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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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Measure M on the chopping block?: Defendant in hospital’s legal challenge says initiative des


Photo By: Town Crier File Photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo

El Camino Hospital employee Kary Lynch, right, remains unable to secure legal representation after being named a defendant in the legal case against Measure M’s validity.

A voter-approved initiative that caps executive pay at El Camino Hospital may meet its end before ever taking effect.

Kary Lynch, a 34-year El Camino Hospital psychiatric technician, told the Town Crier that he’s been unable to secure pro bono representation after the hospital named him and Laura Huston – also a hospital employee – as defendants in a lawsuit challenging Measure M’s legality. Lynch and Huston co-sponsored the initiative.

Hospital district voters approved the measure – which limits hospital executive pay to no more than double the annual salary of the California governor – by 51.55 percent in November.

Lynch, served with the lawsuit Dec. 26, said his attempts to access legal help from his union – the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) – among others, have been unsuccessful.

Without the means to mount a defense, Lynch said, the courts will likely invalidate the measure. He noted that the 30-day window to respond to the lawsuit has since elapsed.

“To stand by helplessly and watch the voters’ will go by the wayside is frustrating,” Lynch said. “I believe (the measure) is dead. … My expectation is that a judge will throw it out without ruling on its legality.”

Emails to hospital and SEIU-UHW officials seeking comment were not returned by the Town Crier’s press deadline. A Jan. 24 statement on the hospital’s website, however, noted that it named Lynch and Huston as defendants in the lawsuit because they served as official co-sponsors of the initiative, and not because of a personal vendetta.

“The hospital believes the ballot initiative is unconstitutional,” the statement noted. “The only way to challenge its validity in court is to sue the official sponsors of the initiative. The hospital cannot sue SEIU, as it is not an official sponsor of the measure.”

Lynch said that while he has received some offers of help, none has come close to meeting his legal and financial needs.

“I talked to several (attorneys). … Some offered to assist in my defense, but I needed more than that,” he said. “The (SEIU-UHW) said accurately that they’re not the ones being sued. And because they’re not being sued, they can’t provide representation.”

In the weeks leading up to Election Day, opponents of the measure argued that the hospital’s compensation practices were fair, noting its philosophy of paying employees at the 50th percentile of similar hospitals and health-care systems nationwide.

Those supporting the measure, Lynch recalled, pointed to hospital CEO Tomi Ryba – who reportedly earns more than $600,000 annually in base pay – as proof that the hospital’s salary structure was too generous. Lynch said he believes the measure resonated with area voters, noting that it passed with little to no campaigning by supporters.

“There really was no effort on anyone’s part to campaign on behalf of Measure M,” he said. “It basically passed on its own merit.”

When asked what he plans to do next, Lynch said he wants to move on from the matter – at least for now.

“I’m basically trying to let go of it,” he said. “But in two years, there will be more board members up for re-election and I’ll bring this up again. I will remind people about this.”

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