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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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Honest, humble answers could hasten new era of medicine

My question to the accomplished psychologist and research scientist following her presentation to a large crowd at Stanford University – a presentation highlighting the link between mental and physical health – seemed simple enough.

“There’s plenty of evidence showing the impact that our thoughts can have on our brain,” I said. “But is there any evidence that these thoughts actually originate in the brain? And if not, then where do these thoughts come from?”

Her answer: “We don’t know.”

The rather brief and somewhat matter-of-fact response elicited a fair amount of chuckles from the audience. I guess most of us expected a more detailed explanation. But as the laughter died down, I considered the significance of what was just said.

Could it be that this woman’s honest and humble answer had inadvertently engaged the audience in a new line of medical inquiry, perhaps hastening a radically new view – even a new era – of medicine?

When it comes to our thoughts – the consciousness, the brain, the mind, whatever you want to call it – there’s a lot that we already know. For instance, we know that there’s a link between what we think and the way our bodies act. You get embarrassed, your face turns red; you become frightened, your heart beats faster.

We’re also learning that certain types of thoughts such as gratitude, forgiveness and compassion can be particularly beneficial to our health. Negative thoughts tend to have the opposite effect.

What remains to be discovered, however, is where all these thoughts begin.

One of the most provocative suggestions comes from Dr. Larry Dossey, author of the best-selling “Reinventing Medicine: Beyond Mind-Body to a New Era of Healing” (HarperOne, 1999) and the forthcoming “One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters” (Hay House). Dossey believes that “consciousness is not confined to one’s individual body,” but that there’s a singular, “nonlocal mind” governing one and all.

This presents a bit of a dilemma, particularly for those who consider this mind to be divine. If an ever-present, all-powerful God is the source of such health-inducing thoughts as gratitude and compassion, does this mean that He or She is also the source of those thoughts that produce mental and physical suffering, both for ourselves and others? Is God both good and evil?

So far, the best answer I’ve heard predates Dossey by at least a couple of thousand years.

“‘I know the thoughts that I think toward you,’ saith the Lord, ‘thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end,’” it says in the Bible (Jeremiah 29:11).

In other words, our health doesn’t depend so much on our differing views of the Divine, but on our willingness to adopt as our own His or Her view of us – a view that we’re assured includes a decidedly secure future.

Assuming for the moment that this is true, it would mean that any evil thoughts that happen to cross our mental radar screens are nothing more than an opportunity to get to know the Divine a little better – and for our lives to become a lot healthier.

Chances are this isn’t the answer that most of us are ready to accept. At the very least, however, it’s one we should all consider – and certainly one that could usher in an entirely new and exciting era of medicine.

Eric Nelson serves as media and legislative spokesman for Christian Science in Northern California. The Christian Science of Church in Los Altos is located at 401 University Ave., and the public Reading Room at 60 Main St. For more information, visit www.cschurchlosaltos.com.

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