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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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Expert: Consumers should regularly check credit


Kust

The credit reports of approximately 80 percent of consumers contain errors, according to an expert who spoke at a recent Silicon Valley Association of Realtors meeting in Mountain View.

Kevin Kust, a credit specialist with Continental Credit, said that if not corrected, the errors can remain on a report for seven to 10 years and undermine the client’s credit rating. A bad credit report could jeopardize a buyer’s chances of securing a home loan, he added.

Kust advised consumers to check their credit reports periodically to ensure accuracy.

“Your credit score is your risk factor,” he said.

Many mortgage lenders use FICO, the most widely known type of credit score, to determine the interest rate, terms of the loan and whether to extend credit to a consumer. FICO credit scores range from 300 to 850, with an Excellent rating ranking 700-850; Good, 680-699; OK, 620-679; Low, 580-619; and Bad, 500-579.

Kust explained how to obtain a high score in each category, assigning percentages to importance.

• Payment history (35 percent): Maintain a positive history by paying your bills on time and correcting any inaccuracies on your credit report.

• Amounts owed (30 percent): Check your revolving credit, balance and limit ratios. Secure credit cards show a revolving debt and take the risk off banks. Pay off each card to a zero balance.

• Length of history (15 percent): Maintain old accounts because they provide you with a credit history. Closing accounts can bring down your score. Use all your credit cards occasionally so that they remain active.

• New credit and inquiries (10 percent): Applying for a lot of credit before applying for a mortgage loan could indicate financial problems. FICO allows a 45-day “shopping window” with no adverse effect on your score.

• Types of credit used (10 percent): Your score is based on the mix of different types of credit and how many total accounts you have. Don’t open new accounts just to increase the types of credit you have.

For more information, email Rose Meily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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