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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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Motorcyclists advised to ride single file

 

Q: I’m a motorcycle enthusiast and love to ride with a few of my close friends. Is it legal for us to ride side-by-side in one lane?

A: When riding in groups, do not pair up. Riding next to each other gives a person no place to go to avoid a hazard on the road. For safety in groups, the best formation to use is the staggered formation. This keeps ranks close yet maintains an adequate space cushion.

The leader rides in the left portion of the lane while the second rider stays one second behind in the right portion of the lane. A third rider rides in the left portion of the lane two seconds behind the first rider. The fourth rider keeps a two-second distance behind the second rider, and so on. You can see a diagram of the formation in the California Motorcycle handbook online at www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl655/dl665mcycle.pdf. It’s located on page 33 of the PDF copy.

 

Q: I’m thinking about buying a new car and would like to know beforehand just how much it will cost me to register the various models I’m considering, so I can budget for the new purchase. Is there a way I can calculate this online?

A: Yes, the DMV Web site has a vehicle registration fee calculator that allows current and new residents of California to calculate an estimate of their vehicle registration fees, determine vehicle license fees for tax purposes and calculate fees for registration renewal for new and used vehicle purchases. It is available at https://mv.dmv.ca.gov/FeeCalculatorWeb/index.jsp.

 

Q: Are all DMV offices able to administer the commercial driving test, or do I have to go to a specific one?

A: Not all DMV offices are equipped to handle the commercial behind-the-wheel driving test. For a list of those that are, visit www.dmv.ca.gov/fo/offices/toc_cdl.htm. Driving test appointments for noncommercial class C and motorcycles are available online at www.dmv.ca.gov, but for all other driving test appointments, call (800) 777-0133.

 

Q: The car I have to take the behind-the-wheel test in is pretty beat up, but it’s the car my parents gave me, and the one I’ll have to drive when I get my license. Are there certain requirements my car must fulfill for me to use it for my test?

A: The vehicle you use for your driving test must be safe to drive. Before the test, the examiner checks for a number of things, including tires with no bald spots, a windshield that allows a full unobstructed field of vision and driver and front passenger doors that open from both the inside and outside.

For a complete checklist and other advice on passing the behind-the-wheel test, visit www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffdl22.htm.

 

Q: What am I supposed to do during a traffic-signal blackout?

A: If a traffic signal is not working, proceed as if the intersection is controlled by a stop sign in all directions. This means that you must make a full stop and proceed when it is safe. Always observe your right-of-way rules. For more information, visit www.dmv.ca.gov or consult page 58 of the 2008 California Driver Handbook at http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl600.pdf.

 

Q: A friend of mine got a DUI approximately six years ago. He insists that a recent law makes that DUI stay on his record for 10 years. He said that he called and someone told him that all DUIs become retroactive. Could you clarify this for me?

A: Your friend is correct – his DUI violation will stay in his record for a total of 10 years. The most recent record reporting law was passed by the Legislature and signed into law effective Jan. 1, 2007; as such, the DMV is mandated to enforce it. For complete information on the law, visit the DMV Web site at www.dmv.ca.gov. Look for “New DUI Reportability Requirements.”

 

 

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed George Valverde California Department of Motor Vehicles director in March 2006. Valverde has been in public service for more than 30 years, focusing on operations and budget issues. Prior to his DMV appointment, he served as Undersecretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency (2004-2005) and Deputy Secretary for Fiscal Operations (1995-2003).

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