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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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Police unveil new resident alert service


Town Crier screenshot
The Los Altos Police Department recently began using Nixle as a supplemental emergency notification system.

The Los Altos Police Department has a new tool to keep residents informed on anything from road closures to local disasters.

According to Los Altos Police Chief Tuck Younis, the department recently began using Nixle, a notification system designed specifically for law enforcement and other government agencies. The department unveiled the new system during the July 13-14 Arts & Wine Festival in downtown Los Altos.

Younis told the Town Crier that the city opted to purchase the system – at a cost of approximately $4,000 annually – after attending the Social Media, the Internet and Law Enforcement Conference earlier this year.

“It’s a wonderful investment in order to get word out to our community for all sorts of needs,” Younis said of the service free to residents, which he noted was “an enhancement to” and not a replacement for Santa Clara County’s AlertSCC system.

The AlertSCC system, like Nixle, distributes emergency alerts to users via mobile devices and email, but also landlines.

Younis said the Nixle system allows law enforcement agencies to disseminate information quickly and easily across multiple platforms. Residents who sign up for the service receive notifications via email, text message or by downloading the Nixle app to their smartphones. He noted that the system is integrated with the Los Altos Police Department’s Twitter feed and Facebook page.

According to the company’s website, the Nixle system publishes messages released by law enforcement agencies, which can also assign levels of urgency. The messages are then disseminated to users located in the affected geographic regions.

The system includes the ability to view maps and pinpoint the location of specific incidents. Residents can expand the notification by adding specified regions. More than 4,000 public agencies across the country use Nixle as a community notification system, according to the privately held company. Other Bay Area agencies currently using Nixle include the Mountain View, Oakland and Fremont police departments and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

For Los Altos Police Department purposes, Younis said messages to participating residents would range from everyday housekeeping items such as road closures to alerts about missing persons, natural disaster emergencies and other community advisories.

“Clearly we have a need and an expectation from the public to send out timely messages,” said Younis, who added that he’s encouraging residents to sign up for both the Nixle and AlertSCC services. “This is a reliable tool that provides yet another platform for communication between residents and law enforcement.”

For more information, visit nixle.com/los-altos-police-department.

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