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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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New coach Plumer, two-time Olympian, pushes Eagles to succeed in cross country: Prep sports summary

Patti Sue Plumer has a racer's mentality, and that's how she approaches her new job as Los Altos High cross-country coach.

A former distance champ who competed in two Olympics, Plumer knows what it takes to succeed in the sport. That's why she is constantly challenging her Eagles to push themselves - whether it be working harder in practice or running faster in meets.

"My emphasis is on training them to race," said Plumer, who has coached at alma mater Stanford University and Menlo College. "Your muscles will hurt - it's a process of getting fit. If you don't embrace the pain, you're not going to be very good."

It's the sort of advice that's probably easier to digest when it comes from someone who once held the U.S. women's record in the 5,000-meter run.

"Because of my background, I think they're more willing to accept that way of training. They're more willing to take risks and chances," the 44-year-old said. "I want them to overcome their fears, and it helps that I've been through it."

Thus far, the coach is pleased by the team's response.

"I'm very impressed with the quality of kids - and not just their athleticism," said Plumer, who moved to Los Altos with her husband and two daughters in 2003. "They work hard and take chances. Some say they're too sore, but they do it."

Plumer has a healthy roster of 75, though only 20 of them are girls. Her top runners are Alec Nickolls on the boys' side and Caitlin Russell among the girls. Both "are doing a great job," Plumer said. At last week's Central Park Invitational in Santa Clara, they each placed fifth in their division. Nickolls finished 10 seconds faster than he did at last year's meet; Russell improved by 35 seconds.

Team-wise, Los Altos' best finish came Sept. 21 at the Saratoga Scrimmage. The boys won their division and the girls placed third.

The season will get more difficult once league begins next week, as the Eagles have been elevated to the SCVAL De Anza Division this season. Plumer, however, is not one to back away from challenges.

"Patti Sue is always successful with what she sets her mind to," said Joy Upshaw Margerum, who coached with Plumer at Menlo. "She has many good coaching workouts to share and is filled with terrific stories from the past which motivate the kids. Los Altos High is so lucky to have her as the cross country coach. She will do a great job."

A job Plumer said has been made easier by parent volunteers.

"I'd be lost without them," she said. "They've allowed me to concentrate on coaching, and I'm having a great time. I love the team."

Volleyball

Lauren Copenhagen led the Lancers with eight kills; Lexi Aiassa and Kaitlin Baxter added seven each. Nicole Merslich recorded a team-best six blocks in Saturday's title match.

St. Francis didn't lose a match in the two-day tournament and improved to 25-1 overall.

Los Altos won both its matches last week, improving to 3-1 in the SCVAL De Anza Division and 9-7 overall. The Eagles swept rival Mountain View Sept. 26 and Homestead Thursday.

Christan Schaefer was Los Altos' kill leader in both matches, notching nine against visiting Mountain View and 17 versus host Homestead. Erin Saliba had five service aces Thursday.

Field hockey

The Eagles edged Live Oak 2-1 Sept. 25 and blanked Leigh 3-0 Sept. 27.

Los Altos followed this by winning the championship at its third annual tournament over the weekend. The Eagles topped St. Ignatius 1-0 in the final on a goal by Lindsay Mott.

Girls tennis

Top singles player Maxine Lim won both her matches in straight sets. Mithys Srinivason played No. 2 singles against St. Lawrence and Liza Belagolovsky manned that spot versus Redwood Christian, with both posting straight-set victories.

Girls water polo

Lauren Wyckoff led Los Altos with six goals; Rachel Levin and Alex Kaufman added two each. Eagles goalie Cassandra Wyckoff made 11 saves and two steals.

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