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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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LAHS program branches out to more schools

Photo Courtesy Of Robert Freeman

Community members pose outside a recently built schoolhouse in the village of Naro Moru in Kenya. Funds raised last year by the One Dollar For Life program made the construction of the schoolhouse possible. The building on the right is an example of the previous school facilities.

A supersize upgrade at a fast-food restaurant, a soda in a vending machine, a song on iTunes - one dollar to a local student translates into much more to a student in an impoverished nation.

This idea, which originated in a Los Altos High School classroom, has blossomed into a growing effort to have every high school student in the United States donate one dollar each year to assist those students.

One Dollar For Life began at Los Altos High last year when economics teacher Robert Freeman challenged his students to believe they are not as helpless as they feel.

"I challenged them to think, ‘You are not as impotent as you want to make yourself out to be. You have a self-imposed impotence. You don't have to be cynical, you could be compassionate.'"

One Dollar For Life is a non-profit organization, founded to address third-world poverty by collecting one dollar from each of millions of U.S. high school students and channeling those funds into small-scale infrastructure projects in developing countries.

Freeman's mission was a success. Last year Los Altos High School launched the program and raised $2,400, more than $1 per student. The program spread last year to Gunn and St. Francis high schools locally and two schools in Bakersfield.

The program works with qualified non-governmental organizations in the developing world to fund and implement such projects as schools, water wells, irrigation systems, sanitary waste disposal, vaccinations and other simple, low-cost projects. These projects have the potential of dramatically improving the quality of life for millions of people.

This year the non-profit organization, armed with a new Web site geared to making it easy for schools throughout the nation to join the effort, is well on its way to doubling the money raised last year. Freeman said there are 20 schools in various stages of the fundraising effort for this academic school year.

Freeman and several local students, who promoted the campaign, delivered last year's proceeds to the village of Naro Moru in Kenya in April. The $9,000 was enough to construct a 25-by-25-foot classroom for the Kenyan students who had been attending classes in a horse barn. Freeman said the village was transformed by the addition, and many community members provided the labor for the projects.

"It is a moral imperative to support this," Freeman said. "We can mitigate so much suffering for so little. $9,000 goes so far out there."

Los Altos High's fundraiser, held in September this year, raised $2,682, averaging about $1.62 per student.

One Dollar For Life recently received two matching grants from private individuals, which will contribute toward building a women's health clinic in Nairobi, Kenya. Other projects in planning stages include a school in Mexico, three cows for an orphanage in Kenya, a high school in Nepal and a girls' school in Tanzania.

Freeman said the success of One Dollar For Life depends on getting the word spread to as many high schools as possible.

"It is just so simple and inherently good," he said. "Teens always say they want to do something to change the world – this is the easy way to do it."

For the program to be a success at a high school, Freeman said the school needs at least one dedicated teacher and one dedicated student. He said that once the word spreads about One Dollar For Life, the program will catch on at all high schools as an annual fundraiser.

"I really believe this is going to get to a point where this is going to be a brand name – everyone is going to do ODFL," Freeman said. "Students want to feel they are effective. They have this altruism and they want to believe this world can be better. This is a way to make a better world."

For more information, visit www.odfl.org

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