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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LA Council Briefs

The Los Altos City Council took the following actions at its May 14 meeting.

City supports Santa Clara in Super Bowl bid

The council unanimously agreed to send a letter in support of the city of Santa Clara’s successful bid to host the 2016 Super Bowl. National Football League owners voted May 21 to award Super Bowl L to the South Bay city, which will become home to the San Francisco 49ers in 2014. The team is currently constructing a $1.2 billion 68,500-seat stadium near Great America theme park.

Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw told the Town Crier that hosting the Super Bowl would not only have a positive economic impact on Santa Clara, but on surrounding communities like Los Altos as well. Fishpaw cited the potential increase in hotel reservations in the area, among other things.

“Should the 49ers not make it to the Super Bowl (that year) – even though we’re naturally rooting for them – every hotel in Santa Clara County would be booked,” he said. “That’s definitely one area where Los Altos would have a positive benefit.”

In its letter to NFL Senior Vice President of Events Frank Supovitz, the city council called the region “an ideal venue for an event that celebrates athletic strength, strategy and spirit.”

In addition, the letter noted that the 49ers’ new home would “provide an extraordinary game-day experience for fans,” citing the stadium’s “state-of-the-art features and distinctive architectural design.” The letter added that the region experiences 300 days of sunshine annually and an average temperature of 62 degrees in February – when the Super Bowl is typically played.

City approves pact with truck drivers union

The council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution approving a new three-year contract between the city and Sanitary Truck Drivers and Helpers Union Local 350.

According to a staff report, the parties reached agreement April 25 on the new deal, unanimously ratified by Local 350 members five days later. The city’s current contract with the union was set to expire at the end of June.

The new agreement calls for 2 percent increases in employees’ base salaries starting the first full pay period of July 2013 and again in July 2014. A 3 percent increase will take effect in the final year of the three-year pact.

The agreement also provides for increased retirement contributions – totaling 6 percent over the life of the contract – by employees hired before October 2011. As a result, according to Los Altos Assistant City Manager J Logan, employees hired before October 2011 would increase their overall pension contributions to 8 percent.

Employees hired after October 2011 are not affected. Those hired after October 2011 but before Jan. 1, 2013, now pay 7 percent toward employee member contributions and are covered under the lower pension benefit of 2-percent-at-60-retirement formula.

As outlined in the Public Employees Pension Reform Act, state employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2013, are covered under a lower benefit tier and contribute 50-50 to pension plans.

Artistic bike rack policy in the works

The council unanimously voted to direct city staff to develop a citywide policy regarding artistic bicycle racks.

According to a staff report, the city currently allows only black, horseshoe-shaped racks.

n 2012, the Public Arts Commission discussed the possibility of adopting a policy after a Los Altos resident saw artistic bike racks in Long Beach “and thought they would enhance the city of Los Altos,” the report stated. In March, the commission voted in favor of recommending that the city develop the policy.

– Diego Abeloos

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