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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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Patient's relationship with doctor essential in euthanasia decisions, speaker says

The communication between doctor and patient is key in right-to-die decisions, especially those in which the physician plays an active role, a Los Altos pastor told the Los Altos Senior Coordinating Council last week.

"There must be a relationship between patient and doctor in medical ethics," said John Dodson, senior pastor of the Los Altos United Methodist Church, who has studied medical ethics decisions since 1960.

"For me, personally when that happens, I will have a physician I know who will gradually ease me into a gentle and dignified end."

Dodson, addressing the question Feb. 25 of whether physician assisted suicides should be legal, said several factors have to be considered.

"How is it possible to define when a patient is terminally ill?" Dodson asked. "And, how will the move to health-maintenance organizations be accepted?

"A patient may not have that close relationship, and may not even know the doctor as well as he used to know his old personal doctor. The dialogue between a doctor and a dying patient can affect the final decision. Will some doctors be more willing to help than other doctors?"

Dodson said there were two ways to assist in suicide. One is where the doctor provides the materials and leaves the patient on his own such as Jack Kevorkian practices; or active euthanasia where another person assists in the injection.

"The Netherlands is the only country that practices euthanasia and their advice is, 'don't do it,' " Dodson said.

"Over there they have a doctor for life, and in our country with managed care, we don't know who our doctor is."

Dodson said every hospital has a medical ethics staff who make decisions, but the family and patient are still in charge, and everyone has a responsibility to discuss any such decision.

He said the Clinton administration, acting through the solicitor-general, has filed briefs with the Federal Supreme Court urging the justices not to find a constitutional right to die.

The case arose from decisions in two federal appeals courts overturning state bans on assisted suicide.

The cases cite many nursing homes around the country, "where the active hastening in the movement of death" is forbidden.

Life sustaining treatment may be withdrawn, but the Clinton administration viewed it this way: "There is an important distinction between withdrawing artificial supports so that a disease will progress to its inevitable end, or to provide chemicals to be used to assist suicide."

Dodson explained his principles of medical ethics.

"The first principle is veracity. It's truth telling, and we didn't always have that," he said. "Today, when you are a patient, you are entitled to know everything about your illness.

"There has to be a faithful contract in the team approach, and there has to be distributive justice. That's the need to look at a balance of what is right and wrong, and a decision made through a balanced input.

"Finally, there has to be respect for the patient, the physician and the family," Dodson said.

"We need to consider rules and regulations on life and take in consideration all medical ethical concerns."

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