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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Recent events leave us all thumbs: Editorial

We’re all thumbs in the wake of Los Altos news events.

Thumbs-up: To the David and Lucile Packard Foundation for putting its money where its philosophy is. A longtime proponent of conservation and sustainability, the foundation spared no expense in building its new Los Altos headquarters at 343 Second St. As celebrated during last week’s open house, the Los Altos site is the largest building in the world to receive Net Zero Energy Building Certification. That means its functions, from solar panels to recycled water, essentially result in zero energy consumption. The building is so efficient that it actually returns unused electricity to the power grid. We appreciate the foundation’s efforts in leading by example.

Thumbs-up: To the Los Altos City Council’s decision to move forward last month with a comprehensive, goal-oriented Climate Action Plan. The plan has a goal of reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Councilwoman Megan Satterlee asked, justifiably, whether the goals were realistic given the city’s staffing shortages, which leave the city behind on numerous projects. However, having a plan with specific goals is better than having no plan at all. So the council made the right (and unanimous) decision to adopt the plan.

Thumbs-down: To recent misfortunes that have left the Los Altos-based Peninsula Symphony broke. An investigation into the nonprofit organization’s missing $500,000 is underway, so we don’t yet know how this came to be. But we do know that one of the key jobs of a board of directors of any organization is to have a firm handle on finances and strong oversight so that no one person, even a trusted executive director, has exclusive knowledge of the accounts. Apparently, the symphony board did not have a strong enough system in place.

Questionable thumbs: To the recently installed art project at the intersection of State and Fourth streets in downtown Los Altos. The project comprises a series of triangles in various colors, spray-painted atop the asphalt and even some of the grass at Community Plaza. The work previews a slew of upcoming “Project Los Altos” events planned by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. So what is it? Helipad? Traffic-calming device? Traffic hazard? Art that motorists can add to by riding over it with tire tracks? One thing’s for sure: It has people talking.

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