Wed10222014

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

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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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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LAH open space stewardship gets green light


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The proposed 2013-2014 Los Altos Hills budget includes ,000 for open space stewardship. Thistles and piles of trash, like those found at O’Keefe preserve, above, populate some of the towns open spaces.

With more than 157 acres of town-owned open space preserves in Los Altos Hills, some residents argue that more weeds than people populate the areas.

Yellow starthistle, French broom and stinkweed are just a few of the offenders that residents claim deter them from enjoying the public spaces. A new stewardship program spearheaded by the Los Altos Hills Open Space Committee may uproot the thorny invaders.

The committee proposed that the city allocate $50,000 annually for invasive species management, native habitat protection, fire hazard reduction and erosion control in three of the town’s largest open spaces: O’Keefe Lane Preserve, Byrne Preserve and Juan Prado Mesa Preserve. After the Los Altos Hills City Council approves the 2013-2014 budget this summer, councilmembers plan to authorize a request for proposal to solicit a professional contractor for the work.

The new stewardship program is not only about eradicating weeds, it also aims to reinvent open spaces into valuable “town jewels,” according to Open Space Committee member Nancy Couperus. She said the committee has been lobbying the council to fund cleanup and restoration efforts at the open spaces since 2007.

Although the town currently performs periodic mowing in the preserves and the Parks and Recreation Department hosts pathways cleanups, a contractor with specialized experience in open-space management and community outreach is needed to ensure proper care, Couperus said. She envisions a group like Acterra, a nonprofit environmental agency that currently manages Redwood Grove, receiving the contract.

“The intent is to enhance its attractiveness for local residents in line with the town’s general plan,” said Couperus, who added that funding would improve O’Keefe Lane Preserve and other open spaces by opening opportunities for walking, jogging and bird watching.

In the future, the committee hopes to forge other partnerships for open-space management. Committee members are applying for a grant from the Santa Clara Water District to restore Purissima Creek and plan to approach the fire district about coordinating additional brush cleanup.

Residents voted in 2002 to enact an ordinance preventing the sale or development of town-owned open spaces without a vote.

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