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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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Male spirituality: balancing strength with sensitivity

Masculine spirituality was the theme of a recent weekend retreat at the Jesuit Retreat House in Los Altos. The Rev. Philip Blake, the leader, kindly found me someone to interview on that topic. Surprisingly, the person he contacted turned out to be my fellow church member, John Lathrop.

I asked John what he sees as men's spiritual needs. One thought-provoking thing he cited was a lack of the initiation rites prevalent in some less sophisticated cultures.

"Through those rites, a boy moves from adolescence to becoming an adult - a responsible person within his community. Lack of those rites leaves us with extended adolescence, marked by consumerism and hedonistic, self-oriented behavior."

Also, John sees a need for men to develop more dimensions to their self image and career choices. "We need a new male model to replace the tough guy, 'John Wayne' image. We need to find a way of living that balances strength with sensitivity."

John deplores the dysfunctional behavior in some Silicon Valley companies where "slash and tear techniques, needlessly harsh criticism and disparagement of others is the norm."

Changing course a little, I asked John about his own career. He is a decision analyst: a consultant to people facing technically challenging strategic decisions. John helps groups discern the many aspects of their situation beyond the technical ones. He elicits the participants' values around each factor, helps them make what he calls "value trade-offs," then uses the results to help the group develop a strategy to achieve their goals.

Asking John how his spirituality enhances his work, he said, "It gives me a grounding in values coming from a larger framework than the mechanics people usually focus on."

"Trying to comprehend it all forces a sense of humility, a continuing question: How do I discern those values - the 'will of God' - and use them to guide my life?"

It seems to me that, in searching for a new male role model, John is becoming one himself.

Polata, a member of Foothills Congregational Church, writes a monthly

column for the Town Crier.

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