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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 OF JULY 23, 2003

LA council should help stop reservoir plans

Following up on John Rossi's recent letter to the editor, we want to express our frustration over the Los Altos City Council's total lack of opposition regarding Mountain View's proposed water reservoir project to be built in our Los Altos neighborhood.

In addition to expanding the existing 1-million-gallon underground reservoir to 2 million gallons, they want to build a new 3-million-gallon, above-ground reservoir 50 feet away from our property line.

Our main concerns are:

1. The safety issue of having a total of 5 million gallons of water next to our homes in earthquake country.

2. The significant loss of our property values. Who will buy a home next to such a hazardous project?

3.The pollution, noise, traffic problems and other disturbances during the expected two-year construction period.

Since the city of Mountain View owns the 5-acre reservoir site located in Los Altos, officials feel they can do as they please with their property without regard for the Los Altos neighbors.

To our disappointment, our own city council has not given us any support in our opposition of the project. We wonder if they would feel differently if they were our next-door neighbors.

Susan and Les Besser

Los Altos

Rosita pool facts skewed

As the truth about the Rosita Pool situation is becoming distorted, there are several things the residents of Los Altos should know. The Rosita Neighborhood Coalition is an organization consisting of about 100 separate properties near Rosita Park. Many of the members have lived in the neighborhood for 30 years or more.

The Coalition met with every councilmember to convince them to conduct an appropriate environmental study prior to their decision to proceed with the aquatic complex. When the city council elected to adopt a mitigated negative declaration, the coalition was reluctantly left with no other option than to seek legal action to force the city to conduct an appropriate environmental study. The Coalition used the Citizen's Guide to the California Environmental Quality Act as the basis for their action and made this information available to the council prior to their decision.

The coalition is well aware of the impact of a self-supporting swimming facility upon a neighborhood. When the city operated the old Covington pool as a true community pool, the impact upon the neighborhood was negligible. When Los Altos Masters took over self-sustaining operation of the pool, the associated increase in noise, traffic, lighting and in some cases, parking generated a significant impact upon the neighborhood.

Knowing full well the potential impact of a single pool at Rosita Park, the coalition twice offered to accept a single pool. Prior to the court hearing, the coalition offered a single pool option to the city council. The council summarily rejected the single pool offer and opted to proceed with the lawsuit rather than discuss operating parameters of a single pool, which would be much closer to several residences than the old Covington pool. After the court decision, the city council and the coalition once again tried to reach a settlement.

The coalition offered the single pool option, but the council rejected that offer without discussing operating parameters and proceeded with their appeal of the court decision.

The coalition has been accused of wasting taxpayers' dollars to prepare a full environmental impact report. On June 13, 2000, the same city council as we now have voted to accept a proposal wherein SPLASH would pay for the design and construction of a swimming pool facility. Recently, the council voted to fund the cost of an environmental impact report using taxpayer funds. Since, as Councilman Becker noted, according to prior agreements, SPLASH should pay for the preparation of the report, the council is responsible for wasting taxpayer dollars and not the coalition.

The coalition strongly supports swimming in Los Altos and recognizes the importance of teaching children to swim, providing adult swimming activities, and availing the residents with the option of drop-in, open swimming during the summer months.

The coalition stands ready to accept a single pool at Rosita Park that is operated such that it will have an acceptable impact upon the neighborhood.

Roy Presley

Los Altos

Rosita tax income

lost with pool use

It takes a lot of chutzpah for the present city council to complain that litigation by the Rosita Neighborhood Coalition is costing the taxpayers money.

This is the city council that overturned that action of the previous council which would have permitted the building of 24 homes on the property now known as Rosita Park. These homes would have provided tax income for the city for years to come.

Instead this present council has spent over half a million dollars to acquire the acreage and an unknown sum of several thousand more to turn it into a sports complex. If the commercial plans for an aquatic development do not over time prove to be self supporting, Los Altos taxpayers will be saddled with the pool complex's upkeep and maintenance for years to come.

This is a big switch from income to the taxpayers to an ongoing cost of thousands for the acquisition, development and upkeep of Rosita "Park."

As I say, it takes a lot of chutzpah.

S.J. Devine

Los Altos

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