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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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Los Altos fowl festival: Tour de Coop returns for second year Sept. 14


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Tour de Coop will showcase Casey Carsten’s backyard chickens.

Approximately 1,000 people pedaled their way around the Los Altos area to meet the exuberant owners of backyard chickens during the inaugural 2012 Tour de Coop. This year’s event is shaping up to be even larger.

Scheduled 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 14, the Tour de Coop will showcase 34 chicken coops in neighborhoods on the Peninsula and in the South Bay, according to organizer Scott Vanderlip, a Los Altos Hills resident.

In addition to more backyard chicken-coop owners – and chickens – for participants to squawk about, the self-guided bicycle tour will include coop stops boasting beehives, cistern water systems, organic composting systems and backyard gardens.

After a successful launch last year, Vanderlip said expanding the tour to include different forms of urban homesteading seemed like a good complement.

“It’s amazing what you can do, how sustainable how you can be on a quarter-acre lot. … It doesn’t require acres of land to grow, to have coops and bees,” he said. “A lot of these should be pretty inspirational to other people.”

The 2013 Tour de Coop offers five routes for participants to cycle – ranging from family-friendly loops of 5-10 miles to a more challenging loop of 60 miles that runs from Menlo Park to San Jose. Although some coopsters may offer lemonade or baked goods for sale, Vanderlip encouraged participants to prepare accordingly for the ride.

Los Altos resident Casey Carsten said she is eager to share with tour participants how seamlessly her chicken coop and bees meld with her lifestyle.

A proponent of the quality, taste and appearance of fresh eggs, Carsten said she dreamed of owning chickens much of her life and finally made the leap to ownership after attending last year’s tour.

“I had this feeling that it would be always very messy and smelly,” she said. “But you just clean it up and compost and put it on the vegetable garden. … It’s a cycle. It’s kind of satisfying.”

Chicken ownership has been enlightening for Carsten and husband Jack, an avid gardener, who have discovered unexpected benefits.

Instead of ushering melon rinds, carrot tops and food trimmings down the garbage disposal or into the trash compactor, Carsten feeds them to her chickens. Her six hens deliver three to four eggs daily in shades of brown, green, blue and white, prompting wide eyes and smiles from her visiting grandchildren.

“It’s the first thing they do when they come over,” said Carsten, describing how her grandchildren flock to her coop to check on Tinkerbell and Batman – the names they gave two of the hens – and examine their nests for eggs. “They get so excited when they find them.”

For more information, visit tourdecoop.org.


Tour de Coop preview - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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