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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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Simitian discusses bad timing in Los Altos Rotary Club presentation


Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian described his political career as “bad timing all around” in an Aug. 29 appearance at the Rotary Club of Los Altos.

Simitian faced a number of challenges during his previous term on the Board of Supervisors, 1997-2000; as assemblyman for the 21st District, 2000-2004; and as state senator for the 11th District, 2004-2012.

His examples of “bad timing” included serving during the state’s energy crisis, budget crisis and recall of former Gov. Gray Davis. To top it off, in his first six weeks in Sacramento, a driver crashed his truck into the State Capitol building, setting it ablaze.

Once again elected to the Board of Supervisors last November, Simitian and fellow supervisors must address the potential imminent bankruptcy of the ambulance company that serves the area and the possibility its collapse could endanger reliable response to 911 calls.

“Nevertheless,” Simitian joked, “it’s great to be home.”

Simitian summarized his three primary areas of responsibility on the county board: safeguarding the fiscal strength and stability of local government; preparing county residents for the Affordable Care Act’s Oct. 1 enrollment and Jan. 1 operation dates; and solving problems in the 10 cities he represents.

In determining priorities, Simitian said he asks himself, “Does it make a difference in the daily lives of the people I represent?”

According to Simitian, local problems include homelessness, transportation, education, elder abuse, highway safety and prison realignment, a plan that would transfer many state prisoners to county jails.

During a question and answer session, an audience member raised the state’s challenge in funding $1.8 billion in state employees’ pensions and health care. Simitian agreed that unfunded liabilities might be the county’s most pressing problem.

To address the pension problem, Simitian said the Board of Supervisors recently voted to move $100 million from reserves to the CalPERS Employers’ Retiree Benefits Trust to generate a 7.5 percent return rate. In addition, 60 percent of new redevelopment funding will be applied to unfunded liabilities. Simitian said San Francisco lawmakers tackled a similar problem a few years ago in a collaborative way and suggested that Santa Clara County take the same approach.

Marlene Cowan is a member of the Rotary Club of Los Altos.

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