I was told at an early age that it’s not polite to listen in to other people’s conversations. Unfortunately, I never followed my parents’ advice.

Between work, kids, running errands and trying to relax, I understand it’s hard to find time to practice your family’s emergency preparedness. Although if last year taught us anything, we must make time, because local and national emergencies can affect every part of our daily lives. I’m exc…

Car commercials, automobile ads, sellathons and four-wheeled dream machines are cramming the airwaves these days with heaps of happy families on the road to nowhere. The avalanche of extras in these new mechanical magic carpets include everything from advanced autonomics to zero-interest pay…

Setting up for Thanksgiving was difficult this year. I brought out my late mother-in-law’s harvest-red paisley tablecloth and the bin full of Thanksgiving cornucopias, fake fruit and fold-out turkeys for decorating the table.�

Editor’s Note: This column was written before outdoor dining was shutdown county-wide Sunday night – but take-away remains open, so give a nod to a lonely wine barrel as you pick up from restaurants downtown this week.

Running for Los Altos City Council back in 2012, I had many ideas of what I wanted to accomplish. My priorities were open government, a vibrant downtown and updated civic center, greater environmental sustainability, more affordable housing and safe neighborhoods.

How about some good news? I am happy to report that at our Oct. 27 Los Altos City Council meeting, the council unanimously voted to move forward with a memorandum of understanding with Santa Clara County to build 90 units of all-affordable rental housing at 330 Distel Drive, near the El Cami…

During a recent stroll into and around town, it hit me: I was seeing an entirely new form of dance being created right in front of my mask. The brilliance of Twyla Tharp, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Alvin Ailey, Fred Astaire and Dancing Penguins popped into my mind.

You may remember my grandfather, Jonathan Livingston Seagull. He was a worldwide literary phenomenon in the early 1970s. He and my grandmother settled down in Berkeley to join the “Free Fly Movement,” which was all the rage in the skies above the Cal campus.

When I was a child, my parents moved us from Palo Alto to a small city of about the same size in the segregated South. (It was a bad move, but that’s another story.) My parents were from a part of the country where you were more likely to see an antelope walking down the street than a person…

I read the disheartening news articles at the end of May about the George Floyd protests gone awry. I read about looters standing with crowbars at the ready as peaceful protesters marched down the streets of San Francisco and Oakland. They were waiting for the right moment to turn and smash …

Face masks block droplets that are emitted when you talk, sneeze and cough. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these droplets are the main way that COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person. So face masks are very important to protect other people from any …

On Memorial Day, communities across this country watched in horror as a former officer in Minneapolis held George Floyd to the ground, his knee restraining Floyd by his neck, actions which directly led to Mr. Floyd’s death. ������������Police agencies across the country, including the Mounta…

� Note: Following is Los Altos Mayor Jan Pepper’s statement, read at the June 9 council meeting in the wake of the local Black Lives Matter protests. The last couple weeks have been a tumultuous time in our country and in our community. It highlights how very far we still have to go to fight…

� As I sat on the phone with each of my four adult children, I became pissy with what felt like overblown concerns about my safety. I’m not an invalid, I’m perfectly healthy with no compromised immune system, and I’m not “that” old. Then, they reminded me of my true age (67), and the targete…

Los Altos held its inaugural virtual town hall April 7. More than 130 people called in or Zoomed in to the town hall. I want to recap the messages from this event. As everyone no doubt knows, the shelter-in-place order has been extended to May 3. What is very important to know is that everyt…