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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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Mary Phillips, 75, of Los Altos, Mercury News food editor

Mary Frances Phillips, former Los Altos resident and retired food editor for the San Jose Mercury News, died at her home in Aptos March 5 after a four-year battle with cancer. She was 75.

Mrs. Phillips was born Nov. 14, 1931, and raised in Phoenix, the first daughter of Frances and Granville Fuqua.

Her 40-year journalism career started at the Arizona Republic, a newspaper based in Phoenix, where she wrote feature stories and articles about food and fashion.

She joined the Mercury News in 1955 as a society reporter. She met William Phillips at the paper and married him in 1958.

"I was a copy boy and she was a society girl," Bill said of Mary.

In 1969, she was promoted to food editor and the family moved to Los Altos.

She collected numerous awards for writing and design, and she was a five-time first-place winner of the Vesta Award for producing the best food section in the country.

Mrs. Phillips was food editor for nearly 20 years before retiring in 1988. She and Bill subsequently moved to Aptos.

"She loved the fresh air and the warm, sandy beach," he said.

Mrs. Phillips enjoyed freelance writing and traveled to Italy, Sicily and France.

Her son, Steve Phillips, said she was partial to Italy, frequently visiting Tuscany, Florence and the Cinque Terre.

"Italian food was probably her specialty," Steve said.

Bill remembered one of her favorite creations, "Steve's Lasagna," created for her son, who now cooks it for his own family.

Mrs. Phillips loved to sample varied cuisines in her travels, visited many historic sites and developed lifelong friendships, including the couple's close relationship with chef Jacques Pepin.

Though she admired several world-renowned chefs, her husband said her favorite was local chef Robert Morris, former owner of Blacks Beach Café in Santa Cruz.

Mrs. Phillips and Steve were featured in a 2003 Town Crier article in which Steve received recognition for participating in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team In Training on behalf of his mother.

Mrs. Phillips is survived by her husband of 49 years, Bill; son Steve Phillips and his wife, Phyllis, of Los Altos; daughter Susan Norris and her husband, Garrett, of Fresno; three sisters, Granice Kennedy of Sacramento, Dorothy Moreira and Lynda Leon, both of Phoenix; one brother, Walter Ligocki, of Phoenix; and four grandchildren, Stephanie and Spencer Phillips of Los Altos and Nicola Vojvoda and Noelle Norris of Fresno.

A memorial service will be held 1 p.m. Saturday at Santa Cruz Memorial Oakwood Chapel, 3301 Paul Sweet Road, Santa Cruz.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society are preferred.

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