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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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Small businesses rank Bay Area tops in state

Thumbtack.com recently released its second Small Business Friendliness Survey, which again rated the Bay Area the friendliest small-business region in California.

The survey, conducted in partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, compiles data from nationwide job creators and entrepreneurs to rank business-friendly locations. The survey includes full sets of rankings, regional comparisons within states and U.S. Census data comparing California’s key demographics against those of other states.

“In surveying thousands of small businesses across America, we found that clear and consistent regulations and relevant training programs are among the most important factors in determining how they view their region’s friendliness,” said Sander Daniels, co-founder of Thumbtack.com. “Given the enormous size and importance of California’s economy, it is particularly important that state and local officials listen to the concerns of the state’s small-business owners and provide them with an environment conducive to growth and success.”

Following are the key findings for California.

• The Bay Area was the top-rated region in the state by small businesses for the second consecutive year, followed by the Central Coast. San Francisco was the state’s highest-ranking city, followed by San Jose.

• California earned a D grade, up from an F in 2012. Although the state struggled overall, it ranked above average for its online resources for small businesses.

• Nationally, professional licensing requirements were more important to small-business owners than taxes in determining a state’s overall business-friendliness, confirming the findings from last year’s study.

• African-American and Hispanic small-business owners were more likely than their white counterparts to encourage others to start new businesses.

• The top-ranking states overall were Utah, Alabama, New Hampshire, Idaho and Texas. The lowest rated were Illinois, California, Hawaii, Maine and, in last place, Rhode Island.

• The Bay Area ranked highest in the state in terms of the availability of helpful small-business training and networking programs.

• Within California, more than one-third of small businesses rated securing and maintaining health insurance “very difficult.”

For full survey results, visit www.thumbtack.com/ca/#2013/state.

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