Life in the Hills: Summer tradition

The first summer we moved out west from Chicago, long before we were parents, we were introduced to a Bay Area gem of a day. Our in-the-know friends invited us to accompany them to the Mountain Play up in Marin. Everything about it appealed to us.

No Shoes, Please: Doggie daycare

I am ashamed that every week, twice a week, for roughly five hours, I put Eloise in doggie day care. It’s like I’m back to parenting a toddler enrolled in preschool, and I’m using those precious hours while the child is out of my hair to run errands or clean the house. However, in my case, the toddler is actually a 1-year-old dog who gets regularly walked twice a day and shouldn’t need much more than a fresh bowl of water and a place to nap in order for me to go about an average day without spending any extra money on servicing her needs.

But Eloise is different, and this is another source of deepening shame – that I consider her precious and exceptional. However, there is something about her. When I announce, “I’m taking the dog to day care,” I can just feel the relief and gratitude embedded in cheery goodbyes, like, “Have a good time, Eloise!” When I drop her off, I mouth those same words, only sometimes I feel like what I’m actually saying is something more along the lines of, “Good riddance!”

Letters to the Editor: Week of Aug. 15

‘Watershed’ LA election should dictate direction

The Aug. 1 Town Crier article on the Downtown Vision project highlights what “could” be done to extensively develop downtown Los Altos, should the residents want that for their community. The same can be said about the development on El Camino Real, and possibly at Loyola Corners – a lot could be done to extensively develop those areas should the residents of Los Altos desire that. That is a big question that needs to be answered.

Fortunately, with the upcoming election, it is likely that those questions will be answered. Apparently there will be three candidates on the pro-development side and three on the “retain the Los Altos character” side. The November election will provide residents an opportunity to determine the future of Los Altos. I am a believer in democracy, and the majority should get what they want.

Other Voices: Pets In Need agreement means saving abused, neglected and at-risk animals

Three years ago, the city of Palo Alto released an audit of Palo Alto Animal Services that confirmed the shelter is woefully outdated and fails to meet the modern-day standards for animal care.

To their credit, city leaders recognized that the shelter – which also serves Los Altos and Los Altos Hills – could no longer continue to operate as is without a significant increase in general fund subsidy, donations and/or revenue-generating contracts.

The Villaj Idiut: Switching

I always find it interesting to compare the marital habits of particular couples to, well, mine and my wife’s – if for no other reason than to see how weird everyone is.

One of the habits I’ve become fascinated with is which side of the bed people sleep on – assuming they are actually sleeping in the same bed and not pulling a Ricky and Lucy.

Letters to the Editor: Week of Aug. 22

Car break-ins on the rise in LA

We have had two car break-in attempts in less than four months at our house. Additional neighbors down the street had their car broken into this summer as well.

We see the “Car Break-In” posts on the Nextdoor forum constantly. The instances of daytime home invasions are particularly troubling. I grew up in Los Altos, and these types of instances and the frequency were completely unheard of even 10 years ago in our area.

Haugh About That?: No longer that girl

As I practiced the words that scrolled down the teleprompter, my voice began to tremble with each screwup. “Ugh! Why can’t I get this right?” I moaned. Painful memories from my youth flooded my mind and I broke into tears.

When I was young, I grappled with a learning disability that went undiagnosed. Back in the 1950s, why a child’s brain struggled with academics had yet to be discovered. Instead, you were labeled slow – or worse, stupid. Fortunately, I developed tricks along the way to help me get through grade school, but reading out loud terrified me. Never wanting to deal with the humiliation that came with blunders, each time the teacher called for volunteers to read the next paragraph, I did a nosedive under my desk, praying not to be seen. Sadly, high school was no different.

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.

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