Sun10192014

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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Jennings faces challenges as Owls’ new coach


Short on players and time, Richard T.J. Jennings has a tall task ahead of him coaching the Foothill College women’s basketball team.

When he began his one-year temporary assignment Sept. 27, Jennings had only six players and eight weeks to prepare the Owls for their season opener.

If that wasn’t daunting enough, Jennings has some supersized shoes to fill. He’s taking over for the most successful coach in the program’s history, Jody Craig, who was granted a one-year leave of absence in June and is now an assistant coach at Concordia University in Irvine.

“Replacing someone as successful as Jody is going to be very difficult, especially without the ability to practice as a team over the summer and play in a couple of summer showcases,” said Jennings, head coach of the Porterville College men’s basketball team the past four seasons. “We will implement a new system in a short amount of time that will allow us to focus on the strengths of the players that we have.”

The 31-year-old expects to have more players by the start of the season – his goal is to increase the roster to 10 – and he made progress last week.

“I was able to get some commitments from some girls playing other sports, so I would say we are up to eight,” Jennings said.

Forward Margaret Sun is the lone returnee from a squad that last season went undefeated in the Coast Conference North Division and 25-5 overall but was banned from the playoffs due to an enrollment violation.

With so much turnover, the Owls surely won’t be favored to win the division, though Jennings holds out hope that they can repeat the feat.

“It will not be easy, but I believe it is possible,” the Oakland native said. “Every time we step on the court, the goal is to win each play, each half and each game. If we play team basketball, limit our turnovers and rebound the basketball, we will have a chance to compete for a title.”

Jennings was voted Central Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 2012 after leading Porterville to its first winning season in more than a decade. Prior to coaching the Pirates, Jennings was the lead assistant for the Reedley College women’s basketball team for two seasons. He began his coaching career in 2004 at Fresno Pacific University, where he was the lead assistant for the women’s team.

“I would like to think that I am a players’ coach,” said Jennings, who played basketball at Fresno Pacific and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees there. “I want the players to be able to learn the game so that they are able to make smart decisions and adjustments when necessary.”

In a press release announcing Jennings’ hiring, Foothill athletic director Susan Gutkind said the coach “has hit the ground running and already impressed us with his immediate contributions to the women’s program. Our team is building its momentum in anticipation of its first game at the Merced Tournament Nov. 21-23. I’m excited that this season our players will experience Jennings’ strong commitment and ability to help them stay motivated in their classes and on the court.”

Although Jennings was hired for only one year, he could remain at Foothill longer than that if Craig chooses not to return; she told the Town Crier in July that she would “never again set foot on the Foothill campus” with Gutkind as athletic director. But Jennings would have to reapply for the full-time job – which includes teaching physical education and kinesiology courses – next year.

“I would like to return as head coach beyond this season and build on the legacy Jody has built here at Foothill College,” said Jennings, who is relocating his family from Hanford. “Foothill College has welcomed me with open arms and I love the area, the people and the support for women’s basketball.”

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