Sun10192014

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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Good news as PG&E hydrotests gas pipeline in Mountain View

Photo Refugio Garcia/Special To The Town Crier PG&E crews completed hydrostatic testing of a section of the gas transmission pipelines in Mountain View and discovered no leaks.

Mountain View residents can breathe a sigh of relief – without smelling gas.

PG&E crews completed the hydrostatic pressure testing of the natural gas pipeline that began three weeks ago and are working on the final stretch of the project, according to Mike Fuller, public works director for the city of Mountain View.

“Most of the pipeline has been tested and they found no drop in pressure,” Fuller said.

PG&E representatives scheduled two community meetings last month to explain the process and answer residents’ questions regarding the testing before it began.

“The tests will be used to enhance safety,” said Don Hall, PG&E manager of energy and solutions.

Utility officials will compile the data and use the results to verify the integrity of lines that share similar characteristics with those involved in the San Bruno pipeline explosion last September, Hall said.

The similarities in the lines include their ages as well as the type of welds employed more than six decades ago.

“We don’t have records to validate the amount of pressure the lines can hold,” said Brittany Chord, PG&E spokeswoman.

The test results will become part of an official record for the California Public Utilities Commission.

The hydrostatic testing – at Sierra Vista Avenue behind Crittenden Middle School and on Garcia Avenue near Shoreline Golf Links – required draining the lines of natural gas, refilling them with water under elevated pressures, then testing for leaks.

Crews filled sections of the 1.5 miles of underground lines in the city with water under double the amount of pressure when filled with natural gas.

PG&E officials notified neighbors, residents and businesses in the area of the work.

“We didn’t want residents to become alarmed if they smelled gas at the time we drained the line,” said Hall, assuring that “the gas isn’t combustible at low volumes.”

PG&E Superintendent John Corona acted as incident commander at the scene of the San Bruno pipeline explosion last September. Corona answered questions about PG&E’s plan for dealing with a similar situation in the future.

“Our strategy’s going to be a little different now,” he said, adding, “We haven’t had a thing like this happen in 100 years of our history.”

Corona explained that emergency responders and PG&E service crews lacked coordination among their agencies, inadvertently stifling efforts to contain the fire in San Bruno.

“We’re actively working with first responders,” he said. “We want them to know what to do when they roll up on a gas leak, and what type of access points to avoid.”

Corona said PG&E has begun coordinating with a number of different fire departments in California.

For more information, call (800) 743-5000 or visit www.pge.com.

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