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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Coyote sightings prompt warning to residents


Photo By: Courtesy of California Department of FisH & Wildlife
Photo Courtesy Of California Department Of Fish &Amp Wildlife

Police caution residents after reports of coyote sightings near Los Altos High.

A local animal services official warns Los Altos residents to keep a watchful eye on their small pets this summer because coyotes are lurking.

Connie Urbanski, interim superintendent of the city of Palo Alto’s Animal Services Division, told the Town Crier that a handful of recent coyote sightings, plus the discovery of two deceased cats in late May, raised concern about the welfare of small household pets in the area. Urbanski’s agency provides animal services to Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

She noted that while coyote sightings in Los Altos are not uncommon – given the city’s close proximity to hill country – the spring and summer often bring more of them to the area. That’s because it’s the time of year when juvenile coyotes learn to fend for themselves and discover new food sources.

“This has been a very prolific year for wildlife,” said Urbanski, pointing to underlying factors such as a shorter rainy season. “The young being taken care of by mama are now going out and learning to hunt and care for themselves.”

Urbanski’s words of caution came after Los Altos Police received multiple reports of coyotes spotted in residential neighborhoods, including one sighting on Alicia Way – near Los Altos High School – prompting a May 30 appeal to the public to keep domesticated cats indoors.

Urbanski said the coyotes in question are simply acting as nature intended by seeking an accessible food source. Small pets could be at risk, particularly from dusk until dawn when coyotes are typically most active.

“Even small dogs could become prey … anything small that’s vulnerable,” she said.

Urbanski added that it’s not uncommon to see a coyote in residential areas like Alicia Way, noting that nearby dry creekbeds act as “a freeway” for the animals.

“They can get to a lot of places using the creeks, especially now that they’re drier,” she said. “That’s a normal routine for them.”

Resident’s tale

Los Altos resident Diane Heckman knows all too well about the dangers coyotes can pose to household pets.

Heckman suspects a coyote ventured into her neighborhood through the Permanente Creek bed at Heritage Oaks Park on Mc- Kenzie Avenue May 29. Heckman said her 11-year-old Tabby cat, Hobbs, went outside at 4:30 a.m. and was found dead less than two hours later by a neighbor.

“I had no idea there were coyotes running around in Los Altos,” said Heckman, whose veterinarian confirmed that her cat was likely the victim of a coyote attack. “It’s not disturbing to me, but it’s just odd to me for it to happen in a suburban area. … I don’t think I would’ve let (Hobbs) out if I had know there were coyotes.”

Heckman added that her family’s other cat, Suzie, has mostly remained indoors since Hobbs was killed.

“She’s a prisoner right now,” Heckman quipped.

Urbanski listed several steps residents can take to discourage coyotes from seeking suburban sustenance. Her advice:

• Don’t leave pet food outside.

• Secure garbage cans with a bungee cord.

• Don’t leave small pets outside from dusk to dawn.

• Lock all cat and dog doors from dusk to dawn.

• Go outside with pets when they do their “business.”

“If people do these kinds of things, the coyotes will go back to the hills and hunt for other food sources, like squirrels,” Urbanski said.

She added that although coyotes are not a threat to people “at this time,” residents should not approach them. Injured coyotes or those with a litter of pups are typically more protective and aggressive when confronted, according to Urbanski. Residents who spot a coyote are advised to contact their local police department immediately to seek assistance from animal services.

“We haven’t seen (aggressive behavior toward humans), but I don’t want to take that possibility out of the picture,” Urbanski said. “There should be no situation where a member of the public should try to interact with them.”

To report a coyote sighting or incident, contact Los Altos Police at 947-2770.

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