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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Technological innovations map out the future

The calendar I got for 2013 keeps staring at me, still in its cellophane wrap, making me feel a bit out-of-date.

The cover title, “Antique Maps,” which conveys a lifelong interest, now also expresses a redundancy. Maps have changed. The paper kind are outmoded. Maps are antique.

They used to intrigue me as a child because they held secrets to be discovered: What’s behind the red or blue lines, the green shading, once you get there in real time?

According to Michael Jones, Google’s chief technology advocate, in the latest issue of The Atlantic, the “major change in mapping in the past decade … is that mapping has become personal.” Whereas in the past maps remained static, today’s map changes depending on the person using it.

Take that map in your iPhone: You can get in close, look at the street you want to be on, even the house you’re trying to arrive at before you get there. The GPS in your car has different landmarks than your neighbors’: your job, your children’s school, your local hospital. Maps are no longer universal.

My iPhone map is not infallible, either, though. The other day it tried to take me to a bank in downtown San Jose several times before I realized it had the wrong address for the San Jose Repertory Theatre. Human intelligence does play into the equation.

In the Atlantic article, Jones predicts that soon we will hear a voice in our ears telling us to go left or go right, just like the lady in the car GPS does now.

The progression makes sense. But am I the only fan of those Triptiks that AAA still creates for long road trips, if you give them enough notice? What about the feel of a new map in a country you’ve never visited? That’s got to stir some enthusiasm.

Of course, having GPS or an iPhone map in Italy does make you almost Italian, a global citizen who knows what the natives know about the local geography. Jones makes a good point there.

And there’s one area that mapping technology has really improved. Google Maps has changed that perennial marital argument about who’s better at directions – you or him. At least I think so, although I’m no longer married, so I forget.

Contributing editor Eren Göknar is a journalist and lifelong traveler. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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