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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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Clef Hangers bring the joy of song: Los Altos resident leads choir on quest to coax smiles


Courtesy of Carol Park
The Peninsula Clef Hangers are set to embark on another season of entertaining local seniors.

The Peninsula Clef Hangers, a women’s chorus of approximately 40 volunteers, perform to bring smiles to the faces of seniors during their December and April holiday concerts at retirement facilities and nursing homes in the Los Altos area.

Directed by Los Altos resident Joan Sprague since 1991, the Peninsula Clef Hangers will soon restart rehearsals and are recruiting new members. Members must be available for Tuesday evening rehearsals in Menlo Park. No prior choral experience or audition is necessary.

The choir was formed 40 years ago when a group of community volunteers wanted to bring entertainment and holiday joy to the senior community. Some chorus members are musically trained, some are not. The group rehearses for 10 weeks between September and December, performs approximately 15 concerts in two weeks and then breaks before renewing practice for the April concert series. Each concert season finishes with a party, and the singers gather for several potluck suppers during their May to September vacation.

Members of the choir sing its praises.

During a performance of Christmas tunes at a convalescent home, a silent resident (due to a stroke) began singing along. When tears rolled down his cheeks, his wife cried with joy, said Los Altos soprano Helene Hills. In another instance, a comatose senior started tapping her feet.

The choral performances trigger profound emotion in the singers as well as their audiences.

“It’s a feel-good thing to go and sing for our audiences,” said alto Margo Harris, a Los Altos resident. “A lot of the seniors don’t have family or anyone visiting them. The music talks to them.”

Another Los Altos choir member, Mary Ann Balkenhol, recalled that musical performances were the highlight of her mother’s days at an assisted-living facility.

Balkenhol said joining the Peninsula Clef Hangers has helped her handle loneliness and sadness. After her husband died, she realized that she needed to expand her world.

“Though I have only an average voice, I love to sing,” she said. “I saw the information about the Clef Hangers in the Town Crier and decided to give it a try. I like filling one evening a week – the time I feel most lonely. I particularly like the fact that the commitment is not so all-encompassing as to make me feel guilty if I miss a rehearsal or performance. I enjoy our potlucks and the socializing before choir begins.”

For more information, call Teri Waldman at 964-9127, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit home.comcast.net/~zbyte/clefhangers.html.

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