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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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Council key to gateway at First & Main: Editorial

While another revised design plan for First and Main streets makes its way to the Los Altos Planning Commission, we think it’s due time for city councilmembers to step in and determine the future of this key downtown gateway property.

Planning commissioners Thursday are scheduled to review slight modifications to a project that remains two stories high with ho-hum design features. It’s OK, but let’s reiterate: Do we want to see “just OK” on that site for many decades to come?

The public has a stake in the high-profile gateway property – it should be as useful to us as it is to its developers and occupants. Clearly, the project should include additional plaza space, especially at the corner of First and Main. At two stories, however, more open space means forfeiting space meant for office and retail.

The answer is obvious to us – add a third story. Developer Jeffrey A. Morris has said the city isn’t allowing this opportunity. The city council, although opening up some downtown zoning to three stories, kept this property limited to 30 feet high and two stories.

City staff, charged with enforcing rules, is not the roadblock. It would take our rule makers and changers on the council to make it happen. These five members – Mayor Val Carpenter, Megan Satterlee, David Casas, Ron Packard and Jarrett Fishpaw – could clear the way for a three-story project at First and Main either through supporting a height variance, initiating a change in zoning or amending the current city-developer property agreement. After all, who’s in charge?

The developer will not be pushing for three stories. He has a plan in place that technically meets all city regulations. No, this is something councilmembers must buy into and propose. The chief criticisms of the current plan concern a lack of public meeting space – comfortable space at the intersection and along sidewalks that allows for a possible outdoor dining area, landscaping or public art. A gateway property should convey the message “Welcome to Los Altos,” not “Was that just an office building I passed by?”

We suggest that councilmembers waste no time in initiating dialogue.

It may be late in the process, but it’s not too late – that’s when the serious digging begins. Let’s not be shaking our heads in regret when that happens.

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