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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Los Altos Briefs

City offers live stream of council meetings on mobile devices

Los Altos officials announced last week that the city’s new website, launched in August, is now fully compatible with smartphones and tablets.

The announcement came after some residents noted their inability to view live-streaming city council meetings on certain devices since the debut of the city’s new website (losaltosca.gov). Specifically, they said they were unable to download a necessary plug-in onto their devices.

Granicus Inc. – contracted by the city to record, stream and archive council and Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) meetings – previously required users to download a Microsoft Silverlight plug-in to watch streaming videos.

The Granicus system, according to city officials, was recently updated at no cost and now allows live streaming video using HTML 5. In addition to viewing archived and live online video on desktop and mobile devices, residents can view council and PTC meetings live on Comcast Channel 26.

Artistic bike rack policy approved

The city’s bicycle racks may be in for a new look after the Los Altos City Council last week approved a new artistic bike rack policy.

According to a city staff report, the council originally directed city staff to craft the policy in May following a recommendation by the city’s Public Arts Commission (PAC). The recommendation, according to the report, was intended “to encourage the installation of unique artistic bicycle racks” and is similar to a policy adopted by the city of Portland, Ore.

All artistic racks, the report noted, must be approved at the discretion of the city’s Public Works department through a revocable permit process. Anyone interested in pursuing the installation of an artistic bike rack may contact the city’s Public Works department via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 947-2780.

City Manager gets raise

The Los Altos City Council last week unanimously approved a $2,000 annual pay increase for City Manager Marcia Somers.

According to a staff report, the $2,000 increase will bump Somers’ annual base salary to $198,000.

Somers took over as city manager in April 2012, replacing the retiring Doug Schmitz. Prior to being hired, Somers spent 19 years in Danville – first serving as community services director and then assistant town manager from 2006.

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