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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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Water conservation is more than a drop in the bucket

Los Altos homeowners reduced their water consumption by nearly one-third following the drought of 2008, according to the California Water Service Company.

Cal Water officials must now depend on those water-saving habits to continue if they hope to meet impending mandates on efficiency set by the state.

Under the 2009 Senate Bill X7-7, urban water suppliers – including Cal Water, which services 500,000 customers including 18,000 households in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View – are required to increase efficiency to adhere to a per-person water reduction of at least 10 percent by December 2015 and 20 percent by December 2020.

Cal Water measurements for 2011 reveal that Los Altos residents used 177 gallons of water per capita per day on average – far below the community’s 241 gallons per capita per day average for 1998 through 2008. Although the figure is below the state’s recommended goal of 193 gallons per person by 2020, Cal Water Conservation Manager Ken Jenkins warned that historical water consumption trends indicate that a demand rebound could be in the forecast.

“You typically see a bottoming out after three to four years, and then usage goes back to normal until the next drought,” he said of the cycle following a drought. “What’s different this time is that we’re trying to make conservation programs long term.”

More than half of all water consumed in Cal Water’s service area is used outdoors, and the company offers numerous programs to curb use. Initiatives include waterwise house calls that identify ways to reduce consumption, a landscape rebate program that rewards homeowners who convert turf to low-water plants and a sprinkler nozzle replacement program that provides up to 25 free low-flow devices per household.

Although these programs offer immediate financial benefits, Jenkins encouraged customers to put their actions in context.

“While rates and water bills are important things to think of … the more we can get reductions in water use, the more reliable we can make our system,” he said.

For more information, visit calwater.com/conservation/index.php.

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