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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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Parents and teachers frustrated, but empathetic after learning disability simulation

"I want to you to think of yourself as fourth-graders," said Steven John Corelis, of Educational Therapy Services, to a group of parents and teachers last Thursday night at Los Altos Christian School.

The role playing did not end there, as participants were asked to perform a series of tests, part of a learning disability simulation.

The simulation was sponsored by "Parents Helping Parents," a Santa Clara-based organization that offers support and services for children with special needs and their families. Corelis facilitated the event.

"You are going to be experiencing distraction, confusion, and pressure," Corelis said. "All of these things are typical to what the student who is learning different faces every day."

The two-hour simulation is divided into three parts: a five-minute introduction, a six-part simulation, and a debriefing.

Participants join small groups and attend a "class" at each station, designed to focus on particular learning difficulties. Classes are held by moderators or "teachers" who guide participants through the exercises.

For example, the "spelling test" is designed to simulate hearing loss or auditory hearing problems. Participants are asked to take a spelling test while getting their spelling words from a muffled and garbled audio tape.

"They do have a difficult time even with just the easy things we take for granted," said parent Janie Pollano, who has a daughter with a learning disability. "I think all of these exercises were valid. I could not do any of them."

The "mirror writing" exercise simulated problems with visual or motor tasks. Participants had to try and trace shapes, and write numbers and letters while looking at their writing hand through a mirror.

"It was hard to get your hand to go the opposite way. I couldn't get my hand to do what I wanted it to," said parent Julian Cervantes.

After an 90 minutes of participating in their fourth-grade learning disabled environment, parents and teachers were ready to call it a school day. After everyone had participated in each exercise and had a chance to talk about their feelings after each simulation, it was time for the group to meet and discuss their feelings as a whole.

Corelis asked people to give one-word answers as to how they felt during the simulation, which he then wrote on a white board. Words like frustration, tired, embarrassed, hopeless, stressed and unintelligent, made the list.

"You came into this room as parents and teachers, hopefully with a very high self-image," Corelis said. "After putting you through the stations, you can see how self-image can drop over the years out of these kids."

He said students with learning disabilities sometimes cannot help acting out or engaging in habits like fidgeting or being easily distracted.

It is important for parents and teachers to recognize the different learning needs of children and to accommodate them, Corelis said.

For more information about Learning Disability Simulations, call Parents Helping Parents at (408) 727-5775.

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