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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Housing recovery expected to continue in 2014

The state’s housing market will continue to improve in 2014, with sales shifting toward primary home buyers and both sales and home prices posting further gains, according to a recent California Association of Realtors (CAR) “2014 California Housing Market Forecast.”

The forecast expects sales to rise 3.2 percent next year to reach 444,000 units, up from the projected 2013 sales figure of 430,300 homes sold. Sales in 2013 will be down 2.1 percent from the 439,400 existing, single-family homes sold in 2012.

“As the economy enters the fourth year of a modest recovery, we expect to see a strong demand for homeownership, as buyers who may have been competing with investors and facing an extreme shortage of available housing return from the sidelines,” said CAR President Don Faught. 

CAR Vice President and Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young, who delivered the forecast last week at the California Realtor Expo 2013 in Long Beach, projected a growth in the U.S. Gross Domestic Product of 2.8 percent in 2014, after a projected gain of 1.8 percent this year. 

She described growth this year as being moderate, but consistently positive. She indicated the country needs at least a 3 percent growth rate to be on the road to full recovery.

With nonfarm job growth of 1.9 percent in California, the state’s unemployment rate should decrease to 8.3 percent in 2014, down from 9 percent in 2013 and 10.5 percent in 2012.

The average for 30-year fixed mortgage interest rates will rise to 5.3 percent, but will still remain at historically low levels.

The California median home price is forecast to increase 6 percent to $432,800 in 2014, following a projected 28-percent increase in 2013 to $408,600.

Appleton-Young noted that 2014 will see “a continuation of slow recovery and continued strength in the housing sector.”

She added that the housing sector has been the “engine of growth” for the economy.

Wild cards for 2014 include federal, fiscal, monetary and housing policies – such as the mortgage interest deduction and mortgage finance reform – as well as housing supply and the actions of the Federal Reserve, which will ensure a higher rate environment.

The Silicon Valley Association of Realtors provided information for this article. 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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