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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Wildfire Awareness Week gives wake-up call for LAH

Despite the recent less-than-sunny weather, the hot, dry season is right around the corner. And that means fire risk.

This week is state Wildfire Awareness Week, a reminder for residents, particularly those in Los Altos Hills, to cut back drying brush and other fire hazards around their properties if they haven’t already done so.

Between Los Altos Hills County Fire District services, classes and Web site information, residents have little excuse not to prepare. The fire district, which encompasses the town and surrounding unincorporated areas, offers a brush-chipping program twice a year, during which crews will pick up brush and tree branch cuttings. The district staffs a garden debris drop-off program at Foothill College the third Saturday of every month.

In addition, district officials have a dead pine-tree removal program in place (more than 500 trees removed thus far), and they plan to begin a eucalyptus tree program this summer in areas west of Interstate 280.

Stuart Farwell, a district fire protection consultant who has been involved in firefighting for more than 50 years, said eucalyptus trees in the hills were responsible for the devastating 1985 Los Altos Hills fire that gutted between 12 and 14 homes. Although summer weather conditions in the hills are not as conducive to big blazes as they are in other areas, Farwell noted the 1985 fire, which burned down approximately 12 homes, serves as a reminder for residents to take precautions.

A Santa Clara County weed abatement program requires homeowners to clear brush, vegetation and dry grass at least 30 feet away from structures. Houses with yard slopes exceeding 20 percent on the downhill side of the structure require 100 feet of clearance to provide what firefighters refer to as "defensible space." Property inspections were scheduled in April.

The fire district, formed in 1939, contracts with the Santa Clara County Fire Department to respond to fires and emergencies in Los Altos Hills. It contracts with experts in the installation and maintenance of water pipeline systems and installation of fire hydrants.

In addition to brush-clearing services, the district provides education through emergency-preparedness classes.

"Our intent is to give back to the taxpayer and increase the level of fire protection," Farwell said.

For more information, visit www.lahcfd.org.

Contact Bruce Barton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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