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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Letters to the Editor

Resident bemoans negative impacts of BCS

I am writing to express my great concerns about Bullis Charter School.

Bullis Charter School has tripled in size and can no longer accommodate what it initially intended. Now there are far too many students crowded into a tiny campus that is not built for that population. Because of this, there are very negative impacts on our small, cozy neighborhood, including:

• Massive gridlock traffic on West Portola Avenue, which affects regular nonschool commuters on San Antonio Road. It takes me at least 10 minutes to exit my driveway on West Portola, and I am always fearful that I will hit the numerous students and people milling around. In the afternoon, I am stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to get home.

• Great safety concerns for all children and adults walking or biking to school because of the heavy traffic on the roads.

• Cars taking shortcuts at great speeds through our neighborhood and posing danger to children and adults walking to school.

• Cars blocking the fire hydrants and our driveways, as well as creating problems for garbage collectors.

• Excessive car noise and pollution, thus depreciating our neighborhood value and every resident’s quality of life.

Los Altos School District Board of Trustees: Please help Bullis Charter School find its own permanent site that is not one of the existing district schools and that is in an area with an infrastructure that can deal with the insane amount of traffic generated by this commuter school.

Monique Yao

Los Altos

LASD needs to stop the circus

I am another Town Crier reader with no affiliation to either the Los Altos School District or Bullis Charter School. Several years ago, I asked the Town Crier to develop a timeline so that we could make some sense out of this ongoing saga.

The recent letter from Rajiv Bhateja of Los Altos Hills pointed out how “time and again the district has fallen on its face in court” (“Resident supports bond because of charter school,” Oct. 2). Yet the response letter from Rebecca Hayman of Los Altos states, “The charter school expects the district to bend to its demands and continues to weaken the already scarce financial educational resources by engaging in lawsuit after lawsuit” (“Letter favoring BCS deemed ‘offensive,’” Oct. 9).

Perhaps a review of the timeline is needed.

The reason the charter school was even proposed was that the district closed Bullis-Purissima School Feb. 10, 2003, and the kids of Los Altos Hills had to commute to other schools.

The parents proposed a charter school to fill their family needs at the closed school – that is why it is called Bullis Charter School. The timeline shows that the district rejected the proposal May 14, 2003.

Sept. 10, 2003, the Santa Clara County Board of Education approved the charter for Bullis Charter School, and the district has been fighting it ever since.

Bullis Charter School has to go to court to defend itself and to receive the equal facilities that a school district is required to provide under Proposition 39, passed Nov. 7, 2000.

I agree with Bhateja that this “circus has to stop.” It certainly is not a battle of what is best for the kids. It’s simply a battle of who wants to be the boss.

Bullis Charter School continues to make great progress. It is time that the district stop the circus. The district is beginning to look like the clown.

Bob Moore

Los Altos

Los Altos council backs intrusion on residents

Note: Following is an open letter to the Los Altos City Council.

A little background reading you may be interested in regarding your recent decision to subject innocent citizens of Los Altos to surreptitious surveillance.

The police department will use hidden cameras, day and night, taking photos at the rate of tens of thousands a day and sharing them (read: placed on an electronic network) with a so-called fusion center – an invention of the federal government, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency, which are paying Los Altos to implement this intrusion on innocent citizens.

You will also find information indicating how bloody naive the council was when it said it would monitor and demand limits on the data.

You have no prayer of limiting either distribution or storage longevity of the massive amount of data to be gathered. You can’t even control the collection of data on innocent private citizens. Neither can the police department do any of these things.

Do any of you read and contemplate current events beyond those concerning the “village”?

I’d welcome comments if anyone thinks this missive is inaccurate.

Bob Perdriau

Los Altos

Students can’t be forced to eat in cafeteria

After the flurry of controversy my letter to the Town Crier sparked last month, I was pleased to see that your editorial that agrees with me (“Food-truck restrictions not necessary,” Oct. 9). Notwithstanding the reaction from several other readers to my position on the subject a couple of weeks ago, my conclusion remains the same as yours.

The students are well aware of their choices in diet and the nutritional effect on their health. It’s their prerogative to eat the food they want, regardless of the National School Lunch Program. Moving or banning the food trucks won’t force the students to eat in the cafeteria.

And as I suggested in my previous letter, the only rationale your editorial saw for the food-truck ordinance, which impacts residential neighbors with noise, traffic and trash, is easily solved. Embracing the food-truck service by bringing it on campus and providing some picnic tables and trash cans would result in a safe, clean environment, with a variety of lunch choices. The school can extend invitations to gourmet food trucks that serve the most healthful foods. And it will make the students happy. What’s wrong with that?

Ron Knapp

Los Altos

Food vendors serve as ‘attractive nuisance’

I am responding to your Oct. 9 editorial, “Food-truck restrictions not necessary.”

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees is engaged in fighting childhood obesity in our community by requesting that the Los Altos City Council adopt an ordinance that prohibits mobile food vendors from parking in our residential neighborhoods. Neighbors nearest Los Altos High School strongly support such an action, as these mobile vendors serve as an attractive nuisance.

The Mountain View City Council has enacted an ordinance that accomplishes what the Los Altos City Council is being requested to do. This proposal would also restrict mobile food vendors from operating in front of our elementary and junior high school campuses.

Currently, our students are eating food from these vendors that may not be served on our campus because it is unhealthful – high in sugar, fat and salt, all contributors to childhood obesity.

For those students desiring to leave campus for lunch, our downtown is within walking distance and there are many eateries that provide nourishing and nutritious foods. Our students would be supporting our downtown merchants!

We want to keep mobile vendors away from our schools and out of our neighborhoods.

Barry Groves, Ed.D. Superintendent,

Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District

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