Sun10192014

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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Los Altos can't match upwith loaded Los Gatos: Eagles fall in straight games at home

 Image from article Los Altos can
Photos by Joe Hu/Town CrierLauren Schaefer, above, led Los Altos with seven kills in last week's loss to Los Gatos. Los Altos setter Michelle Nelson, left, said the Wildcats are "stacked this year."

Setter Michelle Nelson had a simple yet accurate explanation for why Los Gatos High was able to come to into the Los Altos High gym and beat her volleyball team in straight games last week.

"They're stacked this year," the junior said after Los Gatos' 25-14, 25-14, 25-18 victory.

There's no disputing that Los Altos and Los Gatos are the best teams in the SCVAL De Anza Division - both entered the match with 4-0 league marks - but the Wildcats' offseason acquisitions have put them in a class by themselves. Before the additions, the division appeared to be a three-team race between perennial powers Los Gatos and Los Altos (which finished 1-2 in the De Anza a year ago) and newcomer Saratoga (promoted after dominating the El Camino Division last season).

Then all-league players Bryte Nielson and Nina Sevastopoulos transferred from Saratoga to Los Gatos.

"That tipped the scale in their favor," said Los Altos coach Dave Winn, who noted the two girls are members of Vision Volleyball Club, run by Los Gatos coach Joe Ripp. "… Without Bryte and Nina they're a whole different team."

With them, the Wildcats are nationally ranked (37th by prepvolleyball.com) and 16-3 overall. Winn went as far as comparing them to a Division II college program.

Although the Eagles are off to one of the best starts in school history (22-3 overall), they simply couldn't match Los Gatos' wealth of size, skill and depth.

"We knew they had a very strong team, and our attitude was to focus on our side of the net and have fun," Nelson said. "We just tried to play our best; we knew they were going to be good."

But neither team played its best, according to Winn. In grading their performances in the Oct. 6 match, the coach gave Los Altos a C and Los Gatos a B.

"I think Joe would tell you his team didn't play its best, and I know we can play better than we did," Winn said. "I don't think any of (my players) played their best. I was encouraged by the way we played in the third game; we were more relaxed and played with nothing to lose. But we were tight the first and second games."

In both those games, Los Altos hung with Los Gatos until the score reached double-digits. That's when the Wildcats put together runs that left the Eagles reeling.

With Game 1 tied at 8, Los Gatos proceeded to go on an eight-point run. Alexa Anderson sparked the spurt, notching three of her match-high 14 kills.

A booming kill by middle blocker Lauren Schaefer, who led Los Altos with seven kills on the night, pulled her team within 18-13. The Eagles would get no closer. The Wildcats finished the game with a 5-0 run, the final point coming on a cross-court kill by Anderson.

Los Altos scored the first point of Game 2, but never led again. After Nelson stuffed a shot to get the Eagles within 10-8, Los Gatos rattled off six points in a row. This was soon followed by a four-point run, featuring a pair of Nielson kills, giving the Wildcats a commanding 22-12 advantage. Chelsea Wilson delivered the game-winner on a kill to the middle of Los Altos' side of the court.

Los Gatos carried this momentum into Game 3, jumping out to a 4-1 lead. Los Altos regrouped, however, pulling within 7-5 on a deep kill by Emily Saliba.

Just as the Wildcats began to pull away again - going up 17-8 behind multiple kills from Rebecca Mason and Michelle Johnson - the Eagles rallied once more. Los Altos scored three of the next four points, highlighted by Schaefer's blistering kill toward the backline.

Los Gatos built the lead back to 10, but the Eagles showed no signs of surrendering. Kills from Schaefer and younger sister Christan, who finished with five kills, attributed to Los Altos scoring four unanswered points.

With the lead narrowed to 24-18, Los Gatos called time out - prompting a mini-celebration from the Los Altos players and fans. It was short-lived. Los Gatos scored the next point on a quick tap by Wilson to end the match.

But the drama didn't end there. Ripp then lashed out at Winn about calls made by the line judges, who were junior-varsity players from Los Altos. The Eagles coach didn't take too kindly to the complaints, especially after such a one-sided match.

"That's classless, Joe," Winn yelled across the court to Ripp as their teams exchanged the obligatory "Good game" and slapped hands. "You won - go enjoy it."

"It happens every time we come here," Ripp countered.

Winn said he is "very motivated" to play the Wildcats again, and Los Altos will get its chance on Oct. 27 at Los Gatos (6:45 p.m. start).

"We're definitely not intimidated by them," Winn said. "When we play them next time - and if we play like we can - it will be a different game."

If the Eagles can improve their passing off serve-receive, Winn is confident Los Altos can compete with the Wildcats

"We've surprised people with our record and now we want to surprise them by tying for the league (championship)," he said. "… We just have to execute our game plan."

Los Altos is next in action Thursday, hosting Homestead in a league match scheduled for 6:45 p.m.

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