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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The graduation: Haugh About That?

Looking into the sweet, blue eyes of 10-year-old innocence, I wasn’t sure how to answer the question Kaitlyn Ecklund asked.

“Jackie,” she began, “I still don’t understand why you have to retire. You can easily teach a few more years. I’m not ready for you to quit.” And then, with complete certainty in her tone, she added, “You’re not that old!”

On so many levels, she was right. Over the past 20 years, I’ve shared a lovely afternoon activity with more than a thousand children (1,800 to be exact). It was in 1992 when the director of Mountain View’s Dance Attack, Sioux Lehner, first offered me a job as a “baby teacher.” Being a sucker for cherubs still in diapers, how could I resist? That was the easy part. Imagining myself as an instructor was harder. At first, the idea left me incredulous.

While I’ve always loved to dance, at the age of 8, I was expelled from my class. Apparently, I was a behavioral problem. Already a free spirit in an arena of strict ballet, it didn’t help that I was an excessive talker. The combination did not sit well with the dance master in 1960. But with Sioux’s faith in me, and many private lessons, my comeback story began.

For the first 10 years, I pranced around the Dance Attack studio with feathers in my hair, plastic jewels on my arms and my first tutu. The latter 10 have been at the El Camino YMCA. There, I created a program that focused on expression, not perfection. Who cares about talent when you’re so damn cute? But like all lovely things that run their course, April 30 it became time to hang up my toe shoes.

This time of year we see an abundance of graduations, from preschool to college. It is the moment we celebrate the ending of something rich and rewarding so that a new phase can begin. This graduation season, I’ve been thinking about the true meaning of the commencement process and realized that this commemorative step shouldn’t be limited to our education.

In our youth, we graduated from school and entered the workforce. Next, maybe we married or traveled the world. And, no matter how hard we try to deny it, we must move on from our children as they get ready to explore their own lives, all while watching our parents make their final journey home. But, if we’re open to the possibility, wonderful things are waiting.

I have to admit, I’ll miss being told, “You look like a grown-up but don’t act like one,” or “You’re the silliest big person I’ve ever known.”

And when it comes to Stanford University half-time shows, where my babies flitted and fluttered across the court in bright colors and sparkles in their hair, I’m sure a tear will escape my eye as I watch someone else’s group take center stage. But in the end, I’ll carry the memory of each precious child who made me giggle, allowed me to be the nutty person I truly am without criticism and loved me without any hesitation.

Kaitlyn, you’re right! I am too young to retire. Instead I’m graduating to explore new adventures while filled with the love you and so many others gave me. I may be hanging up my toe shoes, but never my tutu. My inner child will remain alive and dance will always be a wonderful part of my soul.

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