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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In recognition of unsung heroes: Editor’s Notebook

The continual deadlines of a newspaper, even one publishing once a week, have many of us rushing from one assignment or meeting to another. In such an environment, we don’t allow ourselves enough opportunity to take a step back and appreciate what excellent contributors we have at the Town Crier.

We often refer to ourselves as a community newspaper. What is that? To me, it means hyperlocal coverage. It also means a newspaper that belongs to the community. The Town Crier, 65 years strong, has been and will continue to be successful, not because of any one publisher or editor, but because of the high level of interest and involvement by those who read it.

Our readers are part owners, the way I see it. They feel entitled to use our pages for items that are important to them. From wedding announcements to stories about service clubs offering scholarships, we’re here to help them spread the message.

Then there are our regular contributors – those who write columns, take photos, draw comics or offer time to help with whatever the needs are. We’ve come to expect them to show up like clockwork with another contribution – much of the time free of charge – as if they were required to do so.

I’m taking the time here to say thank you to them all. The creativity of their work and the commitment involved leave me appreciative beyond words. To all of you, and you know who you are, you make the Town Crier better than it otherwise would be. Your work is not taken for granted.

The names of regular contributors over the nearly 20 years I’ve been here are too numerous to mention in this space. That said, I feel the need to name names.

Let’s start with our copy editors, the unsung heroes often considered the backbone of newspapers. Colleen Schick and Joan Garvin have been with us for several years, tirelessly dedicated to getting things right. Our paper has improved a thousandfold with their presence.

I also salute our op-ed columnists – the names you see atop page 9. For more than a decade now, Kerri Havnen Gordon and Grace Acosta have offered very intelligent insights on their lives and the world around them. Ditto for relative newcomers Jackie Madden Haugh and Allyson Johnson. And a thank you to former columnist Charlotte Jarmy, whose “Reflections” ran for approximately 15 years.

Young Girl and Boy Scouts taking tours of our paper often say the Comics & Puzzles Page is their favorite. That’s thanks in part to three local comic-strip creators – Matt Cuson, Matt Taylor and Bob Garrow – who consistently brighten our day with their work.

Our special sections are special in part because of people who are knowledgeable and passionate about subjects – gardening (Tanya Kucak), cars (Gary Anderson), books (Nancy Dickenson) – and impart their expertise regularly.

Some just show up in the office and ask what they can do to help. Thank you Zoe Morgan, Renny Glasner, Tamara Hahn, Charles So and a host of other interns from years gone by.

Two gentlemen need special mention: One is the late Richard Billings, who regularly showed up for seven years to type up messy, handwritten letters to the editor or three-paragraph briefs about upcoming events. He never received a byline, but that’s not why he was here – he just wanted to keep busy. We also enjoyed singing in the office together, much to the chagrin of our co-workers.

And what can be said about Clyde Noel that hasn’t already been said?

For the better part of nearly 20 years, he’s been here as a volunteer, flagging down passersby for our Sidewalk Interviews (at left) and writing and taking photos on a wide range of events. He, too, offers his financial expertise in a regular column for our business section.

A few other contributors from the past deserve a special shout-out: Carol Watts and the late Richard Campbell, who spent countless hours getting our early websites up and running, also free of charge; the late Lee Lynch, a former Los Altos mayor who showed up dutifully once a week for volunteer work; and the late Mary Cristy, whose beautifully written columns and sentiments graced this paper for 50 years. These are rare, giving people who are truly missed.

These contributors – and many, many others, to whom I apologize for not including – are what make this paper special. They donate their time to and demonstrate their passion for the community through their local newspaper.

Thank you, contributors, past and present. You keep our “little guy” smiling.

Bruce Barton is editor-in-chief of the Town Crier.

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