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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FHDA foundation votes to divest fossil fuels

Responding to a campaign by students and citing the community college district’s commitment to environmental sustainability, the Foothill-De Anza Foundation Board of Directors voted to discontinue direct investments in fossil fuel companies and minimize investments in comingled assets that include such companies.

The board set a deadline of June 30 to divest companies with the largest holdings of unburned carbon reserves as determined by Fossil Free’s Carbon Tracker of the Top 200 Fossil Fuel Companies.

The unanimous Oct. 23 vote makes the Foothill-De Anza Foundation the first community college foundation in the nation to commit to divesting from fossil fuels, according to Jamie Henn, communications director for 350.org, a leader in the national divestment movement.

Board President Kathleen Santora said divesting matches the values of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District and its history of leadership in green building, resource conservation and clean energy use.

“Our colleges support environmental stability, so this already is a shared value of our community,” Santora said. “Credit goes to De Anza students for raising our awareness by identifying ways the foundation can act in a more environmentally responsible manner. We appreciate the opportunity to learn from our students.”

Foundation treasurer Martin Neiman said he doesn’t expect the changes to have a significant financial effect on the foundation’s investment returns. In fact, he said, divestment advocates make a case that in the long term, divesting may be a wise investment strategy.

As of this month, the foundation’s portfolio was valued at approximately $33 million, with fossil-fuel companies accounting for approximately 1 percent.

The students’ divestment campaign grew out of a fall 2012 political science class in which they were challenged to apply citizen advocacy and organizing skills toward the solution of an environmental problem. Organized by a handful of students, the resulting campaign gathered support across the campus and won endorsements from the student governments at both colleges.

“As an institution invested in future generations and our local community, we feel strongly that divestment is the next step in helping to create the world that we want to live in,’’ De Anza student Karla X. Navarro said in an August presentation to the foundation board.

Other students addressed the scientific evidence linking the burning of fossil fuels to melting Arctic ice, rising acidity in the oceans and intensifying floods and droughts.

Students took action after learning more about the climate crisis and how it affects people and the environment, explained Karen Quigley, one of the student organizers.

“The more you learn,’’ she said, “the more difficult it is not to do anything.”

Santora and Neiman said foundation board members were impressed with the students’ presentation and the quality of their research.

The Foothill-De Anza Foundation joins six other colleges and universities and more than 20 cities and counties that have made divestment commitments, according to Henn. Fossil Free campaigns are now underway at more than 300 colleges and universities and in 100 cities and multiple states across the country to encourage divestment from 200 fossil-fuel companies that control the majority of the world’s carbon reserves.

For more information, visit gofossilfree.org/commitments.

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