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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Sunny days ahead for local startup: Slingshot Power founder seeks to create the Apple of solar power


Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Slingshot CEO Ravi Chiruvolu set up his first shop at 164 Main St. and hopes to open several more locations in the future.

Ravi Chiruvolu wants to start the next Apple, and he’s doing it from Los Altos with solar power startup Slingshot Power Inc. The company recently opened at 164 Main St.

“We’re starting humble, with just this one shop,” Chiruvolu said. “But we want to be Apple. I want a thousand stores around the country.”

The motivation for Slingshot came from Chiruvolu’s personal energy bill.

“I started the company because I live in Los Altos Hills and I had a $600 energy bill,” he said. “It was just way too high, not acceptable. I wanted it lower and I wanted to see if we could do it in a green way, using clean energy.”

His solution: “We sell solar systems and basically help people lower their energy bills and get them off the grid.”

Chiruvolu attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Business School, served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army and coached his 10-year old daughter’s basketball team to a winning record.

Next on the ambitious entrepreneur’s list is to create a nationwide solar company.

“The largest (solar company) right now is SolarCity Corp., and they’re only in 15 states,” he said. “There are 35 other states that would love these products.”

Slingshot sells solar panels, electric-vehicle chargers and emergency battery packs in addition to other gadgets.

“Think about it as consumer energy. There’s generation, efficiency and storage. Theoretically, we could do wind, but we haven’t done it yet,” Chiruvolu said.

The company also offers installation services, a warranty and annual maintenance. Its solar panels are designed to suit the styles of most houses.

“We’re the only company that has cool green, terracotta brown, just beautiful panels,” Chiruvolu said. “We want to make it so that at cocktail parties, people comment, ‘What is that?’ And it’s your little secret that you’re saving money and being green.”

Giving back

Slingshot has pledged to contribute to Los Altos at the end of the year by donating and installing a solar system for a family in need.

“We’ve put up a map of Los Altos. We want to learn from the community what’s a needy place,” Chiruvolu said. “We’ll have a vote – maybe there’s a family who just lost their mom, or somebody who went to Iraq and had some issues or both parents lost their jobs.”

Although Palo Alto is a hub for some entrepreneurs, for Chiruvolu, Slingshot’s starting location is a source of pride.

“I’m a huge fan of this town. I live here, my kids go to school here,” he said. “A lot of my coworkers really wanted this in Palo Alto ... but I wanted to do it here.” Chiruvolu added that when Slingshot Power is “hugely successful – bigger than Apple – we can say we started right here, in Los Altos.”

For more information, call (800) 887-9414, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit slingshotpower.com.


Slingshot Power - Images by Ellie Van Houtte/Los Altos Town Crier

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