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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Joint councils consider community center options

When it comes to finding someone to help the city fund a new community center, Los Altos may have an interested partner in Los Altos Hills.

The topic of exploring a joint funding venture to replace the aging Hillview Community Center facility was broached last week at a joint meeting of the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills city councils. Los Altos Hills councilmembers expressed varying degrees of interest in talking about the possibility, an item placed on the joint-meeting agenda at the behest of Los Altos Councilwoman Val Carpenter.

For now, Los Altos City Manager Marcia Somers and her Los Altos Hills counterpart, Carl Cahill, will be “working together to determine if a committee can be formed in the future,” according to Los Altos Public Information Coordinator Erica Ray.

Los Altos Hills Mayor Gary Waldeck told the Town Crier the possibility of the cities working together “has a lot of merit” but added, “I think it’s going to be very expensive. The question now is, what’s involved?”

Councilmembers from both cities characterized the talks as exploratory in nature.

“This is a lot like a Rubik’s Cube with about 20 points per side instead of only three. Other than that, it’s simple,” Waldeck added with a chuckle.

The Los Altos council seeks to fulfill its 2013 priority to find a way to replace the Hillview structure with a new multipurpose, multigenerational community center.

The city hired a consultant earlier this year to study the city’s options.

A 2012 resident survey revealed inadequate support for a bond measure to fund the first phase of a master plan that called for the replacement of several civic center structures.

Los Altos Hills Councilwoman Courtenay C. Corrigan noted that the potential for the cities to “join forces” on future parks and recreation programming made a two-city partnership “even more compelling to me.”

Los Altos Hills Councilman John Radford, meanwhile, expressed interest in a potential third partner – the Los Altos School District (LASD).

“I’m very interested in a three-way partnership that has maybe a higher ability to pass a bond, but also then uses some of that space for the Los Altos School District … that would make it much more attractive to me,” he said.

However, Radford added, “Residents can only take so much, in terms of bonds,” and pointed to the potential for a LASD bond measure in 2014.

LASD Board of Trustees President Doug Smith told councilmembers his district’s involvement as a third partner could prove beneficial. He noted that the district has a lower threshold – 55 percent – to pass a bond measure, versus the two-thirds vote required by cities.

Other scenarios, he added, include the possibility of having LASD purchase or lease a portion of civic center land to help fund a new community center.

“We would love to participate in that and see if there is a way that we can craft something that works,” Smith said.

Los Altos Councilwoman Megan Satterlee, however, pointed out potential problems with having a shared site, noting conflicts between typical school hours and peak hours of use by community center patrons.

“Right now, our feeling is that there are other solutions to the need for a school site,” she said.

Satterlee later told the Town Crier that each city’s timing to see movement on the project – among other factors – will play a role in any future discussions with Los Altos Hills.

“It sounded to me like the (Los Altos Hills) council was open to discussions,” she said, “and that’s a good place to start.”

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