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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Local photojournalist graphically depicts persecution refugees face

COMM dianamatarPhotojournalist Diana Matar captures refugees in a new light.

The Los Altos native attended the Royal College of Arts in London and has worked with the Associated Press and galleries and museums worldwide. She has exhibited and published in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Matar integrates photography and testimony as she focuses on establishing a personal connection with her subjects.

Her work involves a several-part collaborative process: meeting for an entire day, creating a text from the interview and then reviewing the text with her subjects to ensure accuracy.

“Often text produced from the interviews doesn’t have the same meaning,” Matar said. “I always work with my subjects to see if it’s what they mean in that context.”

Matar’s photojournalism is unique in its aim to paint an intimate image of the individual rather than the overall issue.

“I was trying to get away from those images of black-and-white huddling masses crossing borders. I wanted to focus on someone who’s an individual with (his or her) own story and life and background,” she said. “When you’re a journalist, you’re often working on something that is a large, very important issue, and you may use individuals to illustrate that. But my real purpose was to break it down to each individual and not have it be about the issue.”

Much of Matar’s inspiration stems from her personal and universal interest in the cause of world justice. One project, “Leave to Remain,” comprising 50 photographs of refugees in the United Kingdom, is inspired by the press coverage of asylum-seekers.

“The wording of the rhetoric in the press was very problematic to me. ... I was reminded of how we use language to demonize people,” she said. “What I didn’t see were the voices of the people who were being talked about.”

Her powerful, large-scale portraits toured the House of Parliament and 10 museums in the UK.

Matar’s most personal project, a three-part series – “Disappearance,” “Evidence” and “Witness” – prompted by her father-in-law’s disappearance in Libya, portrays that nation’s day-to-day political atrocities. The second section, “Evidence, reflects how specific archaeological sites can become evidence of the missing people for whom there are no records or evidence. In “Evidence,” buildings become metaphors for a Libyan reign of terror and state-sponsored depravity. “Witness,” the third section, features photographs of trees around the world that mark the sites of the assassinations of Libyan dissidents.

“That project came about by historical events unfolding in Libya, but also by very personal events in my husband’s family and how that affected us. It was a project very close to home and very difficult to work on,” Matar said.

The project, which took five years to complete, was on display at London’s Saatchi Gallery and won acclaim from Deutsche Bank and Critical Mass.

“Photography is the way I walk through the world,” she said. “I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to do what I love.”

For more information, visit dianamatar.com.

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