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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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Keep abreast of identify theft

My mom once told me her important documents are stored in a shoebox on a shelf in her closet. As a business professional, you may often leave your information in your office, car and home. Did you ever wonder where else that information could be? More than 10 million people in the United States last year were victims of identity theft.

Identity theft cannot be prevented, even if you are diligent about shredding and filing, but it can be minimized, and early detection can help to mitigate damages.

According to the Federal Trade Commission and news reports, your PII (personally identifiable information) or NPI (nonpublic information) can be purchased online for pennies on the dollar. Your personal, business and financial information has already been compromised somewhere on the Internet. How does this impact you as a business professional? You should keep abreast of the most common types of identity theft and the most effective ways in which it can affect you and your clients.

Most of us are familiar with financial identity theft and credit- card fraud. I have a client who recently had an identity thief superimpose his own picture over the victim's driver's license and open bank accounts in Florida and New York. The thief wire-transferred $120,000 out of the victim's line of credit into the fraudulent accounts.

There are four primary areas of identity theft: Social Security, driver's license, criminal/character and medical.

Social Security identity theft occurs when another person wants to minimize exposure in his or her own name and uses your Social Security number to work and gain benefits.

Driver's license identity theft allows a criminal to impersonate you and open a bank account or provide law enforcement with your information rather than his or her own for a traffic violation or DUI.

Criminal/character identity theft occurs when a thief actually begins a new life under your name. It can go on for years undetected.

Medical identity theft is one I experienced personally. I lost my purse at my son's baseball tournament. Although I canceled my credit cards right away, someone used my medical ID card for treatment in a hospital in Southern California. The impact? Bills from that hospital could have affected my credit, and it is no easy task to clear up incorrect medical information.

In a newly released book, "The Silent Crime: What You Need to Know About Identity Theft" by Michael McCoy and Steffen Schmidt, a hospital nurse is quoted, "Why worry? Because I know that the vast number of patient records lost each year contains enough data for someone else to start a new life."

New legislation empowers the Federal Trade Commission to monitor small and large companies to protect personal data collected about clients and employees. It is important to be aware of these new laws and put a plan in place to mitigate potential damages from a data breach, which can include misplacing or losing a disk with names, addresses, employee records, health information or any other personal information. It is not always the result of malicious intent, but often a result of carelessness. However it happens, liability follows the data. These liabilities include significant fines and impact you in business and personally.

For more information, call 964-7733 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Joanna Medin is a Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist through the Institute of Fraud Risk Management.

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