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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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LAHS students celebrate History Week


Photo By: Photos By Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Photos By Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Los Altos High School students, left, attended a variety of presentations during History Week, including one on human trafficking that featured Los Altos High alumna Mihn Dang, right.

Los Altos High School students heard from an engaging array of speakers last week during the school’s inaugural History Week.

School faculty and parent volunteers organized a host of presentations around the theme “Rights for All.” Speakers, films and workshops addressed a variety of human-rights-related topics, from Japanese internment during World War II to the American civil rights movement, Internet privacy protections and the social impact of women’s portrayal in the media.

“Students have the opportunity to be exposed to the world and see what they are learning in the classroom in the real world,” said Principal Wynne Satterwhite. “It really gives them the opportunity to see what they are learning and how it applies to where they are going in life.”

Students and community members attended a panel discussion Jan. 16 featuring the Hon. James Robertson, retired U.S. District judge for the District of Columbia and chief counsel for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Lee Rubin, attorney and former prosecutor for the Department of Justice.

The evening presentation featured a screening of “Mississippi Burning,” a film that chronicles the investigation of the murder of three civil rights activists in a small Mississippi town in 1964.

“When we are young, we are oblivious to the history that is going on around us,” Robertson said. “It’s our life.”

Robertson shared with the audience his involvement in history as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., representing protesters arrested at demonstrations after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968. Shortly after his time in D.C., Robertson relocated to Mississippi, where he handled many civil rights cases.

Robertson recounted the history of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, from the death of racial segregation in schools to the implementation of voting rights for African-Americans.

“All of this was happening around me,” Robertson said. “I knew about it, but somehow I didn’t think it was history. It was my life, too.”

Robertson compared realizing that one is living in a moment of historical import to a Chinese proverb: “What is the current to a fish? The fish doesn’t know whether he is swimming upstream or downstream.”

“The civil rights breakthroughs of the ’50s and ’60s have morphed into a much broader idea of human and civil rights that your generation is going to deal with,” he told students. “Internet ethics and privacy. Immigrant rights. Consumer rights. Women’s rights. Teen rights. LGBT rights. Human trafficking. This is the current your generation is swimming in, and it is history in the making.”

Rubin, a generation younger than Robertson, discussed his experiences as a lawyer advocating for voter rights and against what he deemed the more “subtle” ways cities and counties find to discriminate against minorities.

“Even now, 48 years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, there are still controversies and struggles regarding basic participation in the political process,” he said.

Rubin recounted a case he tried in 1995 in which a group of threatening neighbors set a cross on fire in the front yard of an African-American family – an act reminiscent of the civil rights battles in the 1960s.

“These are the kinds of hate crimes that send ripples of fear through an entire community and disrupt people’s ability to do what should be a minimum guarantee as an American family – to enjoy the sanctity of their own homes,” Rubin said.

Rubin said he hoped “Mississippi Burning” and the legacy of the murdered civil rights workers would inspire students.

“As you watch this film, remember to follow your passion, to look for wrongs to right, and that each of you can make a difference,” he said.

In addition to the panel featuring Robertson and Rubin, History Week presentations included a Forbes Magazine blogger discussing social media and Internet commerce privacy rights, leaders in the sports community addressing student athletes’ rights and programs on immigrant rights, domestic violence and bullying.

Students received a special visit from Los Altos High School alumna Mihn Dang, recently featured in the media as a prominent face for victims/survivors of human trafficking.

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