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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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City prepares mobile food vendor ordinance


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council directed staff to draft an ordinance that would restrict food trucks in residential areas, including the Los Altos High School neighborhood.

Los Altos High students may soon need to find a new way to get their fill of food-truck menu items.

The Los Altos City Council last week directed City Attorney Jolie Houston to research and prepare a draft ordinance that would limit the presence of mobile food vendors in residential areas of the city. The move comes after the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District (MVLA) and some residents sought the city’s assistance in limiting the presence of mobile food vendors at lunch near Los Altos High.

As previously reported by the Town Crier, MVLA Superintendent Barry Groves outlined his request in an email, telling the council that the vendors offer Los Altos High students unhealthful menu items compared to the offerings found at the school cafeteria.

At the time, Groves said the district stands to lose approximately $40,000 in food sales annually because of the food trucks. He added that the city of Mountain View passed an ordinance last year banning food trucks on the public right-of-way within 100 feet from schools.

MVLA Associate Superintendent Laura Stefanski told the council last week that the food trucks near Los Altos High School offer foods not available on campus since the passage of California Senate Bill 12 in 2005. The bill set limits on the amount of fat, saturated fat, sugar and calories in foods sold by state K-12 public schools. Instead of patronizing the trucks, she suggested, students should seek food alternatives near campus.

“For those students desiring to leave campus for lunch, our downtown here in Los Altos is within walking distance, and there are many eateries which do provide nourishing and healthy foods,” said Stefanski, who noted that the district is aiming to combat childhood obesity with the ban as well.

Several residents near Los Altos High told the council that the presence of the food vendors can lead to pollution and noise problems in their neighborhood. Among them was Jardin Drive resident John Wagner, who informed the council that students line up daily to get their “quota of grease” near his home. Often, he added, students will leave trash behind on the street and in residents’ yards.

“We have problems here – this is a residential neighborhood,” he said. “Things zoned residential should not allow commercial operations – be they fixed or on wheels.”

Prior to the council’s direction to draft the ordinance, Councilwoman Val Carpenter said she was sensitive to the residents’ concerns. Still, she questioned the effectiveness of any ordinance that prohibits mobile vendors within a certain distance from a school.

“If our students are capable of walking whatever it is – half a mile or a mile – to downtown, they’re probably capable of walking in a different direction to find where the mobile food truck is,” she noted, while adding that the ordinance should apply to all of the city’s schools.

With other pressing city issues to tackle, Houston told the council that the ordinance would likely take two to three months to research and prepare. She added that it would require initial review from the Planning and Transportation Commission, as well as the Los Altos Police Department, before returning to the council for final approval.

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