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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Letters to the Editor

Show appreciation for Roy and Penny Lave

In the past few years, I joined a long list of people who have had the pleasure of working with Roy and Penny Lave – first on the Investment Committee of the Los Altos Community Foundation and then in the LEAD program, organized by the foundation.

The Town Crier’s Aug. 21 interview with the Laves (“Roy and Penny Lave reminisce about 50 years in Los Altos”) told me more about both Penny and Roy’s history. Having known them only recently, I especially enjoyed the picture of Roy on the city council in the 1970s – love the facial hair, Roy!

I encourage readers to show their appreciation for the Laves by visiting the foundation’s website at losaltoscf.org, by donating in their honor and/or by signing up to attend the foundation’s gala Sept. 9.

Amy Pearl Parodi

Los Altos

Commute times longer on San Antonio Road

In the Aug. 21 Town Crier, an article states: “High-density apartments are under consideration for the 420 San Antonio Road and 2580 California St. properties” (“San Antonio area headed for trouble?”).

How do we stop this?

I live off Los Altos Avenue and it is gridlock around school hours from parents who don’t want their kids to cross El Camino Real as it is. I can imagine how horrible the traffic will become when couples move into these new apartments, have kids and send them to Santa Rita and Egan Junior High schools.

Mountain View should not be allowed to add a single new housing unit until the city has a school on the other side of El Camino for the kids, so traffic can return somewhat to what it was before all the new building began.

San Antonio Road is gridlocked during commute times. When I moved here 19 years ago, it took six minutes to drive to Highway 101 in the morning from my house. If I left before 7 a.m., I could drive to work (Hewlett-Packard in San Jose on Trimble Road at First Street) in 12 minutes. These days, it is a 12-minute trip from my house to 101 during noncommute times (between 2 and 3 p.m.).

I feel that politicians are selling off our quality of life to developers in exchange for campaign funds. The subsequent zoning variances allow the developers to get rich packing people in like sardines.

Kirk Lindstrom

Los Altos

Reader lauds wisdom of TC columnist

While I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting her in person, I feel that I know a lot about Jackie Madden Haugh through her fabulous columns in the Town Crier.

To be completely honest, when I open the paper each week, her column – “Haugh About That?” – is the first thing I look to read. Her writing style is natural, somewhat whimsical and always enjoyable. She tastefully blends the human element with a touching and meaningful close.

No, God makes no mistakes (to quote her father in her last column), and He certainly made no mistake leading her to inspire our community with her wise words.

Jean Hephinger

Los Altos

Speed-limit rule a reasonable guideline

I noticed in an Aug. 21 Town Crier article (“Slow down: LA City Council rejects proposed speed-limit increases”) that Los Altos City Councilwoman Val Carpenter characterized the state’s 85 percent rule as “the real villain,” a policy that “lets the fastest drivers set the speed limits.”

I think a closer look at the 85 percent rule might be in order to avoid misconceptions.

The 85 percent rule has been used by California and communities all over the world for nearly 50 years as a useful tool to determine safe speeds. Far from letting the fastest drivers set the speed limit, the 85 percent rule effectively lets the large majority set the limit, which strikes me as a very reasonable guideline. Research has shown that accidents tend to go up when speed limits are set below the 85 percent rule.

Gary Brauch

Los Altos Hills

Paint disposal proves complicated

Have you ever tried to dispose of two half-gallons of used, oil-based paint legally? Here are the results of my attempt.

First, I asked an employee of our garbage company, who told me to set it next to our garbage tote on the day the regular trash is collected. On trash pickup day, the driver did not take the cans. He told me that they pick up water-based paint, not oil-based paint.

I would need to drive from Los Altos to the Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Station in Sunnyvale. There are two stations near that location. I have used one of them before, so I decided to leave the two paint cans there.

The lady in charge was smiling as I lifted out the two cans of paint. She said, “Stop right there, we don’t accept oil-based paint. You need to go about two blocks farther down the road, where there is a big sign: “Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Station.”

So I got back in my car to travel the two blocks on Carl Road. When I arrived, I was informed that they only accept hazardous materials on the third Saturday of each month. I couldn’t believe it.

What a day! Sometimes it is difficult trying to be a good citizen.

Donald M. Rauch

Los Altos

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