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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Beyond history: Other Voices

In many ways, I think I try to be an adult. Maybe that’s why I drink my coffee black and try to perfect the art of writing checks. It’s why I tune into “Forum with Michael Krasny” on NPR, a discussion on current events, every morning when I drive to my internship. Some days, I’ll admit, I could care less about the topic, like the technology of reading license plates. But other times, I care a lot.

Take the June 26 “Forum,” for example. The topic on everyone’s lips, of course, was the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings on Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor, cases that constituted huge wins for supporters of gay marriage. Listeners called in, expressing their thrill or disappointment, but one caller stood out.

“I just hope that people don’t forget in their euphoria what happened to the Voting Rights Act yesterday,” the listener said, referring to the Supreme Court’s egregious gutting of the Voting Rights Act in its June 25 ruling re Shelby County v. Holder.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 required states with a history of racial discrimination to clear any changes to election law with the federal government to protect voters – usually minorities – from discriminatory practices. In a 5-4 decision, the justices last week struck down the formula to determine areas of preclearance, crippling the Act. It was a huge blow to civil rights groups and a slap in the face to any voter who worries about getting to the polls safely. The argument for the ruling undermined and neglected the fact that the Act is still indispensible in controlling today’s discriminatory practices.

I am outraged with the decision, but I wonder how many of my peers, friends and colleagues care. The ruling certainly generated news coverage on the day it was announced, but I worry about what the listener on “Forum” pointed out – that in an ocean of euphoria or outrage over gay marriage, people may forget about the VRA’s demise.

Last week was crazy – anyone who follows national news knows that. With all the victories or disappointments, we gravitate toward buzzwords instead of regarding all the issues.

I’ll be blunt. I wonder whether gay marriage and reproductive rights are the only issues that my generation, one of teens and rosy-cheeked college students, know and care about. We were in high school when Proposition 8 passed and now are in college as it falls. We debated reproductive rights and watched Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis’ heroic filibuster. It’s poetic history, stories that rise and fall in front of our eyes.

It is easy for us to forget about the history we didn’t witness, like the fight for civil rights. We live in a safe town with an open mind, and we grew up thinking discrimination was dead.

We care about equality, but we don’t view all issues equally. Just because we didn’t grow up to see it happen doesn’t mean it isn’t real. We can’t forget that these problems still hurt us. The story continues.

Maybe that’s what being an adult is about, beyond the coffee drinking and the check writing – caring about the news and today’s issues, realizing they still exist, to nurture history.

Sophie Ho, a 2012 graduate of Mountain View High School, is an editorial intern at the Town Crier. She is a student at UC Berkeley.

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