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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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Council offers support for library-tax renewal


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Sophia Chen browses the stacks at the Los Altos main library Monday. The Los Altos City Council voted to support renewal of the Santa Clara County Library District tax.

The Los Altos City Council last week approved a resolution supporting a measure that would renew the soon-to-expire 20-year-old county library tax.

Councilmembers voted 5-0 June 25 to support ballot Measure A, scheduled for the Aug. 27 Special Election, which would extend funding for the Santa Clara County Library District for an additional 20 years at its existing annual rate of $33.66 per single-family home. The Los Altos Hills City Council also supported the measure with a unanimous vote June 20.

Voters in the library district, which includes the Los Altos main and Woodland Branch libraries, are slated to decide its fate via mail-in ballot. District members include Cupertino, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga, Campbell, Gilroy, Milpitas and unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County.

The measure requires approval from two-thirds of voters to pass. Los Altos City Councilwoman Jan Pepper told the Town Crier that the measure would provide approximately $5.6 million in annual funds to the district.

“I think it’s great that the council supports it,” said Pepper, the city’s representative on the library district’s Joint Powers Authority Board. “The libraries are one of the more important assets that we have in our town. … This special tax represents 18 percent of the district’s (annual) budget.”

The council voted to support the measure after a presentation by Los Altos community librarian Jane Cronkhite noted that the tax would help district libraries maintain their current levels of service.

Specifically, Cronkhite listed ongoing needs such as maintaining library services and summer reading programs, retaining qualified staff and purchasing books and updated research materials. Without continued tax support, she added, local libraries would be forced to reduce hours by a day or more each week and potentially eliminate programming that benefits seniors, children and teens.

“There are more than 100,000 school-age and preschool children who attend library programs each year,” Cronkhite said during a prepared speech before the council. “School libraries are often open only a few days per week, making public libraries more important than ever for children’s education.”

Cronkhite added that the new measure would alter the way tax dollars are distributed among district members.

“Every Measure A dollar raised within the city is returned for the benefit and operation of the local library in that city,” said Cronkhite, who noted that the measure was not a tax increase, but simply a way to continue an existing level of support for the library district.

Under the soon-to-expire tax, the district applied a funding formula that equally weighs each member municipality’s population, property-assessed valuation and library circulation to allocate costs. The formula was a source of contention among some local officials, who claimed that cities received disproportionate amounts of funding compared to the tax dollars collected from Los Altos and Los Altos Hills residents.

Pepper reiterated Cronkhite’s assertion, noting that locally collected taxes would “go directly to the operations of the Los Altos and Woodland libraries” – an estimated sum of $636,000 for the upcoming fiscal year, should the measure pass.

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