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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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Former Los Altan, secretary of defense, discusses U.S., Russia's quest for peace

Four years ago, a job in Washington, D.C., lured William Perry out of his Los Altos residence. That job was secretary of defense, head of the most powerful military force in the world.

Fresh from four years in the Clinton administration, Perry has returned to the Peninsula. He shared his experiences last Wednesday before a packed house at Woodside Priory School in Portola Valley.

As secretary of defense, Perry said he faced numerous challenges, including work on an agreement to reduce the expanding nuclear arsenal.

"Some have said that war is too important to be left solely to the generals. Preventive defense says peace is too important to be left solely to the politicians," Perry told his audience.

After the World War II, the emergence of nuclear weapons created a crisis for many nations and the "concept of deterrence" was adopted as a means of defense, Perry noted.

He was involved with the nuclear weapons reduction agreement between the United States, Russia and the Ukraine, the third largest nuclear power in the world.

Perry helped supervise the Ukraine's nuclear site dismantlement. When he visited the Ukraine, on invitation, he went underground to the Ukraine mission control. Two men controlled 600 nuclear warheads - every one of them directed toward the United States.

Perry went back four times to watch the nuclear site being dismantled.

With the Cold War over, Perry helped build a partnership of peace with the 16 NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) members. Today, NATO members and 26 other countries conduct military training together. Perry cited Fort Polk, La., where the United State hosted American, Latvian, Poles, and Ukrainians training together and being instructed on peacekeeping exercises.

One of the results of this training was a joint endeavor to keep the peace in Bosnia.

"It didn't matter how many countries joined in this endeavor as long as Russia joined," Perry said. "The Russians were not willing to be under a NATO command, but would join under an American Command. In February 1996, a Russian brigade served as part of our first armed brigade. Bosnia still has social problems, but the killings and atrocities have stopped due to NATO's influence."

Perry discussed NATO and how the alliance is undergoing radical change. Among the changes considered are the creation of a new task force to fight outside traditional European grounds, allowing Europeans rather than Americans to command those forces and how to extend security to other parts of Central Europe.

"Russia's public hostility to NATO's enlargement goes back in history, but progress is emerging and may have continued when President Clinton met Boris Yeltsin in Helsinki (last week)," Perry said. "Sensing that Russia may become more realistic and flexible, there is a chance a deal can be made before the alliance meets in Madrid in early July.

"When they meet in July, one of the proposals is NATO expansion. The alliance would like to add seven or eight more nations, but probably only three will make it because Russia thinks adding new members is a bad idea. Probably, Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia will be the favorites," Perry said.

Perry, 69, grew up in Pennsylvania, but received his education at Stanford University. During the time he was professor at Stanford's School of Engineering, he and his family lived in Los Altos. He said he regretted selling his Los Altos home.

"I'm sorry I did," Perry remarked after his speech. "I could sure use it now."

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