Tue10212014

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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The big picture on our schools: Editorial

Now that our local public schools have closed for the summer, it’s the appropriate time to look at what we have had and continue to have: great schools.

We may already know that, but it’s easy to be distracted by the negativity out there that diverts from what’s actually happening in the classroom.

We get hit from all sides, locally, statewide and nationally. The facilities rift between Bullis Charter School and the Los Altos School District shifts our attention from the fact that the charter and district schools are among the best in the state, based on the latest test scores.

We get caught up in the politics of the intractability of the California Teachers Association over tenure, but if we focus on our local districts, our teachers are, overall, pretty darn good. Whether it’s the Los Altos School District or the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District, our local teachers are passionate and engaged in helping students learn.

Districts all over the state are dealing with tight budgets. But the struggles are not nearly as challenging for our elementary and high school districts. Both are basic aid districts, which means they receive funding based on property taxes from the surrounding community. They’re relatively well off because we are. And the districts collect millions more each year from their parent-run foundations and PTAs.

Of course, good school districts in turn benefit the community by attracting new residents who are consistently willing to pay top dollar for homes in the Los Altos area.

But what we should really take pride in – beyond budgets, test scores and property values – is how our children are being raised.

Success stories abound as local students look to make a difference in the world and seek to get involved with causes like helping those less fortunate. Some of that ambition and effort is attributable to strong families, but it also comes from the classroom. For example, Los Altos High School instructor Robert Freeman is teaching early lessons about philanthropy through his students’ efforts in One Dollar For Life, a nonprofit addressing poverty in Third World countries. Our school districts are prime breeding grounds for the next generation of leaders. Now that’s something we can all agree on.

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