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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LA grad Johnson makes MLB debut


Erica Caldwell/Charlotte Knights
Erik Johnson pitches for the Charlotte Knights approximately a month before his Major League call-up. He made his first start with the Chicago White Sox Sept. 4.

Just hours before making his Major League Baseball debut Sept. 4 at Yankee Stadium, Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Erik Johnson reached out to someone who could relate to the thoughts racing through his mind.

The 23-year-old called his coach at Los Altos High, Sandy Wihtol, a former pitcher with the Cleveland Indians who made his MLB debut on almost the same day 34 years earlier.

“I shared with him my experiences,” said Wihtol, whose initial big-league appearance came in relief against the Toronto Blue Jays Sept. 7, 1979. “I told him, ‘It’s just another game – it just happens to be your first – and you’re going to have plenty more games at that level.”

Johnson’s first start wasn’t an easy one – up against a playoff-contending team with a lethal lineup – and he took the loss in a 6-5 decision.

The big righty surrendered five runs, only three of them earned, and seven hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out one.

“It’s a real tough lineup they have over there,” Johnson said of the Yankees in a postgame video interview featured on the Chicago Tribune website. “I thought I could have done a little better job, but overall, I thought it was a good one to start with.”

After getting the first two batters he faced to ground out, Johnson gave up a home run to Robinson Cano. Two walks and a hit followed, but Johnson escaped the bases-loaded jam by striking out Ichiro Suzuki.

The 2008 Los Altos High graduate kept the Yankees in check the next two innings, and the last-place White Sox entered the fourth in a 1-all tie. But by the time the inning ended, Chicago trailed by five runs.

After giving up a leadoff single to Alex Rodriguez, Johnson committed a throwing error that enabled Suzuki to reach first base safely. Lyle Overbay followed with an RBI double and Brett Gardner drilled a triple that scored two more. Cano’s infield single then brought Gardner home.

Johnson settled down in the fifth and tossed a scoreless sixth as well before giving way to fellow rookie Daniel Webb.

Johnson’s family was in the stands to see his every pitch.

“I am happy that my son has achieved a dream of his,” father Roy Johnson said. “I might have preferred his first game not be against so many (future) Hall of Famers, but I am sure he loved it.”

Wihtol wanted to be there, too, but he was on his way to Arizona to play in a golf tournament with friends from high school.

“I’ll get out to Chicago to see him,” Wihtol said. “I’m really proud of him. It’s wonderful to have a guy from the community with so much talent who is so humble and has worked so hard to get where he’s at.”

Johnson, a 2011 second-round pick out of Cal, started this season at Double-A Birmingham and was promoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June.

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