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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Solo guy dances to his own beat on MVHS Color Guard


Photo By: PHOTOS BY ELLIE VAN HOUTTE/TOWN CRIER
Photo Photos By Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Andrew McCormick, center, enjoys the challenge of being the only male member of the Mountain View High School Color Guard.

Andrew McCormick is easy to spot on the grassy practice field at Mountain View High School. The junior is tall and slender – and the only male member of the school’s color guard squad for the 2012-2013 school year.

“It can be challenging,” said McCormick of being the only guy on the team. “Sometimes I have to watch what I say.”

But the disproportional ratio of 30 girls to one boy doesn’t bother him, and female color guard members pay little notice of him during team practices.

Color guard combines visual elements – such as dance and flag spinning – to complement the school’s marching band. With experience playing the alto sax and more than 12 years of dance lessons, joining the color guard as a freshman seemed like a natural fit.

“It was more fun than being in the band, and I didn’t want to memorize music,” McCormick joked.

His commitment to the activity is strong, despite a time commitment averaging 13-20 hours per week and weekend road trips to competitions during color guard and winter guard seasons.

Diane Corbett Esparaza, the team’s captain head, called color guard the “most well-known unknown” activity. It’s not a secret society anymore, she said, as the group has grown in popularity and prestige during the four years she has coached the team at Mountain View High.

“Color guard is not all about learning to spin equipment, but also about telling stories through the body,” she said.

Spectators in the stands at a football game may not recognize the hard work that goes into being a member of a color guard team – it fosters a strong work ethic and skills that carry color guard graduates far in life.

McCormick said he almost quit color guard after his first three weeks, as he struggled to learn flag tossing, but he kept practicing and eventually mastered the skill. Color guard reinforced the virtue of not giving up on something that doesn’t come easily.

With months of practice behind them, the Mountain View High Color Guard team earned the Silver Award at the California Color Guard Circuit Competition and first place at last year’s Cupertino Band Review.

McCormick isn’t resting on his squad’s laurels, however – he’s more concerned with how the team’s rendition of “Les Misérables” will come together for the Community Thank You show Oct. 6. He said he’s especially excited to perform to the song “One Day More,” a tribute to a classmate who has struggled with bone cancer.

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