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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Alum Rock charter school broadens aspirations


Photo By: Traci newell/Town Crier
Photo Traci Newell/Town Crier

Javier Hernandez, a seventh-grade student at Downtown College Prep Alum Rock, uses Khan Academy resources during math class.

For students new to DCP Alum Rock, a charter school in San Jose, the sense of community is striking.

“Here is my family,” said seventh-grader Pedro Castillo. “It’s a second home. I spend eight hours a day here, sometimes more than I sleep. This school is different – it has a community. There are always people who will watch your back and teachers will actually help you.”

The Downtown College Prep program, which includes a high school campus near downtown San Jose, began as an alternative for students in low-income and predominantly Latino neighborhoods. Its model for education includes helping students reach their grade level and beyond in math and reading and preparing families for their student’s journey to college.

Currently in its second year, DCP Alum Rock serves slightly fewer than 300 sixth- through eighth-graders within the Alum Rock Union Elementary School District. The Downtown College Prep model prepares underachieving students to thrive at four-year universities. The school plans to expand through 12th grade eventually.

“I like DCP a lot because they help you focus and they don’t let you go off course,” said Mikilynna Taufete’e, the eighth-grade student council treasurer. “I went to a public school, and it is really different because people there only give you a textbook. Here they cover all learning styles – hearing, seeing and hands-on.”

The school uses any tools necessary to reach all students. Teachers are armed with a host of technology programs, including Khan Academy, to engage students and track individual progress in math and language arts.

Los Altos Town Crier Holiday Fund money enabled the school to acquire additional updated tools for the curriculum last year. The academic results for students have been climbing, Principal David Herrera said.

“Any way you analyze the data, our students had double-digit growth in math and language arts since last year,” Herrera said.

This year the school’s largest need is to upgrade the technology associated with the school’s college lab.

“We are developing pathways so we can start communicating with our eighth- grade families about their student’s college trajectory,” said Jennifer Andaluz, DCP founder and executive director. “Each student and family is going to have their own personalized path to college plan.”

Herrera said the school focuses on helping students achieve a 3.0 grade-point average – a “magic” number that increases the likelihood of acceptance at a California State University and increases the possibility of financial aid. DCP opens a college savings fund, the College 3.0 Scholarship Fund, for students earning a 3.0 GPA or higher. Students can use the money when they transition from high school to college.

Holiday Fund money this year will also enable the school to purchase technology that can prepare students and families for college.

“This is a real school dealing with real children and the real complicated issues that young adults and families in poverty face,” Andaluz said. “We feel this school is a vehicle for giving kids that chance so they can reconceive their future.”

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