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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Bullis board discusses future growth

With Friday’s deadline for a facilities request looming, the Bullis Charter School Board of Directors last week began examining options for potential growth for the 2014-2015 school year.

Over the past few years, the Bullis board has explored ways to grow the school to five sections of K-3 grade classes and four sections of 4-8 grade classes. Bullis added a fourth section of K-3 classes last year and is moving toward offering three sections of 4-8 grade classes.

Board member Francis La Poll reminded others on the board that the charter school’s plan was to add an additional kindergarten and first grade in the 2014-2015 school year, giving the school five sections of lower-grade classes.

But board member Janet Medlin said she has received feedback from parents opposed to expanding next year.

“There are families that are encouraging us not to add another strand,” Medlin said. “Many families are finding it challenging to do the two campus split and they want us to work out operating on two sites before we grow more.”

La Poll pointed out that those opposing expansion are parents of current students – not those on the wait list.

Medlin noted that the charter school could have filled two more kindergarten classes with interested in-district families.

“I don’t feel our program has diminished in any way because of the growth,” Medlin said. “There are still in-district community taxpayers who want access to our school.”

Board member John Phelps said he has also heard from parents regarding growth, some of them concerned with “cutbacks and a lack of play space” at the charter’s new location on the Blach Intermediate School campus.

“It is important that we really understand our ability to assimilate and hire,” Phelps said.

Board member Peter Evans said lack of space is a problem Bullis has to deal with year after year because the district doesn’t provide “adequate facilities.”

“Having 25 percent less space and being spread across two campuses – that is our reality,” he said. “That is not a result of growth – that is just another thing we have to work through.”

Phelps added that charter school officials have clearly expressed how they would like to see a two-site split work, for instance when they drafted a proposal toward the end of the facilities allocation process last year.

“If there is an opportunity to put this behind us, what is the intention in the district’s ignoring that proposal?” Phelps said.

Board Chairman Ken Moore said there were three options before the board –adding a kindergarten and first-grade class, adding only a kindergarten class or no new growth.

Before making a decision, board members agreed that they must consult their parents for feedback. The board scheduled an additional meeting Monday night, after the Town Crier’s press deadline.

Other business

One of Bullis’ newest board members, Joe Hurd, announced his resignation last week. He is leaving the area for a job in Washington, D.C.

Los Altos School District Board President Doug Smith said the Bullis board has agreed to meet face to face to discuss support for a future bond measure. The meeting is scheduled 7 p.m. today at Los Altos Hills Town Council Chambers. For a report on that meeting, read next week’s Town Crier.

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