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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CSA nutrition program nourishes community members in need


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Although Los Altos and surrounding areas are affluent communities, not every local resident can afford life’s basic necessities, including food – particularly around the holidays.

“Last year, I wouldn’t have been able to have a turkey to share with my family,” said Barbara, a mother of two originally from Los Altos who found support from the Food and Nutrition Center at the Community Services Agency (CSA) when she encountered unexpected life challenges. “What’s Thanksgiving without a turkey? I can’t imagine the disappointment.”

The Food and Nutrition Center plays a pivotal role in making the holidays brighter for local families in need. LaDrea Clark, nutrition and health education assistant, said the center distributed 600 turkeys and boxes of packaged and fresh food for Thanksgiving this year – fulfilling its mission to serve as a year-round safety net for Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View.

In addition to its food store, where people can select fresh and packaged foods donated by local stores and farms, CSA’s 14 programs support clients with emergency housing assistance, medications, computer access, social services and staff referrals to partner organizations in the community.

Poverty is frequently associated with less affluent communities or more urban environments, but CSA Executive Director Tom Myers said there are more people struggling with basic needs in the area than one might expect.

“There are pockets of poverty that are often invisible,” he said.

According to Myers, in any given year, the center serves an estimated 400 homeless people in Mountain View and Los Altos.

“We have people who never in their wildest dreams could imagine coming to us,” he said.

In addition to the working poor and homeless, CSA also serves young people, seniors, widows, women in domestic violence situations and people who encounter job loss, health problems or other unexpected circumstances.

Elba Landaverde, CSA emergency assistance program director, attributed the growing need in the community to the economic downturn and the cost of living in Silicon Valley. Her team handles approximately 120 emergency cases per week, including a growing number of domestic violence situations that leave people financially vulnerable and in need of housing and other support services.

She added that helping people makes her feel her work matters.

“I was ashamed at first. … I had a great job,” said Barbara, noting how difficult it was to admit her need for CSA services. “It’s not something you want to do.”

The staff’s kindness and respect was humbling, said Barbara, adding that CSA’s support was a lifesaver for her family during the experience.

“I’m so grateful for the little things,” she said. 

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