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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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Letters to the Editor

API article deemed ‘biased reporting’

As I understand it, the Town Crier’s editorial goal is to help the community resolve differences between the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School.

If the Town Crier truly wants to help bring the schools community together, then your staff writer should be oriented to that objective. Biased reporting is not helping in pursuit of that goal.

Upon first reading of Traci Newell’s reporting the 2013 Academic Performance Index results (“Schools keep top rankings despite dip in test scores,” Sept. 4), in paragraph 2, it looks like the district is No. 4 and the charter school No. 14.

Instead, in Newell’s coverage, one would believe that the district placed fourth in the state, and Bullis Charter School ranked as the 14th-highest-scoring elementary school on the 2013 API. Huh?

Why not try to accurately reflect up-front top-performing Bullis Charter School?

Only after reading the entire article did the truth and accuracy finally emerge from paragraph 11: “Bullis Charter School was the top-scoring school in Los Altos, fifth in Santa Clara County and 14th in the state with a score of 989, a five-point decline from last year. In addition to earning the highest-ranking API score in Los Altos, the school is the top-performing charter school in the state.”

If the Town Crier’s goal is to be realized, it’s time to stop the biased reporting and give credit where credit is due. It wouldn’t hurt to start by recognizing that Bullis Charter School is a jewel in the community.

Duffy Price

Los Altos Hills

Editor’s note: The article on API scores chronicled local schools’ scores and how they ranked on the state level. Our reporter mentioned the Los Altos School District’s and Bullis Charter School’s rankings in the same paragraph as a broader statement about schools in the community – with further details later in the story.

Reporting choices are never simple when it comes to covering the local schools debate – and almost guaranteed to draw criticism from one or both sides.

Want a bond measure? Stop the lawsuits

I am puzzled by the Bullis Charter School leadership. Do they really believe that Los Altos School District residents will pass a bond measure that benefits them when they have five outstanding lawsuits against those very same residents?

Realistically, I just can’t see that happening. Last year, a survey showed only lukewarm support for a bond measure, and when respondents were told that the bond measure might benefit Bullis, support dropped even further.

So, what to do? For starters, ending the lawsuits immediately might help. Voters in June 2014 (I believe that’s the earliest a bond measure could be placed on the ballot) would have had only nine months in which to forget the lawsuits – and nine months might not be enough time.

Ending the lawsuits would free up however much the charter school pays its attorneys annually ($1 million? $2 million? More?). Bullis Charter School could then offer this for a site in the spirit of cooperation and sharing. (Note that other charter schools in California have bought and constructed their own facilities entirely out of their own pocket, completely eliminating any district involvement.)

Absent dropping the lawsuits and absent a substantial contribution toward a new school for Bullis, I don’t see any chance that a bond measure would pass.

Vladimir G. Ivanovic

Los Altos

Mountain View growing too much

The Mountain View City Council has thrown a bomb on local residents. The bomb has exploded with shrapnel in the form of:

• Encouraging and making way for developers to build high-rise apartments and businesses with no forethought on its real future impact to our city.

• Forcing small businesses out of business.

• Approving substantially reduced required parking for the new structures.

• Failing to provide adequate parking in the downtown area.

• Creating congestion through the narrowing of El Camino Real and Castro Street to force Mountain View residents to ride bicycles.

• “Manhattanizing” Mountain View by creating canyons of buildings throughout the city.

And the list goes on.

Sadly, all of these problems apply not only to Mountain View, but also to the entire Peninsula.

Please answer these questions:

• How will people grocery shop on bicycles or get to doctors appointments without cars? How will people with disabilities get around? We have no viable public transportation. Valley Transportation Authority is not the answer. We would need a reliable, extensive and inexpensive mode of public transportation in place before and if this development is forced through.

• Why are city governments allowing the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) to continue this insane onslaught of development? Why aren’t they fighting ABAG’s so-called requirements? Why is there a push to make Mountain View and the Bay Area like Manhattan?

What we can learn from looking at these huge cities is that fast-track building with no forethought to real future impact does not work.

Psychological studies have proven over and over that when more people are stuffed into a limited space, the results are more violent crimes, a decline in overall health and an increase in the already great divide between rich and poor.

Why do you want to create this in Mountain View and on the Peninsula? This is neither green nor sustainable.

Denise Pinto

Mountain View

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