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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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Foothill resource center nurtures returning vets


Photo By:
Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier

Veterans from around the country enroll at Foothill College, drawn by its outstanding reputation. When they arrive at the Los Altos Hills campus, in addition to excellent academic programs they find the Veterans Resource Center waiting for them. Under the direction of Carmela Xuereb, the center assists vets in their transition to civilian life.

On a recent weekday, young men and women passed through the humble little office space, the size of a teenager’s bedroom, filling out paperwork and taking a break between classes. They have access to the center’s extensive list of counseling, workshops and training. And they also guide each other as peer mentors.

Beth Stolyarchuk, a former Russian linguist in the U.S. Marine Corps, had only a week to get organized for her new life as a student when she moved from Hawaii this autumn to study radiology at Foothill. The Resource Center simplified the process. Xuereb walked her through the details of enrolling using military education benefits and introduced her to other resources veterans can tap.

“Carmela hooked me up with everything I needed to get done,” Stolyarchuk said, including a high-tech Livescribe Smartpen, to help her bring her A-game as she hits the books. Smartpens loans are among the resources veterans find at the center.

The pens record and store lectures and notes for later review. Using the new tool takes practice and follow-through, but Stolyarchuk said those are the skills veterans are particularly suited to bring to the classroom.

“Radiology is super competitive. I have to get good grades to get into the course,” Stolyarchuk said, reviewing the classes she was taking this fall and the new study skills she’d picked up as she took on a challenging geology course.

Support from the Town Crier Holiday Fund helps equip the center, which also has a computer lab and plans to expand into a larger space.

Veterans at the center last week spoke with gravity about the importance they place on their new mission – learning to excel as students.

“I have the discipline to sit in the classroom and pay attention,” Stolyarchuk said. “In my history class, I was made a teacher’s assistant because I was military.”

Xuereb said the center keeps teachers and staff at Foothill informed about the veterans who enroll, including any injuries, visible or unseen, that an accommodating classroom could ameliorate.

Returning from military service brings challenges differing from those most of the students face, independent of whether a veteran may have been wounded. Most of the vets are self-supporting rather than relying on parents’ funds and have to juggle work and study, veteran Brennon Shepherd pointed out.

Although veterans bring social skills honed by years of working with people from a wide range of backgrounds, when they get to Foothill, often they don’t know many people in the area. The Veterans Resource Center serves as a clubhouse, where they can find like-minded company and resources.

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