Mon10202014

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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Hidden Villa board makes camp cut official

After an emotional meeting Thursday that lasted several hours, the Hidden Villa Board of Directors approved a 2007 budget that includes the suspension of its 12-day residential summer camp program and a staff reduction of 19 percent.

Board Chairman Tom Livermore said before the vote that the 2007 budget had to be cut by $350,000 and that the only way to do that was to reduce staff and adjust programs.

"Hidden Villa is what we call land rich and cash poor," he said of the preserve's 1,600 acres donated by Josephine and Frank Duveneck. "We simply don't have the cash in reserve to continue in our current direction, and it would be irresponsible of the board to allow that to occur."

Executive Director Beth Ross said that, in recent years, Hidden Villa has been evaluating programs and expanding development staff, hoping that this would add funding by bringing in more campers and improving fund raising. Instead, she said, those efforts increased Hidden Villa's operating costs without achieving significantly more revenue.

Livermore and Ross choked back tears as they discussed the necessity for staff reductions.

"Unfortunately, our plan for making Hidden Villa sustainable in years to come involves letting go of some amazing staff members who have brought incredible knowledge and expertise to Hidden Villa," said Ross. "And while there are many sentimental appeals to save Hidden Villa's 12-day summer camp, my job is to keep the whole operation going."

Hidden Villa will be able to continue most of its other 2007 school and community partnerships and can afford a modified residential camp next summer.

A number of concerned community members attended the meeting to oppose suspension of the camps. It would be only the second time the camps have closed since they began in 1945.

"To terminate these camps would be a huge mistake," said Ann Warren Smith, executive director at Hidden Villa from 1985 to 1993.

A group of former Hidden Villa campers and counselors are appealing to camp alumni and the public to help save the camps. The group successfully gathered more than $15,000 in pledges during a recent 11-day drive, and expressed concern that the board was not doing everything in its power to save the program.

"The board voted as part of the budget approval to continue trying to raise funds to save the camp," said Shana Barchas, who spent nine summers as a Hidden Villa camper and counselor. "But who's going to raise those funds - us kids? I know for a fact that there are people who donated $40,000 two years ago who were not even contacted for help during the current crisis.

"This camp is what made me the person I am today, and I'm afraid that now it's gone forever."

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