Mon10202014

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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Play links golf in Scottish broom with views of San Francisco Bay

This is the eighth in a series of articles reviewing the top 20 public golf courses within easy reach of Los Altos.

Yearn to play Royal Troon or Muirfield courses in Scotland, where links golf began?

There's a little touch of Scotland right here in our own backyard.

You can avoid that 10-hour flight across that big pond off our East Coast by driving to the Tony Lema Course at the Monarch Bay Golf Club in San Leandro, only 40 minutes from Los Altos – an affordable way to experience what links golf is all about.

Tony Lema ranks No. 13 in Dawson's countdown of the best 20 golf courses around the South Bay.

The course is special for a couple of reasons. Not only does it have the wind, the bunkers and the tall, thick grasses that define links courses, it offers expansive views of San Francisco Bay. On clear days, the San Mateo Bridge and downtown San Francisco seem close enough to touch – and the Bay is close enough to catch very errant shots.

While the property is as flat as an estuary, the builders arranged the dirt to create sculptured bunkers and elevated greens – though major expanses of rough and fairway remain fairly level and treeless. Heavy marsh grasses added around the tees and other prominent spots contribute to the British Isle texture without interfering with shot landing areas.

The course is in good condition. Fairways are firm but smooth, with enough grass that the ball sits up. Roughs are good and not too heavy but vary in density depending on the sprinkler setup. The greens are consistent and have the shape and character one might expect on a links course.

The seventh hole, a long par 3 into the breeze with a very long, narrow, elevated green, is special. Deep bunkers surround the putting surface and the hole is as tough and Scottish as they come.

The real sweet spot at Monarch Bay is the challenge of approaching greens with unusual pin positions, over deep, well-placed bunkers.

A key to having a good round here is to select the correct set of tees. Inexperienced golfers should choose a shorter set to make sure they can out-hit the heavy grasses surrounding the elevated tee boxes. Better golfers should opt for the championship or the tournament blocks because the front, white tees eliminate much of the excitement of hitting over water or avoiding fairway bunkers. Also, green approach shots are much less interesting from the front layout.

Unless you want to dare the gusty winds, get an early start time or play on a very warm day. Otherwise, as one might expect on a bayside course, the wind can create havoc – like the winds at St. Andrews, which turn a short course into a beast.

Greens fees range from $14 to $59, cart fees, $20-$26.

For more information, call (510) 895-2162 or visit www.monarchbay.americangolf.com.

Longtime Los Altos resident Doug Dawson is a retired manufacturing business manager, who is researching and writing "Northern California's 100 Best Public and Resort Golf Courses."

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