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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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Voters renew annual library district tax


Town Crier File Photo
Voters last week approved renewal of a $33.66 annual tax for the Santa Clara County Library District, which includes the Los Altos main, left, and Woodland libraries.

A mail-in ballot measure to renew a Santa Clara County Library District tax overwhelmingly passed last week. Needing two-thirds approval, Measure A received 81 percent of the vote.

More than 48,000 residents in 267 precincts within the library district voted in favor of the renewal Aug. 27, which extends for 20 years an annual $33.66 tax per single-family home. Specific voting results for Los Altos and Los Altos Hills were not available by the Town Crier’s press deadline.

In late June, the Los Altos City Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution supporting the measure, five days after a similar symbolic vote – also unanimous – by the Los Altos Hills City Council.

“(The vote) shows that all the people who use the library system throughout the county appreciate what we have,” said Los Altos City Councilwoman Jan Pepper, the council’s representative on the library district’s Joint Powers Authority Board.

Los Altos librarian Jane Cronkhite added that the favorable vote was a crucial step in the library district’s ability to maintain its level of service.

“I think we have excellent services at the library, and I’m just happy we’ll have them for another 20 years,” Cronkhite said. “I’m just really grateful to the community.”

Cronkhite delivered a presentation to the city council in June outlining the effects on the district library system if the measure failed to meet its two-thirds benchmark for renewal. Among other things, Cronkhite noted at that time, some libraries would have been forced to reduce staff and hours of operation, while also facing the possibility of eliminating the district’s book mobile and youth reading programs.

In addition, Cronkhite said at the time, all Measure A tax dollars raised within a particular city are “returned for the benefit and operation of the local library in that city.”

Locally, Cronkhite added, the loss of Measure A funding would have eliminated offerings like the library’s summer reading program, which had more than 1,000 participants – children and adults – this year.

“Those are the types of things that keep people reading and keep families reading together,” she said, noting that the annual tax funds approximately 18 percent of the library district’s annual budget.

Los Altos Library Commissioner Darwin Poulos, also a member of Friends of the Library of Los Altos and Community, told the Town Crier that the library group was confident the measure would pass the test with Los Altos and Los Altos Hills voters.

“There was no genuine concern at all about Los Altos and Los Altos Hills – we knew (local voters) would pass this,” he said. “Our concern was with some of the other communities in the district, who maybe saw this as another tax. That’s why it was important to stress to voters that this was just a renewal.”

Pepper concluded that the vote showed that residents consider the library system a boon for their communities, noting that “it’s great that we get to maintain what we have here.”

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