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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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BCS adds ‘FabLab’ to curriculum next year


Photo By: Traci Newell/Town Crier
Photo Traci Newell/Town Crier

A Bullis Charter School student uses a zSpace Science Station, a 3-D tool available next year in the school’s new “FabLab.”

Bullis Charter School is scheduled to introduce a “FabLab,” or Fabrication Laboratory, next year that allows students access to the newest trends in technology.

The lab, which will be located on the charter school’s portion of the Blach Intermediate School campus, will be outfitted with easy-to-use, age-appropriate tools that promote scientific modeling and simulations and equipment for robotics, sensing and digital fabrication.

Innovation through technology has been the cornerstone of the charter school’s mission since its inception more than nine years ago, according to Superintendent/Principal Wanny Hersey.

“Silicon Valley is the technological hub of our planet,” she said. “As the Valley redefines itself every few years with new technologies, so must we as educators to bring the most innovative and thought-provoking curriculum to our students to be citizens.”

David Malpica, who led Stanford University’s Transformative Learning Technologies Lab and served as resident expert in 3-D graphics and 3-D printing for education, will oversee the program. Malpica earned a master’s degree in education with an emphasis on learning, design and technology. He studied under Paulo Blikstein, who in 2009 developed the idea of “FabLabs” in schools as a way to put cutting-edge technology for design and construction in the hands of middle and high school students.

“As an example, imagine exploring the human body through 3-D and holographs,” Malpica said. “Instead of studying the human body in books, students will have the opportunity to experience firsthand biological functions like never before. Additionally, this technology can be used to explore, create and interface with other disciplines like art, history, math, reading and music.”

Bullis Charter School teachers are currently working alongside Malpica to develop units that integrate the tools in ways that engage students and hone their 21st-century skills via real-world application.

“Access to these tools also gives those students who might not normally engage with paper-and-pencil learning a unique opportunity to re-engage in the learning process,” said Rebecca Young, fifth-grade teacher at Bullis Charter School.

“I’m thrilled that my children are going to have so many different opportunities to learn about and explore our world,” said Vicki Lee, mother of three charter school students. “I’m so grateful that the teachers and administrators continually put their students, our children, first and think outside the box to help them grow.”

The charter school strives to incorporate innovative technologies into its curriculum, including project-based learning and design thinking.

“We are poised to seize this tremendous opportunity with a dedicated space for innovation,” said Ken Moore, chairman of the charter school’s board of directors. “We envision each student spending meaningful time in this new laboratory. We look forward to sharing more plans as our teachers and administrators work to develop curricula.”

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