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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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Letters to the Editor

Consider conflicts when casting votes

While the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees has been tasked with deciding how other district schools should be run, the entire point of a charter is to allow Bullis Charter School administrators to make those decisions for themselves.

Now the district board has gone too far – officials are continuing to lock out teachers and students from the Blach Intermediate School campus, at this writing eight days before the start of school.

They refuse to hand over the keys until Bullis Charter School bows to their will and ideology by allowing only a few grades to have access to the campus and further preventing half of those grades access to outside areas while they are there for recess, lunch or PE.

As a parent volunteer for many years at Bullis Charter School, I have gotten used to making lemonade out of the lemons the Los Altos School District board has given us.

The two-campus situation was a big fat lemon. The solution of rotating grades for focused learning sessions was one of best glasses of lemonade we’ve made. But it seems to have infuriated the district board to the point of irrationality.

It shows the true, sad and ugly agenda of the district trustees that they would lock out children and teachers. Please remember what these officials have done the next time you are asked to elect a representative to the Los Altos School District board.

Christine DiBona

Los Altos

Trail route could threaten serenity

The Town Crier insinuated recently that we in south Los Altos who gathered at the Bay Area’s Stevens Creek Trail meeting were rude to loudly oppose the trail running down a quiet street in our neighborhood.

Our frustration comes because of a threat to our way of life. (I guess it’s not rude to completely alter other people’s lives.) This call for south Los Altos to embrace a large thorn in our lives made me wonder how the outsiders promoting it would like those loud voices outside their bedroom windows. Add the sound of bicycles, lots of voices, dogs barking and throw in a bit of litter. Want that 24/7? Probably not. And neither do we.

Whether we relocated here recently or have lived here 59 years, as I have, we all moved here for the quiet, low-key feel.

What scares me about this intrusion is the lack of caring that comes from the moneyed and powerful Stevens Creek Trail backers. Our feelings and lives are insignificant to “the cause.”

So it’s too damn bad if we’re loud about not wanting a well-traveled trail 20 feet from our beds. Don’t like the noise we make? Imagine having that noise 24/7 where you live.

I am hoping we can keep public places in public places.

Beverly Caballero

Los Altos

Vote Yes on A, then enjoy library

I admit it. I’ve come to take for granted the kind of library we have in Los Altos.

When I hear about Measure A and am reminded that a parcel tax that’s been in place for 20 years is up for renewal, it really is a wake-up call: I need to abandon my complacency long enough to return my mail-in ballot – with my Yes vote for Measure A – so that I can go back to relaxing about the library to which I’ve become so accustomed.

For 20 years, we’ve gotten used to the convenient hours, the enhanced collections and the expertise of a library system that derives its strength from countywide experience and responsibility for exceptional (and award-winning) library services.

Yes, I like the library we’ve got and I wince at the thought that we might have to adjust our expectations because Measure A did not pass. Won’t you join me? Please vote Yes on Measure A.

Bob Simon

Los Altos

Zimmerman column contains errors

I was frustrated by the factual errors and unsubstantiated comments in Grace Acosta’s column regarding the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case (“Neither guilty nor innocent,” July 24).

Acosta proclaimed Zimmerman to be “far from innocent” despite a jury’s decision to the contrary. This after she admitted that she “didn’t follow the Zimmerman trial carefully.”

More disturbing is the blatant misinformation in her column. She wrote, “For example, the Stand Your Ground law is something worth rethinking, considering the consequences of not obligating people to walk away from violence when a legitimate opportunity to do so exists.”

That statement is absolutely false. In late June, I completed four handgun classes in Florida taught by law enforcement officers and state-licensed instructors. The curriculum included an extensive discussion of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

Firing on an attacker is a last resort when no apparent means, including fleeing from an assailant, exist to avoid potential death or great bodily harm. Stand Your Ground is not the “blast away” permission implied by Acosta.

There are many other facets and nuances to this complicated, polarizing case involving the unfortunate death of a young man, and some details may never be known.

What is known is that misinformation distorts civil discussion and makes common ground among sensible people harder to find.

John Gordon

Los Altos

Parking problem isn’t solved yet

Ted and Jerry Sorensen’s “Other Voices” column was so self-serving that it was sickening (“Three solutions for improving downtown parking,” Aug. 7).

They say that there’s no parking problem right now. The implication is to let their (unmentioned) project go forward without building adequate parking, and maybe others without building any parking.

With this thinking, there soon will be a problem, which they, as offered in other forums, suggest be solved by bulldozing the trees and small shrubs in our existing parking plazas so that they can be re-striped into narrower slots.

Because of the curves of these lanes in our plazas, this will make it even harder to park and perform ingress/egress from our cars. Even this would be a short-term solution, especially if the Los Altos City Council permits more construction in the plazas themselves.

Naturally, the Sorensens don’t suggest a parking garage, which would be very expensive for them and other downtown businesses as well as taxpayers. Ultimately, a parking garage will be necessary.

My suggestion is for the city council not to approve any more projects without adequate parking. Also, pick a site now for a future garage and protect it so that when the time comes, we are not left with a site without any access to any street whatsoever – i.e., don’t let the city council box us into a corner.

Paul Brooks

Los Altos

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