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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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Food fight ahead?: City council asked to consider ban on mobile vendors near Los Altos High


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up at a food truck parked on the back side of Los Altos High School last week.

Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Superintendent Barry Groves is seeking the city’s assistance in changing the dietary choices made by some of his students.

Groves is asking the Los Altos City Council to consider creating a city ordinance that would ban mobile food vendors on the city’s residential streets. The council was slated to discuss the matter at its Tuesday meeting – past the Town Crier’s press deadline.

Groves outlined a request to discuss the matter in an email to the council last week, noting that some food trucks parked near Los Altos High School serve unhealthful menu items at lunch.

“Currently, our students are eating food from these vendors that cannot be served on our campus because it is unhealthy – high in sugar, fat and salt, all contributors to childhood obesity,” said Groves, noting that his concern was shared by some residents living near Los Altos High.

Restrictions for food trucks?

Groves told the Town Crier that food trucks can be found daily near the school’s tennis court along Jardin Drive. He added that mobile food vendors’ presence near the campus increased when the school boosted its healthful food options.

However, unlike the popular gourmet food truck trend often seen in metropolitan areas, the mobile vendors near the high school sell items to students that can’t be found on campus – candy bars, sugary sodas, quesadillas and more. Groves said he would rather see students who leave campus for lunch patronize downtown businesses.

NEWS FoodTrucksLAHS MB2A6108
Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Healthy or not?  Scool district administrators think that food truck items like quesadillas are unhealthy.

“Some of the choices within walking distance (downtown) offer healthier choices, whereas the mobile food vendors offer none,” he said, adding that the district stands to lose approximately $40,000 in school lunch revenue annually because of the mobile food vendors’ presence near campus.

Groves said he hopes the city will consider an ordinance similar to one passed earlier this year by the city of Mountain View. The Mountain View ordinance prohibits mobile vendors on certain roadways, including portions of Castro and Dana streets. The ordinance also contains a distance restriction requiring mobile vendors on the public right-of-way to stay 100 feet from school boundaries.

Stemming the rise in obesity

Groves added that school districts throughout California are now offering healthful food items as a means to quell a rise in childhood obesity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the percentage of obese adolescents ages 12-19 in the U.S. more than tripled – from 5 to 18 percent – between 1980 and 2010. In addition, a 2011 national Youth Risk Behavior study found that 13 percent of high school students nationwide were considered obese by CDC standards.

“One thing we do know is that if students are overweight and make bad (dietary) choices during their formative years, they’ll continue to make those same choices later in life,” said Groves, who conceded that convincing students to adopt healthier eating habits can be an uphill battle at times.

Still, Groves said vending machines on the Los Altos High campus no longer contain sodas and offer food items like baked potato chips as alternatives. While the campus does serve more teen-friendly items such as pizza, all foods sold on campus must meet or exceed federal and state nutrition standards, he added.

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