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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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Why I will happily vote for Measure A: Other Voices

It is no secret that I am an enthusiastic supporter of the Los Altos Library. In my mind, there is no service provided by our taxes that gives more value than the public library.

Nearly everyone is a recipient of library services, either personally or through members of the family. Children, seniors, mothers, grandparents, teens, nannies, retirees and the unemployed all take advantage of its availability.

On a hot day, the library is the cool place to go. To people with a few hours to spare, it is the alternative to a coffee shop. To babysitters, it is the best entertainment. It is one of the publicly provided services that people want to use (unlike police, fire, public health – which we want to have but hope not to use). I could go on, but let’s get to Measure A, an initiative that would renew the soon-to-expire 20-year-old Santa Clara County tax, scheduled for a special mail-in ballot that must be returned by 8 p.m. Aug. 27.

I am happy to support Measure A because I believe this year’s modest request – $33.66 per single-family home, approximately the price of one hardcover book – is a sign of the improving health of our library system. I am optimistic that when this Measure A renewal expires, we will not need to subsidize our library again.

The passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 decimated California library funding. All agencies funded by property taxes found their incomes slashed two-thirds – cities, schools, libraries, fire districts, counties, etc. The state passed legislation to ease the impact that lasted until 1990, when the state found itself short on funds.

In 1995, the Santa Clara County Library District followed the lead of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills and asked voters to approve a $33-per-parcel annual tax. That first $33 tax provided more than 40 percent of the library district’s budget. Eighteen years later, the library again is asking for just $33.66, but it will be less than 20 percent of the budget.

That’s a small price to pay to ensure that Los Altos maintains its two top-notch libraries with the books and materials local residents need. Even better, I believe that with the passage of Measure A, the Los Altos Library will ride out the next 20 years in good financial health, and we will leave our children a quality system that will no longer need to be subsidized. I will happily vote for that.

Elayne Dauber is a longtime member of Friends of the Library of Los Altos and Community.

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