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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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Brain doctor brings heaven down to earth after near-death experience

A small crowd huddled closely around Eben Alexander, M.D., before his recent lecture at Sofia University in Palo Alto, hanging on his every word.

It was not surprising given that this is a man whose extraordinary near-death experience just four years ago has given him insights about which most people are more than anxious to hear.

His message was clear and simple: You don’t have to go to heaven – to die or even nearly die – to gain the kind of life-transforming perspective that will change your life for the better here and now.

For Alexander, a neurosurgeon and author of the New York Times best-seller “Proof of Heaven: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife” (Simon & Schuster, 2012), the most lasting takeaways from the week he spent in a coma were: You are loved. You have nothing to fear. There is nothing you can do wrong.

This was pretty heady stuff, especially for a doctor who had always assumed that the brain – an organ that, in Alexander’s case, had completely shut down due to a rare meningitis infection – was the source of consciousness.

“Pull the plug and the TV goes dead,” he thought.

But if this were true, then where did these ideas come from? What do they mean? Are they of any practical value?

Alexander characterizes these and other inspirations as a “direct extension” of divine consciousness itself – an assurance of “the true spiritual self that all of us are destined someday to recover,” an all-encompassing message from God that he said flooded him with “a vast and crazy sensation of relief.”

In other words, heaven – a place perhaps akin to what 19th-century religious reformer Mary Baker Eddy once described as “not a locality, but a divine state of Mind.”

So how does the average Joe tune into these kinds of heavenly bulletins?

“You must do the work,” Alexander said. “At the end of the day, we each have to go deep into our own consciousness, through prayer or meditation, to access these truths.”

Alexander’s talk ended with perhaps the most important insight of them all: the unshakable conviction that “we are all deeply loved and cherished forever.”

In the moment of silence that followed, there was a sense that the good doctor’s message was not just heard but already having an effect on those who came looking for just such an assurance – a little slice of heaven, if you will, here on earth.

Eric Nelson, a Los Altos resident, serves as media and legislative spokesman for Christian Science in Northern California. The First Church of Christ Scientist is located at 401 University Ave., Los Altos, and the public Reading Room at 60 Main St. For more information, visit cschurchlosaltos.

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