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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Remembering the mysterious Tom Clancy

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p>As you may know, popular and respected author Tom Clancy died recently at age 66. I confess, I have not read his books, but I have really enjoyed the movies based on his books, including, “The Hunt for Red October” (1990), “Patriot Games” (1992) and “Clear and Present Danger” (1994).

Clancy was deep into technology, military tactics and geopolitical maneuvering – things best shown to me on the big screen rather than recounted in detailed writing. (I would just glaze over, thrilling as it is.) His final book, “Command Authority” (Penguin Books, 2013) is due out in December.

I especially related to Clancy because he wasn’t a best-selling writer from the get-go. In fact, for a while, like myself, he was an insurance salesman. He wrote “The Hunt for Red October” (Naval Institute Press, 1984) in his spare time and sold it to a publisher for $5,000. The story goes that he had hoped to sell 5,000 copies and was thrilled when it sold 45,000 copies. And then it gets really good. President Ronald Reagan picked up a copy and called it “my kind of yarn,” which sent sales through the roof. (I hope he had a good royalties clause written into that book contract!)

There are still a few outstanding mysteries in Clancy’s backstory that will probably be recounted in due time. Where did he get all that intricate military knowledge? The Naval Institute Press had to cut 100 pages of technology from his first book. He joined the Army Officer Training Corp but was ultimately unable to serve because of his nearsightedness.

Following his initial literary success, he developed friends in high military places, but, frankly, I try not to picture them giving him sophisticated, detailed military information. Maybe he had a mole. OK, that’s just me being jealous of his brilliance. Forget I said that.

And then there is the mystery of his rather sudden death and the secrecy surrounding the cause. His adoring public doesn’t technically need to know the cause, but reassurance that he wasn’t murdered for his conservative political views might help those of a like mind sleep a little better. What if he himself became “a clear and present danger?” Now I’m scaring myself. (I’m done with the Internet on that topic.)

On a lighter note, did you know that quite a few famous people (that we know of) started out in the insurance industry? To name a few, television producer Mark Burnett once worked in an insurance office. Anne Rice, the queen of vampire literature, including her novel “Interview with the Vampire” (Ballantine, 1997), worked as an insurance claims processor before writing her first best-seller. Harland “Colonel” Sanders’ was also once a very successful insurance salesman. Olympian Bruce Jenner held a job selling insurance outside of training hours, which supported him in the years prior to winning at the Olympics.

I’m just saying ... it’s comforting to know that sometimes really talented people have to straddle two worlds to become famous in one. Salespeople everywhere, take heart! Make your quota early and then devote yourself to your passion. When Plan A doesn’t work out, it’s good to have Plan A/B in place.

Sharon Lennox-Infante is a Certified Life Coach who lives and works in Los Altos. For more information, visit SharonLennox.com.

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