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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Letters to the Editor

Hoping LASD promises come true

I was appointed by the Los Altos Hills City Council to work with our school districts to assure the return of neighborhood public education to our town. I have been encouraged that the Los Altos School District appears ready to reopen a public school at the Bullis site.

I am also encouraged by the recent letter written by LASD trustee David Pefley, as long as he and the rest of the LASD board follow through on the commitments he mentions.

More specifically, Pefley states, "It has been announced many times already that Bullis-Purissima is being opened in August 2008 as a neighborhood school, not a districtwide enrollment school."

However, this statement will not be accurate if 100-plus spaces remain taken by the districtwide all-day kindergarten program at the Bullis site, which some board members have advocated keeping in place (even through major construction).

Pefley goes on to say, "The taxpayers in the Bullis neighborhood will enjoy the same facilities and programs enjoyed by other residents of Los Altos." Even though we in Los Altos Hills are not "other residents of Los Altos," I hope this statement finally comes true, meaning that Bullis will be reopened as a K-6 with programs comparable to other district schools. The sample configuration showing a K-3 ramp-up would not fulfill this promise.

I remain optimistic and applaud Pefley's promises. Now is the time for the LASD board to make them come true.

Bart Carey

Planning Commissioner

Los Altos Hills

Sacred courts or private business?

Your article of March 28 regarding the school district's stand on locking out the citizens of Los Altos from one-third of the courts at Los Altos High School quoted Joe White, associate superintendent for business services, as saying, "but school activities get first priority."

On the same day the article came out, I happened to be playing tennis at the school and noticed the sacred courts were being used for tennis lessons for a younger-than-high-school-aged child.

When I asked the instructor if he were giving private lessons, he said yes, indicated he was a Los Altos High School coach and acknowledged he was being paid for giving private lessons.

I can now understand why the school district wants to keep the sacred courts closed to the taxpaying citizens: so the tennis coaches at the school can have a private tennis club using public courts without paying for them.

The argument that these sacred courts must be kept pristine for the high school team doesn't hold water.

I would like Los Altos High School administrators to explain their business operation and the school district to explain just what they consider school activities. Is the school's argument that the public will damage the sacred courts just a ruse to keep a private business venture going?

William F. Moniz

Los Altos

Associate Superintendent Joe White responds: The tennis coach referenced in his letter does not receive free use of the four locked courts. He is required to rent the facilities from the school district, as well as provide a certificate of insurance protecting the school district from liability.

Our current rate for renting the tennis courts ranges from $2-$6 per hour per court. The rental fees help defray the cleaning and maintenance costs for the 12 tennis courts at the school.

Having private lessons assigned to the four locked tennis courts first allows community members to have access to the other eight courts.

The school district does maintain a student-first priority at all times and will rent to organizations outside of those priority times if the organization abides by our use of facility policy.

No auxiliary prompt should be necessary

The recent articles about innovations and recognition for achievement at El Camino Hospital reinforce community pride in our hospital.

As an auxiliary member for over 40 years, I'm keenly aware of the many levels of support by which the volunteers contribute to the fine care given to ECH patients.

There's a hand-and-glove connection between hospital staff and auxilians.

Thus it was disappointing to discover that the auxiliary now is advertising for new members, although I applaud the outreach.

Volunteerism provides major benefits to the giver and the recipient. The "warm glow of service" can enhance healing while enriching the individual who selflessly contributes the small gift of time.

ECH dispenses great medical care - supplemented by caring volunteers. Our hospital has always served our community well.

Our community should come forward to serve ECH by joining our hospital auxiliary.

Jane Seaman

Los Altos

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