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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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Local college student blends filmmaking with service


Courtesy of Apala Egan
Los Altos resident Hannah Hansen volunteers as a running coach for elementary school girls and helps the disabled through involvement with Abilities United.

The service bug bit Los Altos resident Hannah Hansen in middle school.

Hansen, a recent high school graduate who now attends Brigham Young University, volunteered at a number of local philanthropies through the National Charity League, a mother-daughter service organization. At the Ronald McDonald House, she organized birthday parties for sick patients and their families, which whetted her appetite for further service work with children.

More recently, Hansen has volunteered with Girls on the Run, a physical activity-based development program for girls in third to sixth grades. As a running coach, she regularly taught lessons about health and self-esteem. Approximately twice a week, Hansen helped train the girls for a 5K race held every May.

“The media is not always kind to girls,” she said. “It is important for them to develop positive thinking.”

This year Hansen volunteered at the nonprofit Abilities United, a place where developmentally disabled children and adults learn skills that help them integrate into society. She worked with young people in an after-school program, helping those with Down syndrome or on the autism spectrum.

“It was probably the first time that I came in direct contact with autistic children,” she said.

Hansen didn’t stop there – she made a documentary film addressing special-needs youth. She and classmate Nikki Kashani produced the film, “The Path to Integration.” It was shown at the Palo Alto International Film Festival and the Bay Area Social Issues Documentary Film Contest in San Jose, which awarded them second place.

“Babies and toddlers generally have early-intervention programs, but nobody hears about teens and preteens,” she said. “You really see a lot of people 8 to 19 with special needs. They are our peers and I can relate to them. They are the lost demographic.”

Trained staff members and volunteers work with the youth, but funding to hire skilled professionals is an ongoing challenge.

“If budgets are cut, then certain programs can no longer be offered and there is danger of a child regressing,” she said.

When she is not occupied with service or schoolwork, Hansen enjoys playing the piano and violin. At BYU, she plans to pursue her passions of film, photography and communications – and service.

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