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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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Loyola holds Ability Awareness Week

 Image from article Loyola holds Ability Awareness Week

Abilities of all kinds were celebrated at Loyola School as part of Ability Awareness Week, Nov. 18-22.

Throughout the week, students participated in various activities simulating a range of learning and physical challenges -- from mobility impairments, blindness and dyslexia to fine motor challenges.

Parents and community members volunteered their time to manage various activities.

Many parent volunteers are also members of the Community Advisory Committee for the Special Education Local Plan Area, or SELPA 1, which includes the Los Altos, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Mountain View-Whisman and Mountain View-Los Altos High school districts.

The volunteer committee, formed in 1994, works on a wide range of issues related to special education in schools, including a handbook of guidelines for parents of special needs children in public schools.

Many of those guidelines were shared with the students. "We are teaching the students things like wheelchair etiquette," said Patty Hurley, a volunteer and parent of a special needs student. "For example, asking permission before touching someone's wheelchair, since it is considered as part of their personal space; or having eye contact and speaking directly to the person in the wheelchair."

In an activity meant to simulate a fine motor disability, students put socks on their hands while trying to button up a dress shirt in five minutes.

Students were given a "homework" assignment of not speaking for two hours one evening, forcing them to find other ways to communicate.

In other activities, students attempted to write their names upside down and backward, so that it would look correct in a mirror, to simulate dyslexia; or put on blindfolds and have a classmate lead them around campus to simulate being sight-impaired.

Sunnyvale resident Gail Bowen and her 5-year-old seeing eye dog Cody were also on hand to talk with students.

"The kids are learning how to tell if a guide dog is working or not and how to act around a dog," Bowen said. "Seeing the dogs really helps with giving more acceptance to people like myself out in public."

Acceptance is one of the main themes of the week. It was highlighted with brightly colored posters hung around campus with slogans such as, "It's OK to walk differently," "It's OK to be from a different place" and "Teasing is bullying using words."

Students in the special day classes at Loyola, who have many of the physical or learning challenges highlighted during the week, were in turn given tools to deal with bullying.

"We did some role playing on how to deal with teasing, and it was really successful," Hurley said. "The special day classes did every simulation the other students did, with this added element. The kids need these tools."

Hurley asked students to pretend what it would be like not to be in their bodies, but in the body of someone who might need assistance.

After attempting to navigate Loyola's Multipurpose Room using a walker, cane and wheelchair, fourth-grader Elizabeth Khouri said she was surprised at how hard it was.

"I always wanted to try out a wheelchair. It seemed so easy, but actually it's harder," Khouri said. "I learned that you can't see all disabilities and that I am luckier than a lot of people. I have all of my limbs and can see and smell, not like some other people."

Susan Sherwood, a fourth-grade teacher, said her students can put what they learned during the week to use in the classroom.

"I have a special needs student that comes to my class once a week," Sherwood said. "They are getting to know him as a person and they are less likely to tease him on the playground. We are all educating each other."

For more information about hosting an Ability Awareness Week or the SELPA 1 CAC, call Patty Hurley at 949-1926.

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