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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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Letters to the Editor

Hoping it will all wash away

When the distracting colors appeared at the intersection of Fourth and State streets, I was dazzled by the bright colors which made my progress crossing Fourth and State streets hazardous because I could no longer clearly see curbs and a safe way to go.

I guess walking downtown may become even more difficult when the remaining five installations for “Project Los Altos” are complete. Painting over grass with royal-blue paint is disgusting. I just hope it will all wash away when the rains come.

Ruth Buneman

Los Altos

Stop signs needed, not paint

I may be one of the few people that doesn’t get all warm and fuzzy about the “Project Los Altos” painted intersection at State and Fourth. I want the Town Crier to give us the full inside detail as to who OK’d this project and where the money is coming from.

I would rather see my tax dollars spent on installing two stop signs at Main and Second streets, making it a four-way stop intersection.

This will create a safer pedestrian crossing as well as a better car crossing.

Bob Jones

Los Altos

What does school choice mean to you?

What does “School Choice” mean to you? When I first heard this term, I thought, “That sounds good, I like ‘Choice.’” But what does it really mean?

One thing that we know it means is “Cost.” We can’t have “Choice” without incurring some “Cost.” Anyone who argues otherwise is just trying to mislead us – or sell us on their choice. So, if “School Choice” costs more, is it still a good thing?

If all of our children were receiving a good education and our government had enough money to furnish educational choice, that would be wonderful. But, guess what? All of our children are not receiving a good education. Some of our children are receiving an excellent education – i.e., everyone in Los Altos public schools and some of our children are receiving a poor education (some areas of San Jose, Oakland and many other districts throughout the country).

So, the question really is: Where are our government dollars best spent? Offering choice to the wealthiest students or helping the students who don’t have a good public option?

This is the world that I envisioned when I watched movies like “Waiting for Superman.” I left the theater thinking, “What can I do to help these kids?”

Little did I know, this movie was funded by a “movement” looking to “reform schools” by offering rich kids more options. If you question this, take a look at the funding behind Proposition 39, the “Charter School Law.”

So, when I thought I was helping kids in need by voting for charter schools, was I right? Or was I accidentally supporting some type of political movement?

Tom Fenstermacher

Los Altos

Appreciates animal control services provided

One morning in August, I went out my front door to pick up my paper and was exposed to a gruesome scene: A dead animal, torn in half, in the middle of my front yard.

I returned to the house, called Los Altos police for advice, and they said they would call Palo Alto Animal Services.

Shortly after, an animal services truck pulled up in front of my house. The officer, William Warrior, picked up the entire carcass before talking to me. He showed me such kindness and compassion because I was obviously distressed. Sadly, it turned out to be my neighbor’s cat. Mr. Warrior talked to him also.

I have lived in Los Altos for 57 years and this is the first time I have encountered something like this.

Hats off to the public service officers who do their jobs so well in serving their communities. I will gladly donate to their fundraising event on Nov. 16 (see more information on page 12).

Pat Christofferson

Los Altos

Local women’s caucus announces formation

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

We would like to introduce ourselves. We are a newly formed organization, the Los Altos Women’s Caucus, composed of active and engaged Los Altos women.

Our purpose is to network with other Los Altos women throughout the city; to inform ourselves on current local events and issues; to foster constructive civic engagement with our various governing bodies; and to interact effectively on community issues.

We have been following your recent discussions about civic engagement in city affairs.

We have a strong interest in developing additional interaction between the community and city officials.

We encourage you to continue the dialogue about how to increase citizen participation in civic affairs. You could start such an effort by sponsoring:

• A workshop that includes citizens and businesspersons participating in a conversation with the council on civic engagement.

We would like to share our research on civic engagement that is utilized in other jurisdictions, including our neighboring cities. A few examples of approaches being employed by our neighbors are:

• Publishing a quarterly newsletter to the community.

• Annual or biennial citizen and business satisfaction surveys.

• Neighborhood-based community meetings/workshops on issues of localized importance.

We also support efforts to create a culture that welcomes citizen input. For example, the council could:

• Structure council meetings so there is more time for members of the public to comment on high- interest agenda items.

• Place items in which there is a lot of interest early on the agenda, ahead of the consent calendar and after public comments.

• Resume the practice of work/study sessions on issues that require deeper thought and dialogue before action is contemplated.

• Meet in various locations around the city to encourage more involvement on the part of the community.

We look forward to working together with you in the future.

The Los Altos Women’s Caucus: Brenda Taussig, Marge Bruno, Marie Young, Mary Prochnow, Emy Thurber, Vicki Reeder, Jane Reed, Andrea Eaton, Amy Pearl, Anabel Pelham, Robin Abrams, Maddy McBirney, and Penny Lave

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