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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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Teenspeak (LOL)

Blach Junior High School seventh-grader Katherine Foley demystifies the secret language practiced by her kind, to the befuddlement of most adults.

I'm not here to betray my kind and give this town the secrets to teenspeak. Oh, no. It's been a constant source of discreet teen communication, after all. I'm just here to reflect on this revolutionary new language, both spoken and used in instant messaging (IM), that occurs in books, movies and real life.

A popular book series is often enjoyed by teens and adults alike when it grabs the public's interest – teens, because they've got a book that's not "boring" and "stupid," and adults, because their teens are reading.

Lauren Myracle has written one of these mutually enjoyed series with her Internet Girls Series (Harry N. Abrams Inc., 2004-2008). Written entirely in the most popular contemporary form of teenspeak, IM or "text-speak," her books were read and enjoyed by teens like myself. Only three books long ("ttyl," "ttfn" and "l8r g8r"), this series does not seem likely to be completely understood by anyone outside our age bracket. (The abbreviation ttyl stands for talk to you later, ttfn means ta ta for now). Of course, there's the author, but not all adults are old and stuffy, right?

Not all the books cited include IM speak exclusively. There is the typical teentalk, where teens actually put down their cell phones and talk – but even this may not be completely normal.

Particularly popular when it first came out, Lisi Harrison's The Clique Series (Poppy, 2004-2009) managed to present the same language identification to slightly younger readers. The girls of this series, seventh-graders and popular girls, live on disses (translation for adults: insults) and their own code, as well as their cell phones. Harrison seems to have a great time going overboard with stories of middle-school popularity. The point is to laugh at these girls, but readers could find themselves wishing to be like the butts of the joke.

Guess how this wish is applied in the real world? By adopting the language of those very girls, their addictive teenspeak.

Stories and narratives aside, teenspeak is habit-forming, used often and annoys the heck out of adults. Understanding is only a factor of your age and whether you ever get out of the house. It's not for adults to speak. Any teen who has ever heard his or her mom say, "Whatever, dude," can understand that.

It's important, because without it, thumbs would be weathered and time would be wasted. If you don't know what I'm talking about, clearly you haven't had to navigate middle school while socializing on a cell phone.

You can find both series at the Los Altos libraries.

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