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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New concept for downtown plaza in the works


Photo By: Courtesy of City of Los Altos
Photo Courtesy Of City Of Los Altos

A new concept for Community Plaza calls for its reconstruction in front of Wells Fargo Bank, creating a new intersection that includes a right turn from Main Street onto State.

Downtown Los Altos’ Community Plaza may be in line for a face-lift in the future.

According to Los Altos Assistant City Manager James Walgren, city staffers presented a conceptual redesign of the plaza – located at the corner of Main and State streets – last week at a Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) meeting.

The proposal calls for the plaza to be reconfigured by extending over existing roadway on State Street to the front of Wells Fargo Bank. A new intersection would then be constructed, with State Street realigned as a right turn off Main Street at Citibank.

Walgren cautioned that the concept is preliminary in nature and called the idea “a rough concept to this point just to get the conversation going.”

“The Community Plaza right now is underutilized,” Walgren continued, adding that iterations of the redesign were initially developed by city staff a couple of years ago. “If we’re going to have a community plaza, we want one that is successful.”

The current design – intended to replace the one one created 20 years ago – includes a water feature, seating areas and clusters of tree-lined areas. He added that the design is hardly set in stone, noting that several additions – or subtractions – could take place over time. For example, Walgren said, the redesign could include a food kiosk or a play area for children instead.

He added that other features, such as removable bollards, could also be included, which would allow the city to block off a section of State Street for events like the weekly Farmers’ Market.

Walgren added that while he hasn’t received any specific estimates from engineers, the project would likely cost $3 million to $5 million and may be funded through existing or future parking in-lieu fees collected by the city.

“It’s money that can be reinvested in this plaza,” he noted.

Walgren conceded that the concept still has several hurdles to clear and could be a long way from becoming reality. He noted that the city has yet to engage in discussions with local bank representatives about the idea. He added that PARC is expected to make a recommendation on the project – as well as other park projects – in April.

If recommended by PARC, the concept would move on for consideration by the city council as part of its annual Capital Improvement Program review in May.

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