenage daughter humorously illustrates what I call “the power of the ping.” Arriving home after work, he greeted his wife and teasingly asked where their daughter was hiding. “She’s upstairs studying in her room,” his wife said.

Grandma envy: Haugh About That?

Coming home from another baby shower, I threw my purse across the room, clenched my fingers into a fist, and screamed, “If I hear one more time how wonderful being a grandparent is, I think I’ll kill myself! No, better yet, I’ll kill that nauseating grandmother. It can’t be that good!”

Pouring myself a glass of wine to calm my annoyance from all the ooey-gooey gurgling about how cute, funny, precious and sweet they are, as if grandchildren were the be-all and end-all (and without them you’re nothing), I plopped down on the couch, prepared to have a surly pity party. But as I took the first sip, I instantly fell into tears.

New school: The Villaj Idiut

I don’t know what U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has in mind for making our schools great again, but I have my own very distinct idea of what she should do to make a lasting impact on America’s youth.

DeVos should make it mandatory that every school system in the country – public, private, charter – include a series of classes in their curricula on cellphone and social media use. I’m of the opinion that there is not one thing that would be more beneficial to our children right now than teaching them how to be responsible users of their mobile devices.

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 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 – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

Schools »

Read More

Sports »

Read More

People »

Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

Browse and buy photos