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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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LAH Council Briefs

Following are highlights from the Sept. 19 Los Altos Hills City Council meeting.

The next council meeting is scheduled 6 p.m. Oct. 17 at town hall, 26375 W. Fremont Road.

Town awards community service grants

After reviewing applications and statements from local nonprofit organizations, the council awarded $51,500 in Community Service Grants for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

Although 17 organizations applied for $90,158 in funding, only 14 received grants. The council voted to remove three applicants from the pool of eligible grantees: the YWCA, the Los Altos Rotary AIDS Project and the Community School of Music and Arts. During the previous grant year, the town awarded the YWCA a $1,000 grant and the AIDS Project a $2,800 grant.

Los Altos Hills renewed the grants of Friends of Deer Hollow Farm ($9,000), Hidden Villa ($9,000), the Community Health Awareness Council ($6,400), the Community Services Agency ($6,100), the American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter ($4,000), the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA ($2,300), the Rotary Club of Los Altos Art Show ($2,200), the Los Altos Mediation Program ($2,100), the Day Worker Center of Mountain View ($2,100), Joint Venture Silicon Valley ($1,800), the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce ($1,800), Next Door Solutions ($1,700) and United Way Silicon Valley ($1,600). The only new recipient, the Center for Age-Friendly Cities, received $1,400.

Mayor Gary Waldeck explained the town’s use of taxpayer funds to underwrite the grants.

“We don’t have a downtown, we don’t have a library or a number of facilities we strongly benefit from,” he said. “Some of these grants go toward making these services available to us.”

Council proposes discussion on schools conflict

When Los Altos and Los Altos Hills city councilmembers convene Oct. 23 for a joint meeting at town hall, the elephant in the room – the ongoing conflict between the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School – may get cornered. That is, if a conversation on how the councils can ameliorate the situation succeeds.

“It’s about time the two cities most affected take a stand and do something about it,” Los Altos Hills City Councilman John Radford said. “Both councils want to see something happen.”

Although Councilwoman Courtenay C. Corrigan said she was concerned that the meeting might get “hijacked by the public,” she noted that the issue connected to other big-picture questions that councilmembers could discuss.

“Why are so many students commuting across town instead of being able to walk across town?” Corrigan asked, noting that she passes by several schools when transporting her children to school.

Other items on the agenda for the joint council meeting include shared funding for a new community and senior center, the sewer agreement, sidewalk construction on West Edith Avenue between Foothill Expressway and Cypress Drive and a proposal for a crossing guard to help students safely cross Foothill at Edith.

Radford, Corrigan selected mayor, vice mayor for 2014

Members of the previous council saved the town nearly $10,000 by appointing the sole three candidates to the council in the 2012 race instead of requiring an election, but they did not anticipate the challenge the decision would present in determining mayoral succession. In the past, the number of votes an incoming councilmember received determined the order of who would serve next as mayor.

During lengthy debate at the last three meetings, the council considered shortening mayoral terms from one year to allow all five members of the council a term as mayor for a shorter length of time. Following the discussion, the council unanimously voted to maintain the existing system of four one-year terms, even if it caused one councilmember to miss an opportunity to serve as mayor. Under the current process, when Waldeck’s term ends, three other members of the council can each serve a year as mayor.

“I’m willing to compromise,” said Councilman John Harpootlian, who agreed to hedge his bets in favor of the current system even though he may not get to serve as mayor.

As the longest-serving councilmember who has not served as mayor, Radford will take the position in 2014. Councilmembers nominated Corrigan to serve as vice mayor.

– Ellie Van Houtte

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