Sun10192014

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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Pinewood aims for campus upgrade


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Pinewood School addresses issues such as vehicle queuing with a proposed upgrade for its campus at 327 Fremont Ave.

The Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission is scheduled to review plans to upgrade Pinewood School’s middle campus at 327 Fremont Ave. Aug. 2, according to Pinewood President Scott Riches.

The now-defunct Architecture and Site Review Committee recommended approval of the private school’s plan in late June.

According to a city staff report, the upgrade requires the demolition of six on-campus buildings comprising slightly more than 8,000 square feet. Five new one-story buildings totaling more than 17,000 square feet would replace those buildings, Riches said. The plans also would add a two-lane driveway spanning the front of the school for a student drop-off and pickup area.

The administration building – the former home of Riches’ grandparents, Gwen and Victor Riches – would remain intact, as would the theater building, Riches said.

He noted that the upgrade is necessary because of the cramped environment and added that they redesigned the school in conformance with the “look and feel” of the surrounding residential neighborhood.

“We wanted to take into consideration the school’s needs and at the same time design a campus to meet the neighbors’ needs as well,” said Riches, who noted that the school does not intend to increase its current 175-student enrollment.

Riches said the school hosted five community meetings to discuss the design with surrounding residents and met individually with several in addition. The result, he said, includes a U-shaped design for the new buildings that should help shield the surrounding homes from noise pollution and resolve other concerns such as parking.

“We really collaborated with the neighbors and tried to solve screening, noise and queuing issues,” said Riches, adding that the plan calls for 29 onsite parking spaces and the closure of a school entrance on Bellevue Court to discourage student drop-offs there.

Still, the longtime Pinewood president concedes that not everyone is on board with the proposed upgrade.

Part of the redevelopment plan calls for the incorporation of an adjacent 0.89-acre residential property, which served as the former headmaster’s home. A handful of nearby residents, who want it to remain a residential lot, expressed concern.

Riches said the additional school-owned land is needed to accommodate the five new buildings and the elongated driveway. The alternative of building two-story structures on the campus’ current 1.5-acre lot is “a nonstarter,” he added.

If Pinewood receives final approval, it has a two-phase construction plan scheduled for the summer of 2014 with an estimated construction duration of 18 months.

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