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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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Almond fifth-graders debate taxes


Photo By: Courtesy of Corinne Finegan Machatzke
Photo Courtesy Of Corinne Finegan Machatzke

Fifth-grader Genna Landi states her argument on taxes to the opposing team during Almond School’s recent debate.

Bostonians in 1773 provided an answer to the question “Should Great Britain have taxed the colonists?” via the Boston Tea Party. More recently, before the April 15 filing deadline for U.S. taxes, fifth-graders at Almond School explored both sides of the issue through a series of formal debates conducted gradewide as part of their social studies curriculum.

Many students reported that studying colonial taxation via debate, as opposed to more traditional means, helped them to better understand that period in American history. They said they found it eye-opening to debate a point of view that they didn’t necessarily support.

Lead parent and debate organizer Scott Graeser described another outcome of the debates that surprised a fair number of students. They started to understand that Britain had some valid reasons to tax the Colonists, he said, “although perhaps Britain didn’t go about it the best of ways.”

For some, Graeser added, there was also the realization of how different the world would have been today if the Colonists and Britain had sat down and worked their differences out.

Graeser said many of the students were nervous prior to the debates, unsure of what to expect, but afterward they said it “wasn’t that bad” or “was actually kind of fun.”

“Then they started to debate who won the debate,” he said.

Joe Chan, fifth-grade and social studies teacher, agreed with the assessment of the debate’s benefits.

“The debates provided a wonderful opportunity for students to actively engage in and use their critical thinking skills,” he said. “(The debates) provided real-world experiences that the students will use in their everyday lives.”

Chan noted that through the debates, students learned better methods to prepare, organize and present information.

Volunteer parents coached and facilitated the debates, with topics related to the students’ social studies class. The debates aligned with district and Common Core standards in the areas of Persuasive/Argumentative writing, Public Speaking and Social Studies.

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