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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Bike and pedestrian committee to stay - for now

During a special joint meeting of the Los Altos City Council, the traffic commission and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) Jan. 11, bicycle advocates questioned why the future of BPAC appears in doubt.

BPAC members, who report directly to the traffic commission, have heard rumors that their committee could be disbanded.

Early last year, councilmembers directed the Los Altos Personnel Committee to realign the terms and membership of certain committees, according to Councilwoman Val Carpenter.

BPAC came under scrutiny after a seat on the board remained vacant for months and because the city is scheduled to hire a transportation manager this spring to oversee issues related to city traffic, including motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. Councilmembers are weighing whether the transportation manager’s work would overlap with BPAC’s charter.

“I’d like to hear a clear definition of what the problem is,” said Suzanne Ambiel, BPAC vice chairwoman.

BPAC members are involved with several citywide bicycle and pedestrian-related initiatives, and “our work output has not diminished,” Ambiel said.

Preston Tollinger, traffic commission chairman, agreed. In addition to updating the city’s pedestrian and bicycle master plans, BPAC members work on other matters, including safe and convenient ways for children to travel to and from schools, he said.

“We haven’t heard the problem yet,” said Michael Gallagher, traffic commissioner, of the possibility of BPAC’s demise.

Councilwoman Megan Satterlee clarified that BPAC is not the problem, but membership and voting rights do raise concerns.

“I do see an overlap between the traffic commission and BPAC,” Satterlee said. “I’d like to minimize overlap and maximize efficiency. Ultimately, information should be flowing, and we want to have the best pedestrian, bicycle and automobile safety.”

Gallagher said members of the traffic commission and BPAC should talk among themselves about a plan and find a solution.

At the Dec. 14 council meeting, several residents urged councilmembers to continue allowing BPAC to offer its expertise directly to the traffic commission. They pointed out that large groups of bicyclists use Los Altos roadways, and not having a citizens’ committee to deal with their problems wouldn’t make sense.

Councilman David Casas suggested another meeting with BPAC to hear directly from the members who have complained about their roles.

“I’ve been with BPAC for more than five years, and it’s sad that we’re not able to accomplish anything,” member Randy Rhody said.

Councilmembers agreed to wait until after city officials hire a transportation manager to make a decision on BPAC’s future. Options include consolidating the committee’s responsibilities into the traffic commission, disbanding BPAC, maintaining the status quo or elevating BPAC to a commission.

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

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