A Piece of My Mind: History is fast, change is slow

When I was quite young, my parents took my brother and me to the Natchez Pilgrimage, a semi-annual tour of antebellum mansions organized by the Natchez Garden Clubs back in 1932 as a way to bring tourists to Depression-wracked Natchez, Miss. Club members dressed in crinolines and hoop skirts guided us through the white-columned mansions. A pageant was a major part of the Pilgrimage, with children dancing around a maypole, a king and queen, and tableaux depicting Natchez history. One of the tableaux, titled “Cotton Pickers,” depicted a “land of laughter, love, and song” where “fields … whiten (with ripe cotton bolls) and darkies … sing.”

A few weeks ago I was back in Natchez as part of a tour group cruising down the Mississippi. This time there were few “Gone with the Wind” moments. We toured a plantation, but we spent more time in the slave quarters than in the mansion, and even more time in the exhibit showing the hot, heavy and dangerous work of getting cotton picked and prepared for market before the ginning and baling were mechanized. On the way back to our boat, we stopped at Forks of the Road, site of the second-largest slave market in the U.S. back in the day.

Letters to the Editor: Earthquake preparation, Persky recall, Measure E, parks initiative

Quake preparation requires unity

Regarding the May 16 letter “LAH not prepared for the next big quake,” I found it curious that one of the biggest earthquake problems is freeway collapse “cutting the town in two,” presumably meaning “west” of Interstate 280 cut off from “east” of the freeway.

It seems to me the town has always been cut in two between “north” and “south” – there is no way to go from one side to the other except by leaving town via 280 (owned by the state) or circumnavigating the edge of town at Summerhill Avenue (one direction of which is part of the unincorporated county).

Other Voices: The Slobification of America – Uggs for pugs

There are daily signs of the coming apocalypse, but none so hilariously disturbing as the creation of Pugz. This confirms that our human condition is going to the dogs. We now have boots for bowsers that are stylishly similar to Uggs for bipeds. They are designed to keep your pooch’s paws toasty and odor free at the same time. With faux leather exteriors and comfy woolen linings, they are Fido fashionable and pet practical.

Other Voices: Good reasons to vote against the Judge Persky recall

I get it. Some people believe that Judge Aaron Persky has already lost in court – the court of public opinion. I applaud those who have studied the issue rather than merely reviewing one of many glossy fliers they received in the mail.

However, the arena of public opinion is not based on due process, many times giving little effort to thoughtful analysis. It is based on emotion and gut feelings. And who, after all, can disagree with the premise: They should throw the book at anyone who assaults a woman, and this judge merely threw a chapter.

Letters to the Editor: Art submissions, parks and Persky

Artists urged to submit work for display

The city of Los Altos, through the Public Arts Commission, runs a Sculpture Loan Program that places artwork throughout the city, adding vibrancy and creativity to downtown and parks.

Currently, there are several vacant spots, with a 2- or 3-foot-square base, waiting to be filled with new and exciting pieces.

Other Voices: 'Biased' Persky needs to be replaced

Last fall, more than 100,000 Santa Clara County voters signed a petition to put the recall of Judge Aaron Persky on Tuesday’s ballot. We believe he should be replaced with a new judge because of his pattern of bias favoring privileged defendants over survivors/victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and child pornography. We ask you to vote “yes” to recall Persky.

Persky shocked our community when he sentenced Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to only six months in jail for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman. The victim, a Gunn High School graduate, was a classmate of many of our Los Altos Hills children.

Other Voices: Support for climate action runs across political spectrum

Every April, Earth Day and Earth Month have historically stimulated broad political and cultural alignments. The first Earth Day in 1970 brought U.S. Republicans and Democrats together in an effort to protect the environment, and by year’s end, lawmakers created the Environmental Protection Agency and passed the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species acts. Earth Day 1990 boosted recycling efforts worldwide, paving the way for the unprecedented 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, which spawned the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCC).

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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