Mon10202014

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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A time to reflect on our good fortune

Pages of the Past

As I read stories about events in Los Altos during the past holiday seasons, I came across a Town Crier article that was written in 1995 which I'd like to share with you. The title of the story was " CSA volunteer turns potential downer into Christmas dinner for the homeless." It was about a volunteer who found 15 homeless people waiting outside the Los Altos United Methodist Church hoping to have their Christmas dinner. The volunteer couldn't find anything to give them at that particular moment so she called several restaurants to see if they could help. Never discouraged and several telephone calls later, she decided to get into her car and drove down El Camino Real looking for restaurants that might be open. The Hunan Hone's Chinese restaurant was the only one she found. She told the owner her story about the homeless people who will miss Christmas dinner. With his help, 15 boxes of Chinese dinner were delivered by this "miracle worker" named Mary Burkhardt.

How about 1945, when Christmas in Los Altos was designated as the first "war-free Christmas" for families here? Homes were brightly decorated and open houses continued through the week to welcome returning servicemen. Holiday decorations also adorned most of the downtown merchants' window displays and many Christmas trees were anchored around Main Street. As a holiday observance, the big oak tree that had become a favorite landmark in Los Altos, was illuminated with Christmas lights.

Back then, our servicemen did not have the pleasure of one-year tours "in-country." When they left for the war, they knew they would be gone until it was over. At any time, being home during the holidays gives one a special sense of warmth. Can you imagine returning to our little town when it was fully decked out? What a great reflection.

Finally, there's the story about the Santa's helpers who last year helped area children by working with local companies to establish "Family Giving Trees." "Wish Cards" from children were used as Christmas tree decorations, the cards were selected and sorted, presents provided in response to those cards, and then distributed to the right recipients. Thousands of little children received their "only" Christmas present thanks to those many "Santa's Helpers."

I have collected some wonderful letters from my readers since I came on board and I want to say "thank you so much." You may send special Christmas and family memories, and any suggestions, to my e-mail address and I will try to include them in my future issues.

So, as we say goodbye to this year and say hello to the real Millennium, we have a great time to reflect - not only on our own good fortune but on being surrounded by so many in our community who take the time to reach out to others.

Hill is a member of the Los Altos History Museum Association. Send comments or suggestions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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