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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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Once-A-Year Day: A Piece of My Mind

Everyone’s entitled to be wild/ Be a child/ Be a goof/ Raise the roof/ Once a year.

– “Once-A-Year Day” from “The Pajama Game”

On the last Sunday in June, it seemed as though everyone had taken this old Broadway song to heart. It was Gay Pride Day in San Francisco, and 1.5 million people were celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision earlier that same week invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. Eighty unisex couples had married the previous day at San Francisco City Hall. The party on Sunday was, in the words of a San Jose Mercury News reporter, “like the biggest, happiest wedding reception you could imagine.”

My husband and I rode BART up to the city to attend a San Francisco Symphony program, and we were swept up in the festivities as we walked from the Civic Center BART station to Davies Symphony Hall.

As we threaded through the crowd, a conservatively dressed middle-aged fellow with a well-trimmed beard spoke to me. “Are you two a couple?” he asked, gazing from me to my husband, both in our Sunday Symphony best.

“Yes, we are.”

He broke into a beaming smile.

“It’s so great to have people like you here in support! This is such a great day! I never thought I would see this day!”

I didn’t tell him we were there for the symphony, but I wished him a wonderful afternoon.

“It will be!” he replied, as the crowd separated us.

I grabbed a Pride Guide to the festivities from a street stall and perused it while waiting for the symphony to begin. The performance was terrific – the first concert performance of the complete musical, Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story,” led with gusto by Bernstein’s friend and protégé, Michael Tilson Thomas. The lead singer, minor TV star Cheyenne Jackson, has an amazing vocal range and great ability to sell a song. He was also listed in the Pride Guide as one of the Celebrity Grand Marshals of the Gay Pride Parade.

At intermission, we wandered out to the balcony, from which we could see a corner of the celebration still going on at United Nations Plaza. Traffic was at a standstill on Van Ness Avenue, and people in costumes, carrying balloons, flourishing signs and holding hands were crossing below, waving up at us on the balcony. We waved back.

After the concert, we made our way through the packed throng to the BART station. We passed a group of people shouting and dancing along with a rap group on one of the side stages. We walked by another side stage where a cheerleading squad was performing acrobatic flips and pyramids.

The BART station was solid people, a big friendly mob – no pushing, no elbows, just laughter at our common sardine-hood. We inched our way to the turnstiles, where a guard was assisting people with Clipper cards – we made it through. I have never seen a BART train so crowded, but a young couple in cutaway jeans and pink tank tops jumped up and offered us their seats.

It was a party. It was raucous and joyful and sweet. There are different opinions about the Supreme Court decision and about what marriage means, but it is hard to resist something that made so many people so plainly, euphorically, unreservedly happy on a gorgeous San Francisco afternoon.

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