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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Los Altos School District teachers to receive raises


Photo By:
Baier

After four years without raises, Los Altos School District teachers are getting a bump in pay.

Los Altos School District Superintendent Jeff Baier, who presented specifics of the tentative bargaining agreement with the Los Altos Teachers Association at last week’s board meeting, said this is an appropriate time to reward the teachers. He noted that the district is in better financial standing than it was the last four years.

“They have given up some health benefits and absorbed some cuts during that time,” Baier said of the teachers.

There are three parts to the salary increase. The first is a 1.75 percent raise, which adds approximately $350,000 to district expenses annually. The second is a one-time 1.25 percent bonus for the 2012-2013 school year, adding approximately $250,000. The third portion is based on property tax collection. If the collection of property taxes for the 2012-2013 school year, finalized in August, is more than 5 percent, the teachers will receive more than half of that overage as a one-time bonus. As of last week, property tax growth was estimated at 6.12 percent.

Randy Kenyon, assistant superintendent for business services, said the raises would be paid out of property tax collections and reserve funds. The agreement is retroactive and begins with the teacher’s salary at the start of the 2012-2013 school year. The contract runs through the 2014-2015 school year.

The district and the teacher’s association have been through an interest-based bargaining process for the duration of the school year, hammering out the specifics of an offer that includes new language limiting salary advancement for teachers who do not receive a satisfactory performance evaluation.

“The idea that we agree on new language limiting salary advancement – that is really a nod from our teachers that they want excellence in our classrooms,” Baier said. “Our teachers would agree, if a teacher isn’t performing satisfactorily, they shouldn’t get an increase in pay.”

The district board is scheduled to vote on the contract at Monday’s board meeting. isn’t performing satisfactorily they shouldn’t get an increase in pay.”

The district board is scheduled to vote on the contract at Monday’s board meeting.

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