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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Councilman seeks legal opinion on term limits


Photo By:
Packard

Los Altos City Councilman Ron Packard intends to stick around – even if he has to wait a couple of years.

Packard, whose second consecutive term is set to expire in November, is seeking a formal opinion from City Attorney Jolie Houston on whether termed-out councilmembers are eligible for re-election after an absence. The council unanimously approved an item on its July 24 consent calendar requesting Houston’s formal opinion.

Houston is expected to issue her opinion at the Aug. 28 city council meeting.

Reached by the Town Crier, Packard said his reasoning for the request was simple. He is intent on running for Mayor Val Carpenter’s termed-out seat on the council in 2014.

“I plan on running for Val’s seat when she’s off the council in two years,” he said. “I’ve said it publicly several times before. It’s no secret.”

Still, Packard conceded that “people will raise questions” about the legality of having a termed-out councilmember running again, hence his request.

To that end, Packard, an attorney, said he’s done his own analysis and believes it’s “absolutely clear” that a termed-out councilmember can run again after an absence from the council.

According to Los Altos Municipal Code Section 2.04.020, “No person shall serve more than two consecutive terms on the Los Altos City Council, plus the completion of any unexpired term to which such person was elected or appointed.”

The city’s municipal code was amended, adding the term limits section in 1999, according to a city staff report outlining the formal request.

Packard said he’s particularly interested in returning as a councilmember when the downtown area undergoes significant changes, pointing to new construction projects along First Street such as the new Safeway grocery store, as examples.

“I’ve really enjoyed serving,” Packard said, “and I’d really like to see a continuity of the measured improvements downtown.”

Packard said his interest in a 2014 council seat also stems from his desire to see “the charm of Main and State streets maintained and not compromised.”

In early May, the council directed city staff to prepare ordinance changes to better define developer incentives (in exchange for public benefits) and building-height limits in downtown’s Commercial Retail Sales zone. At the time, Packard said publicly that he was “absolutely opposed to three-story buildings” in the downtown core.

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