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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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Morning Forum audience hears tales of our ‘dysfunctional’ nation’s capital


Photo By: Kathryn Tomaino/ Special to the Town Crier
Photo Kathryn Tomaino/ Special To The Town Crier

National correspondent Karen Tumulty said government gridlock in Washington, D.C., has progressively worsened over her 30 years on the beat.

Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent for the Washington Post, offered “The View from the Washington, D.C., Beltway” in a Morning Forum of Los Altos presentation April 2.

Government, according to Tumulty, has become increasingly dysfunctional during the 30 years she has covered politics.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan appointed a bipartisan committee to address the projected shortfall in the Social Security system. Despite the complex and politically hazardous task, Democrats and Republicans came together in an impressive show of bipartisanship, Tumulty said. Reconciling the differences between the Senate and House versions of the bill took only two days, she added, and within three months of the release of the commission’s report, Reagan signed the bill that would ensure Social Security’s solvency in the coming decades.

Over the next 20 years, bipartisan efforts produced tax reform, welfare reform and trade bills. Tumulty offered several explanations for why such cooperation is virtually “unimaginable” in Washington today.

The biggest change, Tumulty noted, is the great division within the country.

“We used to have a four-party system: conservative Republicans, moderate Republicans, conservative Democrats, liberal Democrats,” she said. But now, “no Republican in Congress has a more liberal voting record than the most conservative Democrat.”

Furthermore, she added, because of partisan redistricting, few swing districts remain.

Such changes have made compromise increasingly difficult. To exemplify the consequences of the division, Tumulty pointed to the failure of Congress to pass a meaningful gun control law, even in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., shootings. Recalling the fate of highly respected former Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), who was “primaried” because of his willingness to compromise with Democrats, she said many in Congress fear jeopardizing their jobs if they anger the National Rifle Association.

Tumulty also identified changes in the media as a polarizing factor. Now people get their news from media outlets that “reinforce what they already believe,” she said, and increasingly partisan news stations focus more on opinion and commentary than on objective reporting.

Tumulty urged American voters to reward rather than punish their representatives for compromising with the other side of the aisle so that Congress will become more productive. Otherwise, she said, we’ll see more of the same.

Although we’ll continue to complain about our worthless politicians, she concluded, we’ll have only ourselves to blame for government gridlock.

Morning Forum is a members-only lecture series held at Los Altos United Methodist Church. For membership details and more information, visit www.morningforum.org.

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