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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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Los Altos hires former NBA player as coach

Ron Williams faced a number of difficult challenges in an illustrious athletic career that any athlete would admire.

Now, Williams will take on another challenge in leading the Los Altos High girls basketball program.

Williams, 57, will bring his plethora of basketball knowledge and experiences to a young Los Altos team that's making the challenging jump to the upper De Anza Division of the SCVAL this season.

After leading the varsity boys' program to success at Thurgood Marshall High in San Francisco, Williams was hired to direct the Eagles' girls program in October.

"I've always been interested in coaching girls basketball, even though the style of play is different," said Williams, who also teaches elementary school in San Mateo. "These girls are eager to learn and they catch on quick."

So what's so special about Williams that separates him from any other prep coach that played high school or college athletics?

Plenty.

After a brilliant prep athletic career at West Virginia's Weirton High where he earned 11 varsity letters and was twice named the state's top basketball player, more than 155 scholarship offers in basketball and football poured in. Williams decided to play close to home at West Virginia University, becoming the first African-American basketball player at the school and thus paving the way for others in the turbulent 1960s.

As a point guard for the Mountaineers (1965-68), the 6-foot-3 Williams followed in the footsteps of legendary WVU guards Hot Rod Hundley and Jerry West as one of the best in the nation by amassing 1,687 career points (20.1 points per game) and All-America status.

Following an outstanding collegiate career that earned him a spot on the WVU's list of "25 Greatest Athletes," Williams was the first guard taken in the 1968 NBA draft (ninth overall pick) by the then San Francisco Warriors.

Despite not playing college football, Williams was also a 14th-round pick for the Dallas Cowboys and offered a guaranteed three-year contract to play cornerback. Also in 1968, Williams turned down an invitation to tryout for the U.S. Olympic basketball team.

Williams averaged 7.8 points per game in his rookie season (1968-69) with the Warriors, then started in the backcourt with Jeff Mullins for the 1969-70 season and averaged a career-best 14.8 points per game.

After a handful of seasons for the Warriors, Williams became a member of the Milwaukee Bucks in 1973-74. Williams and notable teammates Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Oscar Robertson, Lucius Allen and Bobby Dandridge owned the best regular season record (59-23) in the NBA, but lost in the NBA Finals to the eventual world champion Boston Celtics in seven games.

Williams finished his memorable NBA career by being involved in a trade that brought himself and Abdul-Jabbar to the Los Angeles Lakers in 1976.

"It's hard to define my best moment athletically, it was all good," said the modest and personable Williams. "The most disappointing moment was not winning the NBA free throw title."

In 1971, Williams lost the free throw crown to future teammate Robertson by percentage points after missing an uncharacteristic three free throws in the regular-season finale in Seattle.

After years of playing against the best in the world, Williams turned to the bench. He worked as an assistant at Cal-Berkeley for two years in the mid-1980s under coach Dick Kuchen, where his star pupil was All-America point guard Kevin Johnson. After that, Williams spent four seasons as an assistant at Iona.

Upon learning that his wife was diagnosed with cancer, Williams returned home to the Bay Area as an assistant at Menlo College. Following his wife's death in 1993, Williams got out of basketball for a bit.

"After being out of the game for a while, I got the urge again," he said.

Now, Williams will try to direct a Los Altos team with an up-tempo style of play that will emphasize aggressiveness on defense.

"It's so enjoyable at Los Altos and I love being around the kids," Williams said. "Coaching keeps me young and I look forward to the challenge."

The Eagles seem to be off to a positive start already with an experienced coach who has conquered numerous challenges and played against the best in the world.

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