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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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State Street florist calls it quits: Alabasta closing its doors after 12-year run in Los Altos


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

An Alabasta employee, center, chats with customers last week after co-owners David Wales and John Zanders announced the May 31 closure of their State Street store.

A State Street florist is preparing to bid Los Altos a fond goodbye after a 12-year run downtown.

David Wales, co-owner of Alabasta, The Flower Shop, said he’s closing his doors permanently May 31. Wales noted that he’s shuttering his retail space at 366 State St. after encountering some “legal issues regarding a tax matter we couldn’t overcome.” He politely declined to elaborate further on the problems behind the shop’s closure.

“We’re really upset about it,” said Wales, who co-owns the business with John Zanders. “We tried to do everything we could to stay open.”

Wales, 51, said the decision to close Alabasta wasn’t easy, given that he’s spent nearly half of his life working as a florist – including the past dozen in downtown Los Altos. He added that he’s “still settling into the idea” that his business will be a thing of the past come June 1.

Wales counts numerous repeat customers among his many friends in town and said he’ll miss the atmosphere and the people of Los Altos the most.

“In many ways, we’re fortunate,” said Wales, who discounted his merchandise and fixtures 35 percent through his close at the end of the month. “In this business, you get to know people during their darkest times and their happiest times. You get close to them. … The community has been very, very kind to us.”

Los Altos Chamber of Commerce President Julie Rose said Alabasta’s departure is a loss that will be felt throughout the community. She noted that the shop often donated to several local events and charities without hesitation.

“They donated to everything,” she said. “They’re very present.”

Among other things, Rose added that the business, a chamber member, donates table centerpieces annually for the “State of the Cities” luncheon.

“They’re really going to be missed,” she said. “They’re so unique. They are one of those businesses that make our town unique. They’re a draw – people come to Los Altos because of them. It’s sad to see this happen.”

As for the future, Wales said he hasn’t had much time to ponder life without Alabasta. He added that while he hasn’t given up on the idea of one day returning to Los Altos as a retailer, he is currently focused on closing as smoothly as possible.

“It’s a lot of work dissolving 12 years,” he noted, adding that he anticipates taking time off this summer to “relax a little bit and reflect on life.”

For now, Wales said he’s trying to move forward into an uncertain future while mustering a positive outlook.

“I try to think that every time a door closes, a window opens,” he said. “Who knows? Maybe something better will happen.”

For more information, visit www.alabastatheflowershop.com.

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