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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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Stanford scholars: Hurricane Katrina did not raise awareness of poverty

Contrary to a popular notion reported in news coverage of Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 Gulf Coast disaster did not reveal to most Americans that widespread poverty and inequality are the nation's "dirty little secret."

Rather, most Americans were aware of these problems before they were highlighted by the devastation of Katrina, according to a new study by Stanford sociologists. As a result, the event did not become a watershed in the debate over poverty, as some pundits had forecast. In fact, awareness of poverty and inequality actually decreased among some groups of Americans after Katrina, suggesting that some people may have reacted negatively to news coverage by what they claimed to be a "liberally biased media," according to the study, "Did Katrina Recalibrate Attitudes Toward Poverty and Inequality? A Test of the 'Dirty Little Secret' Hypothesis."

The paper, co-authored by sociology Professor David Grusky and doctoral student Emily Ryo, will be published in the spring edition of the Du Bois Review. Lawrence Bobo, the Martin Luther King Jr. Centennial Professor, co-edits the 2-year-old, peer-reviewed journal on race in the social sciences. The forthcoming issue, which includes a paper by education Professor Emeritus John Baugh, is devoted to new research related to Katrina.

Grusky and Ryo based their findings on data from the 2004 and 2005 Maxwell Polls on Civic Engagement and Inequality based at Syracuse University. The nationally representative surveys, which included a comprehensive list of questions on poverty and inequality, were conducted in October 2004 and October 2005. Taking place just after Hurricane Katrina, the latter poll allowed the researchers to gauge how attitudes changed following the disaster.

According to a Pew Research Center poll, 70 percent of the U.S. adult population claims to have paid "very close attention" to news about Katrina, making it the fifth most closely watched story in the last 20 years.

"It follows that Katrina had the potential to recalibrate public ideologies in ways far more profound than, say, the release of yet another government report on inequality and poverty." Grusky and Ryo wrote in the study.

According to the researchers, journalists broached many themes in their coverage of the disaster, but a common one was that Katrina cast a fresh light on the depth and extent of poverty in America.

Ryo uncovered this popular theme during an online search of national and local newspaper and broadcast reporting on the disaster, which, she wrote, was summed up by a poverty expert quoted in Newsday Oct. 2: "There has been a pulling back of the veil that hides poverty in America. ... All of a sudden, people are saying, 'Do we really have that level of poverty here? Are there people really trying to hold families together with substandard education, living in substandard housing and with no financial resources to fall back on?'"

Ryo, a fourth-year graduate student, said that after Katrina she, too, had accepted the premise that Americans had been "completely unaware" of the size of these problems. "It's easy to buy into the story that if only we had known about the extent of poverty in America, we would have buckled down and taken care of it," she said.

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