Sun10192014

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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Bayshore Christian Ministries plants seeds that bear fruit for years


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An afternoon visit to Bayshore Christian Ministries in East Palo Alto offers a walk in a garden of sorts. Staff and volunteers consider it their mission to till the soil, sow the seeds and water the plants – in this case, the 400 students who benefit from the nonprofit agency’s academic, spiritual and leadership programs.

Founded 28 years ago with the aim of bridging the socioeconomic chasm between the affluent Palo Alto and the more diverse East Palo Alto communities, Bayshore Christian Ministries opens its doors to children, providing a refuge in a busy world for students who may come from single-parent families, struggle in school or simply seek a warm welcome from the staff.

“It’s so fun to be here,” said Nancy, 11, a fifth-grader who attends the KidSmart program on weekdays. “Since I started coming, I’ve done better in school. I like it.”

The organization offers activities for youth of all ages, from elementary school to post-college, including after-school tutoring and literacy, Bible clubs, summer enrichment programs, community service projects, sports, arts, business and technology. As children progress through the program, Bayshore Christian Ministries adds a leadership and discipleship component that challenges teens to grow in their faith and become “servant leaders.”

“We don’t want people to think about the negative when they think of East Palo Alto,” said Executive Director Rolando Zeledon. “These are amazing kids. We’re walking alongside them – not ahead – so that at the end of the day, they want to give back. We’re planting seeds of responsibility.”

The KidSmart program, managed by Diana Liggs, caters to children in elementary school, who receive homework assistance, play outdoors, indulge in a nutritious snack purchased from Second Harvest Food Bank and are exposed to music and the arts. Participants receive individual help with their homework, often targeted, thanks to guidance from teachers at the students’ respective schools. Parents must volunteer in some capacity with the program and pay a nominal fee on a sliding scale.

“Our approach is holistic and relational,” Zeledon said. “Our core is spiritual, but we also equip students academically and with life skills. We try to expose them to other experiences to broaden their outlooks.”

Donations from last year’s Holiday Fund enabled Bayshore Christian Ministries to expand its KidSmart program to meet the growing demand – participation has burgeoned 36 percent over the past year, reaching an all-time high. This year’s grant, according to Zeledon, will allow the organization to winnow its waiting list and accept more children.

One of the great joys for staff, Zeledon said, is seeing alumni walk back through the door to serve as interns at Bayshore Christian Ministries or to tell tales of their successes in the community.

Bayshore Christian Ministries has scheduled an open house 6-8 p.m. Dec. 13. Potential volunteers are invited to attend.

Tony Velasquez, Bayshore Christian Ministries intern, works with a student in the nonprofit organization’s after-school KidSmart program. Courtesy of Bayshore Christian Ministries

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