Mon10202014

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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First Street mail drop-boxes to get new home


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier The city may soon relocate the five U.S. Postal Service collection boxes on First Street to a pair of downtown parking plaza sites. The boxes receive 2,000 pieces of mail daily.

The five U.S. Postal Service drive-thru collection boxes along First Street will soon have new homes. Exactly where, however, remains to be seen.

The Los Altos City Council June 25 directed the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission to review the $9,000 proposal to relocate four of the five mailboxes – currently across the road from the former post office site on First Street – to two downtown parking plazas.

The decision for review results from Los Altos Public Works Director Jim Gustafson’s explanation that the relocation of the mail collection area, accessed by motorists via a drive-thru lane on the First Street sidewalk, is needed as a safety measure. He said the area is likely to see increased pedestrian traffic following the First Street streetscape construction and additional projects, including Safeway, the 100 First St. condominium complex and the 400 Main St. mixed-use development.

“As First Street has progressed, a need has been identified to kind of ‘de-conflict’ the pedestrian-vehicle situation at the First Street array of mailboxes,” said Gustafson, who noted that the five boxes collectively receive approximately 2,000 pieces of mail daily.

A city staff report recommended that two of the boxes be relocated to the end of a drive aisle in Parking Plaza 2 near Second Street and two placed at the end of a drive aisle in Parking Plaza 3, behind Chase Bank near Third Street.

The second location, however, proved to be a point of contention. Councilwoman Megan Satterlee said the proposed Plaza 3 drop-off location offered limited vehicle access, noting that the aisle – and by extension, the mailboxes – could only be accessed by motorists via a plaza entrance at San Antonio Road near Main Street.

“I don’t think that (Plaza 3) location is going to provide the convenience that people expect,” she said. “I think there’s going to be a lot of complaints and disuse.”

Councilwoman Val Carpenter agreed, calling the Plaza 3 location “terrible,” while offering an alternative suggestion.

“You’ll be shocked to hear this – I’m actually willing to give up a parking place or two in order to achieve a location there,” she said. “I appreciate that staff has tried not to impact any of the current parking in that parking plaza, but I think that is an important aspect that we should have.”

Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins, meanwhile, questioned whether one of the proposed drop-box locations might be better situated in a parking plaza closer to State Street.

Gustafson told the Town Crier that the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission would review the proposal later this summer. No date has been confirmed.

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