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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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LAH Council Briefs

Following are highlights from the Aug. 15 Los Altos Hills City Council meeting.

The next council meeting is scheduled 6 p.m. Sept. 19 at town hall, 26375 W. Fremont Road.

Grant program keeps giving

The council voted 3-2 to continue support for the town’s Community Service Grants program. The council awarded $65,000 in grants for the 2012-2013 fiscal year – ranging from $800 to $10,000 – to 16 community service agencies.

In a discussion initiated by Councilwoman Courtenay C. Corrigan, who expressed concerns about the town’s role in the “business of philanthropy,” councilmembers weighed in on whether the grants were an appropriate use of funds.

“I in no way want to degrade or downplay the role and importance you play in the role of our residents – this is not what it’s about,” Corrigan told representatives of the community groups in attendance. “The problem I’m having is the fundamental problem of taking taxpayer dollars and giving them away.”

Mayor Gary Waldeck and councilmen John Radford and Rich Larsen countered that the grant program was a necessary supplement to the town’s “meat and potatoes” services like roads and sewers.

Larsen described the program as a “community resource,” adding that the health, social and community services provided by the grantees “contribute to quality of life.”

LAH joins Lehigh appeal

The council voted unanimously to add the city’s name to a Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District amicus brief that supports an appeal by an environmental group targeting the nearby Lehigh Southwest Cement Co.’s Permanente Plant.

The group, Bay Area for a Clean Environment (formerly No Toxic Air), is appealing a Superior Court ruling that upheld the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors’ decision to allow vested rights for mining at the cement quarry in February 2011.

The pending appeal contends that the county board illegally granted vested mining rights to Lehigh, allowing the expansion of mining operations on the 2,656-acre quarry without the need for additional county approval or conditional-use permits.

To build a united front, councilmembers noted that they hope to urge at least one neighboring city – Los Altos or Cupertino – to sign on to the open space district’s brief with them.

New art committee launches

The Art in Public Places Standing Committee is officially on the books as Los Altos Hills’ 13th town committee.

Following four months of discussion and planning, the council approved the addition of the committee June 20 and added it to the roster this month.

Charged with identifying potential sites for art in town and raising funds for acquisition, the committee will shepherd proposals to the council for approval.

“We love our town and just want to make it more beautiful,” said committee member Karen Druker.

Six other residents will join Druker on the committee, and Corrigan will serve as council liaison.

Zoning change eases secondary-dwelling parking

Meeting the town’s requirement for an additional parking space within property setback boundaries can be a squeeze – literally – for Los Altos Hills residents, who are already mandated to maintain a minimum of four unobstructed off-street parking spaces for their primary dwelling.

“Parking compliance and available development area are often an issue for proposed Secondary Dwelling Units,” Community Development Director Debbie Pedro wrote in a staff report to the council. “The proposed Ordinance addresses both issues directly.”

Under the Municipal Code amendment passed by the council Aug. 15, the parking space for a secondary-dwelling unit no longer needs to be unobstructed. Pedro noted that the change could reduce the amount of hardscaping needed to accommodate the secondary-dwelling-unit code.

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