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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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Boston Marathon survivor recalls remarkable story


Photo By: Timotius Tjahjadi/ Special to the Town Crier
Photo Timotius Tjahjadi/ Special To The Town Crier

John Ortberg, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church senior pastor, discusses the Boston Marathon bombings with church member Amanda North.

Menlo Park Presbyterian Church member Amanda North said the infamous Boston Marathon bombings changed her life forever.

In an interview-style format with Senior Pastor John Ortberg, North spoke to the church congregation June 16 about her unforgettable experience nearly two months earlier. The Silicon Valley marketing tech executive and Woodside resident was near the finish line at the April 15 event to cheer on her 20-year-old daughter, Lili. It was a beautiful day, and North had just received word that Lili was approximately a mile away.

“Moments later, there was a deafening explosion. Clouds of smoke billowed out, and I was blown off my feet,” North said.

At first, she thought it was a camera explosion. Then, after the second bomb blast, she thought, “We’re under attack. … Things just changed in a heartbeat.”

North said she looked next to her and saw a woman with the side of her leg “completely open and gaping.”

That was 29-year-old Erika Brannock, a suburban Baltimore preschool teacher who had lost a portion of one leg and broken the other. Brannock told CNN reporters that when she was down on the ground after the blast, “I had a conversation in my head with God, and I told him I wasn’t ready to go.”

Almost instantaneously, Brannock said, North crawled over to her, and said, “I’m not going to let you go.”

North said she felt a presence inside guiding her.

“I felt calm, I felt focused,” she said. “I thought, ‘I can hold her hands and I can talk to her and I can try to get her to focus on me’” until medical help arrived.

Once she returned to California, North said she prayed daily for Brannock, whose contact information she had neglected to request. Shortly afterward, North was informed that CNN was searching for her, as the network was trying to reconnect the two women.

North has become a local celebrity of sorts, with interviews on CNN with Anderson Cooper and with the New York Daily News and the San Jose Mercury News. She said she has received hundreds of emails and LinkedIn and Facebook messages, lauding the impact of kindness from strangers.

The impact of that day has been far-reaching for North, who decided to leave the tech world after 30 years.

“The marathon (incident) suggested to me (that there’s) no point in waiting,” she said.

After North bid farewell to her high-tech job, she became the first social entrepreneur in residence at Santa Clara University, where she plans to use her professional experience to help artisans in developing countries.

The night after the bombings, North’s daughter told her that they had been spared for a purpose.

“I believe I was spared to do something – I can’t ignore that,” North said after the Menlo Presbyterian service.

Menlo Park Presbyterian Church averages approximately 6,000 attendees per weekend. The church has 270 members and 1,744 attendees from 998 families from Los Altos.

For more information, visit www.mppc.org.

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