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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Veteran TV broadcaster Belva Davis shares uphill climb with Rotarians


Photo By: Steve Pomeroy/Special to the Town Crier
Photo Steve Pomeroy/Special To The Town Crier

Belva Davis addresses a crowd at a Rotary Club of Los Altos meeting May 30.

Award-winning journalist Belva Davis addressed members of the Rotary Club of Los Altos May 30, sharing how she overcame tremendous odds growing up in Louisiana to become the first female African-American TV reporter on the West Coast.

Davis’ memoir, “Never in My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman’s Life in Journalism” (Berrett-Koehler, 2012), describes in detail her tumultuous youth as the child of a 15-year-old mother in the segregated South, shuffled among seven families who could offer only temporary space.

One of her uncles sued Armour Meat Packing Co. after an industrial accident ended his ability to work, an unheard-of challenge at that time for an African-American. Her family moved West when she was 8 years old to an overcrowded project in Oakland, with 11 people sharing a two-bedroom apartment.

Despite the difficulties, the family’s move to California was “the best thing that ever happened to me,” Davis said, because she attended Berkeley High School and became the first in her family to graduate.

Davis learned at an early age to stand up for herself, particularly when racism and sexism reared their heads. As early as third grade, when her new teacher “corrected” her given name of Belvagene to Belva Jean, Davis insisted on using her proper name. Such challenges encouraged her to advocate for herself. She learned how to “get along” through such experiences, she said, not through any anger-management courses.

After working her way up to become a disc jockey at KSAN radio, Davis realized she wanted to be a journalist at the 1964 Republican Convention at the Cow Palace, when she and another African-American journalist were jeered out of the venue with racial slurs and thrown garbage. It was scary, she said, but when she witnessed other news people reporting their outrage, she decided she wanted to be like them.

She began writing for Jet magazine, and then the Bay Area Independent newspaper in Oakland. During the turbulent political demonstrations of the 1960s, Davis found ways to advance the causes of equality and black pride, including producing the Miss Bronze Northern California Beauty Pageant.

As the first female African-American journalist to cover many landmark stories, she interviewed Linus Pauling and reported on such high-profile events as the birth of the Black Panthers, the assassinations of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk and the beginning of the AIDS epidemic.

Over the next two decades, Davis made a name for herself as she worked through the ranks as news anchor at KPIX-TV, KQED Public Television 9 and KRON-TV and as host of KQED’s “This Week in Northern California.” After a career that spanned nearly 50 years, she retired last November.

Davis said that during a speech she gave for Korean journalists, she encouraged them, “Don’t be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality.” One of the Koreans responded, “Me and my friends, we don’t dream anymore.”

Her goal in writing “Never in My Wildest Dreams,” Davis said, was to shine a light on the everyday injustices that many African-Americans rose above and to inspire all people to strive to achieve their dreams.

Marlene Cowan is a member of the Rotary Club of Los Altos. For more information, visit www.losaltosrotary.org.

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