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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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Court supports two-site facilities for BCS


Photo By:
Baier

A judge ruled last week that the Los Altos School District’s facilities allocation for Bullis Charter School, divided between two campuses, falls within state law.

Judge Mark Pierce of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara, heard arguments June 20 regarding the 2013-2014 charter school facilities, which are split between Egan Junior High and Blach Intermediate school sites. The charter school’s legal team claimed that placing the school on noncontiguous sites did not comply with the state’s facilities law.

Ruling in favor of the district, Pierce stated that facilities regulations “do not require that a district reconfigure existing facilities simply because a charter school has a configuration not found at the district’s existing schools.” Bullis Charter School serves a K-8 population, while district campuses are configured to split elementary students (K-6) and junior high students (7-8).

The ruling also stated, “There is no requirement that a school district provide an offer of facilities to a charter school at only contiguous sites.”

In his decision, Pierce found that the school district did not abuse its discretion and ultimately denied the charter school’s motion in the lawsuit. Pierce is the seventh trial court judge in Santa Clara County since 2004 to rule in favor of the school district in rejecting the charter school’s legal challenge to its facilities allocation.

“The district spent countless hours considering public input and exploring different facilities options that balanced the needs of students attending district schools and Bullis Charter School,” said Los Altos School District Superintendent Jeff Baier. “We are grateful that the court took the time to absorb the extensive documentation and evaluate the issues in a relatively brief period of time.”

Reactions to the ruling

Doug Smith, president of the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees, said he was pleased with the rapid resolution from the court, but stressed that additional legal facilities matters are still pending.

“During the hearing, Judge Pierce expressed his dismay that so much money and time is being spent on litigation,” Smith said. “We couldn’t agree more. We urge Bullis Charter School to abandon this path of expensive and ultimately fruitless litigation and work with the district and community to find a long-term facilities solution to our growing population of public school students.”

Joe Hurd, member of the Bullis Charter School Board of Directors, said the charter school pursues litigation to defend the best interests its students.

“Engaging in legal battles with the Los Altos School District has never been our first choice, but when we have repeatedly seen (the district) act in a manner that is incongruent with the best interests of our students and refuse to engage in meaningful negotiations to remedy such mistreatment, our only option is to use litigation to prevent further manipulation and infringement,” he said.

Hurd added that charter school officials agreed with the court’s position that the parties should work via mediation and negotiation to find a way to share public facilities, which is why “Bullis Charter School proposed the 2012 mediation and worked hard to support the framework agreement the parties reached at that time.”

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