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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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Letters to the Editor

Put Rosita vehicle trips in perspective

Roy Presley

At a public hearing on Nov. 30, the city council will consider approving the Final Environmental Impact Report for the swimming pool complex proposed for

Rosita Park. This report is of very serious concern to almost everyone living in the Rosita neighborhood and should be of concern to all residents of Los Altos. The report concludes that increasing the vehicle trips per day on Rosita Avenue to as high as 2,500 per day does not represent a significant impact upon the neighborhood.

If the city council does indeed approve an allowable 2,500 vehicle trips per day on Rosita Avenue, a residential street, then a precedent will have been established for any other residential street in Los Altos. Definition of the acceptable traffic level for residential streets is supposedly in the General Plan, but in fact it is buried in a background report and it is doubtful the council even knew of its contents when they approved the General Plan.

Public hearings to specifically establish allowable traffic levels on Los Altos streets have not been held. We should all ask ourselves, Is this what we want for Los Altos?

Let's put 2,500 vehicle trips per day in perspective. Over a 12-hour period, that averages out to a car passing a residence on a residential street every 17 seconds. With normal traffic flow, there would be long periods of time when residents could not pull out of their driveways. In the case of the swimming pool at the end of Rosita Avenue, there is a real possibility that lines of 100 or more cars will be trying to enter and exit the site at the same time. A line of 100 cars is about half a mile long. The congestion at intersections in a residential neighborhood will be significant, and perhaps a threat to public safety. Is this what we all want for our residential neighborhoods in Los Altos? If not, then we must all make our voices heard before the city council considers approving the Environmental Impact Report for the swimming pool complex at Rosita Park.

Thanks to Los Altos emergency personnel

Pat Christofferson

At 8 a.m. on Nov. 6, I called 911 because of a malfunctioning wall heater. I told the dispatcher that I didn't know whether it was an emergency or not, but the dispatcher asked, "Are you physically able to get out of the house?" I was, and she told me to get out of the house immediately and wait for help.

First on the scene was Officer Beveridge of the Los Altos Police Department. Shortly afterward, the firetruck arrived with three firemen. After they checked the heater, checked for gas leaks and pronounced everything OK, I started to apologize for having called 911. They told me, "Don't apologize. You did the right thing by calling us."

I have lived in Los Altos for 48 years, and I still love living here. We should all be grateful - I know I am - for the professional, efficient personnel who serve our community. Thanks, guys!

Problems with final Rosita EIR

Eric Lutkin

I am writing regarding the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the proposed aquatic center at Rosita Park that City Council will review on Nov. 30. I believe that Los Altos does need access to community swimming and hope that a compromise on location, size and operating conditions of a swimming pool can be reached. The current two-pool proposal is not right for either the immediate neighborhood or the city.

I see the following specific problems with the FEIR. First, it asserts that the proposed Rosita Park site is the best site for the proposed center.

I would maintain not only is Rosita Park not the best site but that none of the sites discussed on pages 294 and 295 (the two foldout pages of the report) are appropriate for such a complex. These two pages provide telling evidence of the unsuitability of any of these locations for such a complex in terms of the five criteria listed for selection (reasonable access, least impact on neighborhood, provide adequate parking, least net impact on park/area and meets present and future aquatic needs). None of the locations scores more than two "good" ratings, with the rest of the ratings being either fair or poor. The Rosita Park location scores particularly poorly, with only one "good," two "fair" and two "poor". The Hillview Community Center, among others, has better scores with two "good," two "fair" and one "poor."

I would also suggest that the apricot orchard at the civic center would be a more viable location for this complex. While it may sadden some to lose a small link to the agricultural past of the community the city council could convert this area to an alternative use with a simple vote.

Second, this decision would set a precedent that at least 2,260 car trips per day are acceptable on all residential streets in Los Altos.

The assertion of this report is that physical capacity will be a major determinant of the amount of traffic a street can bear. This report will establish a floor of 2,260 car trips per day for all residential streets in Los Altos. As other issues come before council the issue of traffic may become much less relevant unless total traffic exceeds 2,260 car trips per day, much to the consternation of people living on quiet residential streets.

Given these major problems I strongly urge the city not to proceed with this bad project for both the Rosita Park neighborhood and Los Altos.

Clarke's closes - a sad day

Clay and Gloria Buckley

It's a sad day in Los Altos. Clarke's Charcoal Broiler restaurant at Rancho Shopping Center has closed its doors due to bankruptcy. Another Los Altos dining place has gone out of business because of a lack of customers.

For years, we have dined there because of great food, charm and atmosphere for children of young parents and specials for seniors.

Clarke's was a meeting place for Sunday brunch after attending services across the expressway. I remember the summer luncheons under the umbrellas on the patio with lots of ice tea.

Clarke's participated in all the Rancho events, such as the pancake breakfast. We loved it and will miss it.

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