Sun10192014

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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Task force recommends two more school sites for growth


Photo By:
Goines

Los Altos School District Superintendent Jeff Baier last week reported on recommendations by the Enrollment Task Force, including the need for two new campuses to address student growth.

The Enrollment Task Force reached its conclusions on how to address enrollment growth in the area after each of its 12 members put in at least 40 hours of research and discussion, according to Baier.

The report recommends the district find two additional school sites – one for Bullis Charter School and one for a district school.

“The pursuit should occur along parallel paths, but the Bullis Charter School site should be first priority,” the report stated. Trustee Mark Goines and President Doug Smith did not agree entirely with this finding, given the current litigation with the charter school over facilities.

“The one thing that troubles me is (recognizing) the charter school as a priority,” Goines said. He added that finding something that the charter school and district boards agree on might take longer than finding a solution for district growth.

The report emphasized the importance of establishing a collaborative process among the Bullis Charter School and Los Altos School District boards and local government agencies.

The Enrollment Task Force recommended partnering with the charter school in finding Bullis a site within school district boundaries. If no in-district site is available, the boards should collaborate to find an acceptable site outside but near the district boundaries. The report added that partnering with local city agencies is crucial to the process of locating additional sites.

The task force suggested that the district consult with Los Altos and Mountain View city councils to locate a site for another district school. The focus should be near the El Camino corridor (where a large portion of student growth is expected) and the district could consider a possible magnet program (instead of redrawing school boundaries).

Looking ahead

District board members said the appropriate next step would be to share the findings and recommendations with the charter school board at one of its meetings.

Just before last week’s district board meeting, Bullis Charter School board member Joe Hurd sent a letter to the district trustees requesting a joint meeting later this month to begin the 2014-2015 facilities process.

Smith responded by requesting the district board visit an upcoming charter school board meeting to discuss strategic ways to move forward based on the task force recommendations.

In response to Hurd’s request to address specifically the allocation of facilities for the 2014-2015 school year, Smith said the district possibly could work with the charter school if it could accelerate the annual facilities request early.

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