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News

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Campaign yard signs are just one expenditure for candidates during election season.

Election finance filings are in, and Los Altos appears to be hosting a few financially lopsided races.

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Schools

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Bullis Charter School students wear their school spirit clothing to greet their mascot Oct. 3 in celebration of being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Blach Intermediate, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools ea...

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Community

Sports

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High running back Austin Johnson goes for a big gain after evading Los Altos High defensive tackle Phil Alameda in Friday’s game. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Spartans.

After unveiling its wildc...

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Comment

Logan, McClatchie, Peruri for LASD board: Editorial

This is a crucial time for the Los Altos School District. Its leadership faces the challenge of balancing enrollment growth versus maintaining the small, neighborhood schools that make it a very popular district to attend. The district must also adap...

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Special Sections

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Tandava Waldon, left, manager of East West Bookstore on Castro Street in Mountain View, works with a customer. Waldon said the recently approved minimum-wage hike will have little impact on his business. “It’s not such a...

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Business

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

Suzanne Monica Dimm Specht passed Tuesday, Sept. 9th at the age of 84. Sue was born on April 21, 1930 in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in with a degree in Music, Sue taught in a little town called Clatskanie, Oreg...

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Travel

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening


Courtesy of Sally Brew
North Korea is home to many monuments honoring its “Dear Leaders,” left.

In August, I traveled for 11 days with MIR Corp. to North Korea, a fascinating country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. ...

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Stepping Out

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto


Courtesy of José Luis Moscovich
West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” is slated to open Friday night in Palo Alto and run through Oct. 26.

West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) is scheduled to open this weekend...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Residents voice opposition to trail connection through neighborhood


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Some Los Altos residents at a June 18 public meeting favored a trail alignment that includes a portion of Foothill Expressway, above.

Los Altos officials last week updated residents on proposed Stevens Creek Trail alignments through the city and opened the discussion to audience input. Input they received – in spades.

A standing-room-only crowd of 250 residents packed the Grant Park meeting room June 18 to offer their perspectives and review potential trail connections through Los Altos as part of the four-cities Stevens Creek Trail Feasibility Study. The study involves a regional approach in connecting the trail between Mountain View and Cupertino – and includes potential alignments through Los Altos, Sunnyvale and along the creek corridor itself.

The study includes the cities of Los Altos, Mountain View, Cupertino and Sunnyvale.

“This is a very long vision to connect the Bay to the ocean,” said Jana Sokale, a consultant hired by the four-cities team to conduct the study.

The city scheduled the meeting to address residents’ concerns and to get them “on the same page,” Los Altos City Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins noted.

In recent months, several residents on Fallen Leaf – one of the study’s potential alignment areas in Los Altos – organized to oppose alignments through the city’s residential streets, including theirs.

Sokale described three potential trail alignment concepts that would affect Fallen Leaf Lane: a bike route connector with signage through the neighborhood, a more elaborate design calling for marked bike sharrows to share the road with motorists along Fallen Leaf and a 6-foot-wide colored paved walkway and landscaped bulb-outs at intersections to reduce vehicle speeds.

Bruins notified residents that the 60-foot-wide Class I Pathway Design Concept proposed for Fallen Leaf – which would have required Los Altos to reclaim up to 18 feet of public right-of-way that has been built up with residents’ fencing and yards over decades – was “no longer being considered.”

Reactions

Several residents voiced concerns that placing a trail of any kind along Fallen Leaf would increase vehicle and bicycle traffic. Some objected on grounds that it would negatively affect their home values.

Noreen Miller, a 28-year resident, said placing a trail along Fallen Leaf could eliminate street parking for residents and turn the neighborhood into a busy thoroughfare for trail users.

“It really frightens me to think we’re going to open (the neighborhood) up to the rest of the world or something,” she said.

A self-described biking fanatic, Los Altos resident David O’Ryan said he feared that placing a dedicated trail bike route in the neighborhood would result in another Foothill Expressway – a popular biking route for area cyclists. O’Ryan was one of several nearby residents who favored alternate trail connections along Fremont Avenue, Grant Road and Foothill – similar to a route outlined in a 2008 feasibility study conducted solely by Los Altos.

“I would really be happy to see the trail extended, but taking it through someone’s neighborhood is not the way to do it,” said Los Altos resident Tracy Gibbons.

Fallen Leaf resident Ross Lapin added that he was “very disappointed” to see that all three trail concepts presented at the meeting focused on his street.

“The only presentation made was to mess with Fallen Leaf Lane,” he said.

Far fewer supported a trail alignment along residential streets.

Michael McTighe, a Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commissioner speaking on his own behalf, drew a chorus of boos when he said a trail would increase safety for younger bicyclists.

“As a parent, one of the major groups of people not represented are the students who ride (bikes) up and down Fallen Leaf,” he said.

GreenTown Los Altos volunteer Susan Runowicz-Smith, an 18-year resident, also received a smattering of jeers after noting that some residents’ attitudes toward the trail made her feel uneasy riding her bike in Los Altos.

“It really, really hurts that Los Altos could be viewed as not welcoming to cyclists,” she said.

The study’s Citizens Working Group is slated to meet Aug. 1, followed by an Aug. 12 meeting of its Joint Cities Working Team, comprising one elected representative from each city.

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