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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With all my heart

“I don’t care who started it!” my mother screamed at her four arguing children. “Don’t make me come in there.”

During my childhood, my mom had a litany of one-liners she’d yell at us to get her point across. There was, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride,” “Eat everything on your plate – children are starving in China” and, of course, her tried-and-true explanation for everything, “I just want the best for you.” But my favorite was, “I love you with all my heart.”

In the 1950s, I found her statement odd. What did love have to do with a fist-sized muscular organ responsible for pumping blood? Equating that mushy thing beating in her chest with how she felt about me was a little unsettling. Nonetheless, those words were etched into my mind and somehow made me feel safe.

As we became teenagers and young adults, the last thing she wrote on every card or said as we walked out the door was, “Remember, I love you with all my heart.” Not a day went by that I didn’t hear those endearing words.

Years passed. I too became a mother of four. I tried to follow her example of what it meant to be a good, moral woman. And just like her, I found myself repeating such “mommyisms” as “Life is unfair,” “Because I said so” and “One day you’ll thank me.” Strangely enough, I steered clear of her signature trademark.

Was I too cool to be so sappy? God knows I adore my children and gush over them ad nauseam. Perhaps I felt the words were a bit old-fashioned for this hip mom to say. But one moment changed everything.

From the time my mom turned 57, she suffered one excruciating ailment after another. Over the next 30 years, she survived on an arsenal of narcotics as each limb and organ disintegrated. Outside help was unheard of in the Madden family, so I was placed in charge of her medical care. There was nothing I could do to alleviate the constant pain of the most important woman in my life.

One day, in 2003, as she lay writhing in pain, I bent over to gently kiss her and fluff her pillow. I’m sure that my teary eyes made my inner sadness evident to her. Besides knowing our time was limited, my personal life was in ruins as I struggled through my divorce. My entire world was crumbling and she could see it.

Being the quintessential lioness whose first instinct is to protect her cub, she put her own pain aside. Pulling my 51-year-old body into her bed, she held me close, trying to soothe my aching heart.

“Jackie,” she whispered into my ear, “always remember, I love you with all my heart.”

In that moment, the intensity of those words reverberated in my soul. It suddenly became crystal clear: No matter how old we become, nothing in this world will ever compare to the love a mother has for her child.

A week later she was gone. Standing by her bed, holding her hand as she slipped away, I knew I’d never be loved again to the depth she had for me, and I wondered if my children really knew how much I loved them.

Now, when I bid my adult babies adieu, I lovingly call the same words my mother made so rich with meaning. I’m sure they think I’m weird, but I don’t worry. When they are parents, they will understand what it means to love with their whole heart – beautiful, unconditional and eternal.

Jackie Madden Haugh is a Los Altos resident.

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