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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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Tape the pieces: The Rockey Road

Let’s try something. Grab a piece of paper and write your name on it in big letters. Around your name, list things that make you happy: an activity, a person, a place, whatever you’d like.

Next, ask someone – a co-worker, a family member, a stranger on the street, anyone – to suggest things that might upset you, for example, if someone criticized you or put you down or if your team lost because of something you did or did not do.

Some of the ideas mentioned may bother you and some may not. If one of them might have a negative impact and really upset you, tear off a sizable piece of the paper. If something might bother you a little, tear off a small piece. After five to 10 scenarios, ask the person to suggest things that might have a positive impact. If anything mentioned would make you feel better, tape a piece of torn paper back onto the sheet: a large piece for something important to you and a small piece if it matters, but not too much.

What you now have in your hand is a representation of yourself: once whole, then torn and then put back together. You may look a little different, maybe some of the pieces don’t fit exactly and maybe some are still missing.

As we go through life, bits of who we are inevitably get torn off along the way. When big pieces are ripped off and we’re left with a gaping hole in our souls, it can feel as though no tape in the world would be strong enough to put us back together. But we have to find a way. If we don’t, we will continue to live with anger, frustration, sadness, embarrassment or whatever it was that caused us to come undone.

Finding peace within you usually takes a fair amount of understanding and forgiveness. You have to recognize what’s important and choose your methods for mending accordingly. Although the scars may be hard to hide, they are the bonds that remind us of our achievements.

So how is it that some people seem to carry tape around and some never seem to have any? Well, the truth is that everyone has tape on them. You just have to know where to find it and how to use it properly.

I can’t tell you exactly where yours is, but I do know that you have to focus to find it. However you choose to focus is up to you. It helps to get into a zone, tune the world out and concentrate on one thing, whether it’s a physical exercise, something artistic or perhaps simple deep breathing. Whatever you do, you have to be mindful of that intention and allow whatever has wounded you and blurred the vision of what’s important to you to be obliterated and dismissed. Only then will you have a clear view of the big picture, and only then will you find your tape.

We are all walking around in a taped-up state, some more than others. It’s what gives us character and compassion. I’m glad for my tape, and I don’t mind if the seams show, because I know they give me strength.

If you are looking at your piece of paper, you’ve completed an exercise in self-esteem that was administered in a seventh-grade class a few weeks ago. When my daughter explained this to me, I asked if there were a take-home message.

“Yes,” she said. “It was to show that we might get our feelings hurt and torn, but we can be put back together, and even though we may not look the same, at least we’re still in one piece.”

It seems to me that all of us – seventh-graders and grownups alike – could benefit from this nifty little exercise.

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