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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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Don't wish it away: Haugh About That?

Like a 5-year-old waiting to dive into a sea of birthday presents, I watched out the window in overzealous anticipation for the arrival of my daughter Jenni.

Eight years ago, my second child decided to make a pit stop in San Diego on her way home from the University of Arizona. Instead of just visiting, she grew roots and became firmly planted there. Fortunately, she finally saw the light and decided to move back to be with the ones who love her most – namely, me.

Watching her pull into the driveway, I rushed to scoop her into my arms, swaddling her like when she was a newborn in her pink, fuzzy blanket. I was beyond elated to have her home – and then I saw her car.

“What is all that?” I asked with a slight tremor in my voice.

“Can you believe it? We were able to get all my stuff home!”

With her father’s help, sitting in my driveway were two Volkswagen Jettas crammed with what looked like an overflow of someone’s belongings from the TV show “Hoarders.”

I practically choked with the fear that comes from OPC (Other People’s Clutter). I had not envisioned every nook and cranny of my clean and highly organized home to be overtaken by her belongings. It took me six months to clear out my dad’s world from my garage. It was now starting all over again.

“Jenni, you can’t be serious.”

“Oh, Mom,” she said cheerily. “I’ll be moving out again in September. It’s only for three months.”

This was true. It was a temporary situation until she began her new job as a first-grade teacher at Oak Avenue School, but I found myself thinking that day couldn’t come soon enough. I knew my pack rat would return with a few steamer trunks, but I didn’t expect her to bring the entire Titanic.

Later that evening, exhausted from stacking boxes and finding shelves for her former life, I lay on my bed and stared at the ceiling as shame cultivated slow, hot tears to blanket my cheeks. I’d been beyond excited to have her come home. Why was I upset over a few personal items? Then I remembered a similar moment not long before.

I’m a creature of my own habits. I like order, knowing what to expect and when it will happen. As my dad tiptoed through his final transition, the days became painfully long. The dying process is a mystery, and I found myself dangling hopelessly on the end of a frayed tether, ashamed because I wanted it all over.

Knowing the minute he was gone that I’d want him back again, I decided to offer up a different prayer: “Please, God, don’t let me wish him away.” It was time for that prayer once again.

Realizing I’d been given a rare opportunity to have my adult child all to myself, without the interference of her other siblings, I made a vow.

Jenni, I promise I won’t become that nag you knew in your youth who barked over wet towels on the floor, dishes in the sink or shoes and empty water bottles scattered willy-nilly. I’ll close my eyes as I pass by your bedroom in the event a bomb goes off during the night while I’m sleeping, and I’ll lovingly fold the laundry you left piled on the floor. Our time together is short and I want to enjoy you. Soon you’ll leave and the house will be clean once again. And just like with your grandfather, I’ll wish I had you back here, mess and all.

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