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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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Living Classroom Program earns environmental education award

Photo Town Crier File Photo

The award-winning Living Classroom Program provides garden-based lessons in Los Altos School District classrooms.

The Living Classroom Program, the Los Altos School District’s garden-based science education program, received Acterra’s 2011 Business Environmental Award in the category of Small Environmental Project.

The Living Classroom offers hands-on, inquiry-based science, math and social studies lessons to elementary and middle-school students. The 38 lessons emphasize observational skills, problem-solving and experiential learning. Two dozen trained volunteer docents are teaching 450 sessions in eight schools this school year.

The garden lessons are designed to provide a link to the local environment and encourage students to improve their nutrition through exposure to fresh foods grown in the school gardens. The program serves as a model for other school districts in how to sustain a garden-based education program on a limited budget.

Funding for the Living Classroom comes from private sources, including the David and Lucile Packard, Morgan Family, Los Altos Educational and Los Altos Community foundations; school PTAs; local businesses and individuals; and in-kind donations from area nurseries and garden supply companies.

“The Living Classroom Program of the Los Altos School District has developed 30 gardens at elementary and junior high schools in the district – far more than any similar program we’re aware of – and uses them to bring students into daily contact with the natural environment while teaching them hands-on, inquiry-based lessons in science, math and social studies,” said Walt Hays of Acterra’s Business Environmental Awards Judging Committee. “The program thrives by recruiting volunteer docents, seeking a variety of grants, and procuring major in-kind contributions, from garden materials to Web services. These efforts and achievements have produced a model for environmental education and determination to succeed.”

Acterra, a non-profit organization with a 41-year history of environmental programming in and around Silicon Valley, involves and educates individuals, businesses and communities to take action against global warming, restore natural habitats and cultivate environmental leaders.

Initiated in 1990, Acterra’s Business Environmental Awards is one of the Bay Area’s oldest environmental recognition programs.

“Our awardees must demonstrate their environmental commitment and achievements through a careful vetting process,” said Board President Laura Teksler. “In addition to a thorough written application, the top contenders must demonstrate their programs’ merits firsthand to the judges during a visit to the applicants’ facilities. By the time they are selected to receive our award, they have truly proven that their programs are setting the bar in environmental leadership.”

The Living Classroom Program is scheduled to be honored at the 2011 Business Environmental Awards Reception June 2 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Palo Alto.

For more information on Acterra, visit www.acterra.org.

For more information on the Living Classroom Program, visit www.lasdk8.org/garden/Living_Classroom_Website/index.html.

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