Mon10202014

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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The benefits of blogging: LAH student’s travel diary opens doors


Photos Courtesy of Ronda Breier
Los Altos Hills resident Corey Breier blogged about his travels abroad, including his adventures communing with camels in Morocco.

Los Altos Hills resident Corey Breier, 22, chronicled his year abroad in Barcelona on his blog, Spain WhatUp. An international studies major at UC San Diego who returned home in June, Breier used couchsurfing.org to make his way across Europe and Northern Africa. His tales of his travels and his anecdotes about adjusting to continental customs drew attention from Matador Network, an online travel magazine. Following is Breier’s account of the benefits of blogging his travel experiences.

At first I started Spain WhatUp as an easy way to keep mom updated about what I was doing, but this thing took on a life of its own. Here’s a noncomprehensive list of things this blog has done:

• Gotten me hired as a paid writer! My blog is linked to in my Twitter bio, and I think Matador Network was led to it through that window when I carelessly tweeted some such nonsense at them back in December. They liked what they saw, and now I am a regular contributor, in case you were not aware. And they pay me! (not much). You never know what will happen when you put a bit of yourself on the Internet.

• Helped Spanish speakers practice English. I know more than a few young “hispanohablantes” (Spanish speakers) who took enough of an interest in my affairs to read this blog, and it was a fantastic opportunity for them to get some real unadulterated “American.” I play fast and loose with phrases and slang they may never have encountered before, so besides normal grammar practice, it’s a street education, so to speak. Heck, I learned Spanish vocabulary reading my own words through Google Translate, so it goes both ways.

• Provided travel tips and advice to many friends. If I know someone is headed to a city I have been to, all I have to do is send them a link to the week when I was visiting there, and it usually offers a rough guide for them to get started on. I’m no expert, but I know if an attraction is good or not, which sometimes is better than the reviews from strangers on TripAdvisor. I love hearing stories from friends who went somewhere based off advice from me and the blog.

• Inspired more than one other personal travel blog. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least two blogs that were directly inspired by SpainWhatup: my friend Sarina’s in Seville, and Melissa’s in Alicante. Their work has taken on a life of its own, and it’s great to think I had a part in that.

• Served as the catalyst for helpful tips. I complained about Barcelona being all party, all the time in one post way back when, and one of my friends messaged me out of the blue afterwards to give me a stellar list of resources that helped point me to more intellectual pursuits, like TED talks and startup space in the city. I’m eternally thankful to her for that, and for a few others who gave me more attractions to see when they found my semester one Barcelona guide lacking.

• Improved my writing ability. You can see this just by reading my older posts – ouch. The more you write, the better you write, no matter what you’re writing about, that is for sure.

• Amassed 30-odd random Tumblr followers. Yes, I see you all – looks like mostly young girls who have probably found my blog from the geographical tags I put at the bottom of whichever post I wrote about their country or city. Your Tumblrs are, well, typical Tumblrs – primarily composed of wistful quotes, Pinterest-style pictures and soft erotica that is so oddly common in this corner of the Internet. I’m not sure if this is what you were expecting when you clicked on that tag, but I hope you enjoyed the ride.

Not bad for what was basically a weekly email to mom! I’d highly encourage you to start your own blog, whether or not you are traveling. And don’t just rebblog cat photos, like I did with my first Tumblr – create something of your own, even if you think your life is boring. Somebody finds it interesting. If you are traveling, you definitely should – this will be a powerful and unfailing reminder of my time in Spain forevermore. I have every single week right here, written fresh off of my mind right after it happened. Far better than my finicky memory – I’ve already found things from my September posts that I had forgotten about. So do it!

May your roads be long and meandering.

To read Breier’s blog, visit spainwhatup.tumblr.com or matadornetwork.com/author/coreybreier.

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