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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Mother-daughter duos flourish through National Charity League community service


Courtesy of Jean Ikeda
The National Charity League’s Stanford Hills Chapter, above, has grown from 22 girls and their mothers in 1987 to more than 150 mother-daughter pairs from Los Altos and surrounding areas.

Some consider volunteering a sporadic weekend activity, but for local mothers and daughters involved in the National Charity League’s Stanford Hills Chapter, service is a long-term commitment with a clear intention.

“I would hate to see what my children’s lives would be like if they weren’t in situations where they had to dig deep inside themselves and give back and miss something every now and again,” said Los Altos resident Lisa Carmel, reflecting on the organization’s impact on her two daughters.

When Carmel heard about the National Charity League – an invitation-only nonprofit group that fosters mother-daughter relationships via philanthropy, community service, leadership training and cultural engagement – she was immediately drawn by the opportunity to spend more time with her daughters. The time spent together during activities was a finite resource that she came to appreciate as her girls gained independence in high school and left home for college.

One of 154 chapters nationwide, the Stanford Hills Chapter has grown from 22 local mother-daughter pairs in 1987 to more than 150 pairs today.

Once sponsored by a member and selected by lottery for induction in the organization as sixth-graders, the girls, known as Ticktockers, and their mothers make a commitment to serve in rotating leadership roles and fulfill at least 15 hours of community service annually over the course of the six-year program, which ends when the girls graduate from high school.

Chapter president Jean Ikeda, a Los Altos resident, has two daughters involved in the National Charity League. She noted that the organization’s three pillars – leadership, culture and philanthropy – seamlessly build on one another. Whether supporting the work of national nonprofits or community organizations including The Terraces at Los Altos, the Community Service Agency, Hidden Villa and the Ecumenical Hunger Program, according to Ikeda, mothers and daughters learn that service intrinsically develops character and values.

“NCL has opened my eyes to the poverty and need in my own community,” said Ikeda’s youngest daughter, Krissy, who is in her third year of the program. “I have had experiences that have enabled me to realize how much I can help other people.”

Kristin Link is another Los Altos mother who saw the National Charity League as a tool for instilling a lifelong habit of giving.

“When you live a privileged life, you give back, period,” Link said.

Link added that reading about the underserved in the newspaper is different from coming “eyeball to eyeball” with someone who needs a meal. Participation in the National Charity League offers her and her daughter face-to-face opportunities at shelters and seniors centers.

Despite the normal teenage resistance to waking up early on a Saturday or missing movies with friends because of the service projects, Carmel, Ikeda and Link agreed that the National Charity League experience encouraged their daughters to be more thoughtful and socially responsible.

“It’s fun to see the kids become teenagers and begin driving, to see them embrace it on their own and commit to giving back without you,” Carmel said.

Carmel added that older daughter, now a freshman in college, is evaluating sororities based on how much service they incorporate in their identities – a clear reflection of the mark the organization leaves on participants.

For more information, visit stanfordhillsncl.org.

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