Sun10192014

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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Los Altos bank robber pleads guilty, gets seven years


The Los Altos man arrested for a string of armed robberies in the city earlier this year is heading to prison for up to seven years.

Thomas Andrew Cronin, 26, pleaded guilty as charged “right out of the gate” last week to eight counts of armed robbery in Los Altos and two in Mountain View, according to Cindy Hendrickson, Santa Clara County Supervising Deputy District Attorney in the Palo Alto Branch Office. Cronin will be ordered to pay approximately $7,000 in restitution to the victims of his crimes, she added.

“It’s a testament to how strong the case was,” Hendrickson said of Cronin’s guilty plea Aug. 7.

Los Altos police arrested Cronin May 29 after he robbed the U.S. Bank at 1001 Fremont Ave. earlier in the day. He was later charged with twice robbing both Comerica Bank on Third Street and Standard Liquor on First Street and with once robbing Bank of the West on Main Street.

Cronin was also charged with single counts of robbing the Shell Gas & Service Station at 929 Fremont Ave. and Round Table Pizza at 399 First St. in mid-May. Among the details revealed by prosecutors after his arrest was that Cronin used a black Airsoft BB gun – with its customary red tip colored in black – to commit the crimes.

Hendrickson noted that Cronin pleaded guilty before preliminary examinations began and will be sentenced in early October. He initially faced the possibility of serving a maximum of 14 years in prison if found guilty on all charges, she added, but the prosecution offered to cut the sentence in half if he pleaded guilty before trial.

“It’s common and reasonable for someone to serve less time when they accept early responsibility,” said Hendrickson, who credited Cronin’s attorneys for expediting the outcome of the case.

Hendrickson noted that Cronin’s early guilty plea produced another positive result in addition to saving taxpayer money – it spared his victims from a potentially drawn-out trial.

“This (outcome) saved all of the victims from having to testify,” she said, adding that Cronin will remain in the Santa Clara County Main Jail until sentencing. “They don’t have to come and face him in court now.”

Hendrickson said Cronin – a former student at both Los Altos and St. Francis high schools – must serve at least 85 percent of his seven years because of the nature of his crimes.

“That isn’t anything that can be bargained away – that (sentence) is attached to the charge,” Hendrickson said of the 85 percent threshold, which equates to a minimum time served of approximately six years.

She said Cronin would likely begin his sentence with a 90-day evaluation period at San Quentin State Prison before being assigned to another state prison for the remainder.

“This is a guy who has never been to prison,” she said. “To have someone be able to wrap their mind around going to prison for such a long time is something. In this case, however, he deserved it.”

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