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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All-in Eagles find success in first year : Los Altos leads league


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Los Altos High’s Ian McColl, right, and Nathan Smith go up for the block against Cupertino last week. The Eagles won the match.

The Los Altos High boys volleyball team may lack experience, but the Eagles don’t have commitment issues.

Team members played a major role in the formation of the first-year program, raising funds after administrators told them there was no money in the athletic budget for the sport. And they train at 6 a.m. because the badminton and gymnastics teams occupy the gym after school.

“They didn’t like it at first, but they’re getting used to it,” coach Dave Radford said of the predawn practices. “They’re always there.”

That dedication seems to have served Los Altos well in its inaugural season. With two regular-season matches remaining, the Eagles find themselves atop the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino Division standings at 10-2.

If Los Altos wins tonight at Saratoga (5-5 league) and Friday at home against Fremont (8-3), the team is assured the division title and a berth in the Central Coast Section playoffs.

Did Radford ever imagine the upstart Eagles (10-6 overall) would be in such a position?

“I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “But after the preseason, I sat down with each player and told them where they fit in and asked them what their goals were, and they all said their goal was to win league – that’s been the mindset.”

Not even a slow start deterred Los Altos. The Eagles dropped four of their first five matches, but only one was within the division.

“The guys knew more about the league than I did,” Radford said. “They were confident that when we got into league, we’d face challenges but still be victorious in most of our matches.”

Both of Los Altos’ league losses went five games. The Eagles avenged the loss to Cupertino – sweeping the Pioneers last week – and hope to pay back Fremont Friday in a match that may decide the league champ.

“It’s going to come down to will and who makes more smart plays and the least amount of mistakes,” Radford said.

The coach tries to reduce his team’s mistakes by stressing volleyball IQ and noted that his players are getting smarter by the match.

“They’ve gone from elementary kids to seniors in college as far as learning the game,” Radford said.

Perhaps no player has improved more than senior middle blocker Ian McColl.

“He’s woken up the last five or six matches,” Radford said prior to last week’s home win over Cupertino, in which the 6-foot-4 McColl notched 13 kills. “He’s seeing everything in front of him.”

Radford praised assistant coach David Moore for his work with McColl and fellow senior Spencer Simonides, a 6-8 middle blocker who’s also playing tennis for Los Altos this spring.

The Eagles are not only imposing in the middle but can do damage on the outside as well. Opposite hitter Alex Blackburn, a senior, tops the team in kills and outside hitter David Stien is second. Stien, a freshman, recorded a team-high 15 kills against Cupertino April 24. “He’s done great,” Radford said.

Another ninth-grader, setter Nathan Smith, has surpassed 500 assists.

“He’s running the offense with flying colors,” Radford said. “I couldn’t have asked for more from a freshman – or a senior.”

Three seniors not previously mentioned have contributed to the cause as well – outside hitter John Dai and defensive stalwarts Mathias McAfee and Paul Bergevin. The coach said Dai has racked up 74 kills (despite missing four weeks with an injury), libero McAfee “has become our defensive guru” (team-best 241 digs) and Bergevin has “lit up the back row” in limited action.

In honor of Senior Night, Los Altos created a theme for Friday’s finale against Fremont (6:45 p.m. start). Titled “Stash Bash,” the players are trying to grow mustaches for the occasion and may hand out paper ones to fans, according to Radford, who said his facial hair will be “in full bloom.”

For more photos of the Los Altos High School boys volleyball team, click here.

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