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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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BEN HERBERT SMITH


Los Altos Hills long-time resident since 1955.

Ben H. Smith died peacefully in his home with his family around him on August 4, 2013.

Ben was the loving husband of Val Smith (died May 5, 2007). He was born on a farm in North Henderson, Illinois, January 9, 1918 as Bengt Herbert Smith, the younger

of two brothers. His parents were both Swedish immigrants, Olaf and Selma Haakanson (after moving to America, his father changed the family’s last name to Smith). Ben graduated from Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois.

After college Ben enlisted and served in World War II as a decorated Major in the 3543rd AAF Base Unit AAFMTC San Antonio, Texas from December 11, 1941 to November 23, 1946. He flew P-38 Lightning fighters mostly in the Pacific front. However, he was shot down in the Atlantic off the coast of North Africa where he was adrift alone for almost 24 hours until he was rescued. Ben was a recipient of the World War II Air Medal for meritorious achievement while in aerial combat.

At the end of World War II he met and married his wife, Val Ballard in Brisbane, Australia.

After the war Ben was hired by Pan American World Airlines where he flew for almost 32 years, retiring as a Pan Am Boeing 747 captain in 1978. Ben flew around the world numerous times, often pioneering routes that modern airlines fly to this day.

Ben is survived by his daughter Donna Rae Smith of Santa Clara, son Aaron Ballard of Morgan Hill, and grandson David Hackett of San Francisco.

The memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, August 17, 2013 at St. Luke Lutheran Church, 1025 The Dalles Avenue, Sunnyvale, California 94087.

At Ben’s request, in lieu of flowers, give to St. Luke Lutheran Church Memorial Garden, Sunnyvale, California.

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