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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Defendant cites SEC unfairness, inaccuracy in court case: Other Voices

My companies and I have been the subject of numerous articles in your publication over the past 15 months. I write this letter to set the record straight on a number of issues regarding the lawsuit SEC v. Small Business Capital Corp., et al.

The first issue is that the SEC indisputably used false financial illustrations throughout their lawsuit. This is not a matter of conjecture, as the SEC has admitted to using an improper formula. The SEC is the country’s foremost regulatory authority on accounting matters. Yet it managed to make “good-faith mistakes” (SEC’s term in its lawsuit pleadings) to overstate the funds’ actual distributions by 54 percent and, from there, make “Ponzi-like scheme” allegations. The allegations were used to seize $45 million of invested monies, much of this from local investors.

This is a civil lawsuit matter. However, the criminal equivalent of what the SEC has done, with its false formulas, is called “planting evidence” and creating false pretense. Additionally, the SEC falsely labeled the court-appointed receiver a “licensed CPA” in this lawsuit when he is not a CPA at all. While the rest of the business world calls such actions “fraud,” the SEC and the receiver are able to describe these matters as “good-faith mistakes.” Their actions make a mockery of the public’s trust in federal regulatory oversight.

The second issue is “bureaucratic and regulatory creep.” The subject businesses were in good standing with federal and state regulators at the time of the injunction. This includes oversight by the U.S. Small Business Administration that was involved with the investment fund’s federal licensing. Post-Bernie Madoff, the SEC tripled its enforcement actions. This includes reviewing companies that have never been advised of any need to register with the SEC and who, in fact, were already registered to issue securities under the state. Is it fair for a federal agency to suddenly apply the standards of publicly traded companies to small, nontraded private investment funds that had no prior federal regulatory oversight?

The third issue is the actions of the SEC to interfere with due process for legal representation. Both the SEC and the receiver have submitted to the court substantial numbers of false statements and material omissions. A “pro se” defendant (self-represented) faces huge obstacles in being able to conduct discovery (fact finding), and with establishing legal arguments in a format acceptable to the court. In the matter of this lawsuit, the receiver’s attorneys have, time and again, refused to provide information to the court by citing that this writer did not “cross his t’s or dot his i’s” in his requests.

Additionally, the court in its ruling stated the equivalent of “we’re not going to go through your information” to see if you have proved your point.

The court recently ruled in favor of the SEC in its request for summary judgment, which means that this lawsuit may never go to trial. This is a substantial disappointment not just to myself, but also to the scores of investment fund members who have written the court strong letters of disapproval.

More information on this lawsuit is available at markfeathers.com. An appeal was filed Aug. 29 with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the court’s summary judgment in favor of the SEC.

To read the court’s ruling in its entirety, visit this story online.

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