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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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Simple traditions from New Delhi

 Image from article Simple traditions from New Delhi

Gitika Baveja wrote her first two cookbooks in India after watching some of her young female friends leave their family homes for marriage without much background in cooking and housekeeping basics.

Now living in the United States, Baveja has written an English-language book of recipes for the Bay Area community, because "you spend a lot of money on (restaurant) Indian food, and it's not satisfying enough for the people I know."

Baveja wrote, photographed and self-published "Indian Flavors to Savor" (Morris Press Cookbooks, 2006), from an apartment off Homestead Road at the junction of Los Altos, Sunnyvale and Cupertino.

"When I was growing up, I would sit for hours on a ledge in the kitchen watching my mother cook, enamored. Now, when I eat in a restaurant, I come home and try the dish my way. It's just a passion," she said.

Baveja, who works in the high-tech industry, said, "My work is more stressful. When I come home and cook (in the evening), it's relaxing."

Her cookbook focuses on northern-style dishes, seasoned by Baveja's upbringing in New Delhi.

"In the north, we are also very cosmopolitan. I'd make a lot of Western dishes even when I was in India," Baveja said.

Most of the recipes are intended to take only 15-20 minutes to prepare. The book incorporates healthful spins on traditionally guilty treats, like an olive-oil version of halwa, a sweet that typically relies on rich dairy products.

"There is a misconception that Indian food is very fattening," Baveja said. She described the dishes Westerners are likely to encounter in American-Indian restaurants as filled with butter and cream, more like wedding dishes than everyday fare in India.

"If you put two cups of butter in, people will like it," Baveja said. But she seeks to offer an alternative in her cookbook: a guide to the Indian cooking techniques that infuse flavor without resorting to fat.

"It's satisfying to share knowledge and recipes," she said.

She is interested in leading cooking classes at some point to teach trickier techniques, such as tempering dry spices in a hot pan. Novices have occasionally filled a kitchen with billows of spicy smoke when tempering goes awry. "Indian Flavors to Savor" offers a crash course in such techniques in its first pages, in addition to a plethora of hints crucial for the novice cook: when to add garlic to a skillet, how to balance unfamiliar spices and on which ingredients it is OK to "cheat" and use the canned. With a guide to cookery terms and an English-Hindi introduction to Indian spices, Baveja tries to entice even the most timid chef to an experiment with curry.

"It's really a misconception that Indian food is spicy. You need to know your tolerance level. The food isn't spicy if you don't make it spicy," Baveja said.

Her potato cutlets, subtly flavored with the homemade spice mix garam masala, coriander powder and a hint of red chili, have the crispy, panfried flavor of comfort food. She adds large pearl tapioca to the cutlets, which lends a delicate, surprising substance and texture to the potato patties. They are eaten dipped in a sweet, salty cilantro and mint chutney, which adds a vibrant color and a bite of fresh, raw herb flavor to the side dish.

Baveja's masala tava salmon is lightly coated in spiced rice flour and panfried, resulting in tender, fragrant fish inside a crisp, rich crust, pungent with a hint of mango powder. Her chickpea curry is a standout beginner's dish, low on fat and smoldering with an earthy, sweet, chopped ginger, onion and tomato base.

For more information about "Indian Flavors to Savor," e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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