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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BCS, LASD continue discussion on long-term facilities


After meeting last week to discuss long-term facilities needs, Los Altos School District officials may gain more specifics about Bullis Charter School’s expectations for the future.

Representatives from the Bullis Charter School and the Los Altos School District boards met for the second time to address facility solutions for the charter school and scheduled a follow-up meeting 7 p.m. today in the Los Altos Hills Town Council Chambers.

Trustee Tammy Logan represented the district at the meeting (President Doug Smith had to cancel because of a work conflict) and charter school board members Francis La Poll and Peter Evans represented the charter school.

“We’d like a discussion around what it would take to settle issues in the long term,” La Poll said. “Bullis Charter School would like to find a way to end all the litigation. We’d like to talk about how we reach some agreement.”

The parties agreed that they would like a solution that resolves charter school facility needs for the next 10-15 years.

“I would like to see a proposal of how many kids come in, what facilities you need over the time period and where you propose they go,” Logan said. “Let’s try to come up with something that is reasonable.”

Conversation focused on past agreements and offers, what could make this proposal process work and what would end it immediately.

Logan raised the matter of what the charter school applied for in last year’s facilities request, its “compromise” plan.

“Please look at what you asked for,” she said. “The compromise was at a ratio of 20:1 (classroom loading). Our kids don’t get that. That is not what the law provides for – it states ‘reasonably equivalent.’ Don’t ask for a palace and then expect us not to come back.”

La Poll and Evans said the proposal process would not work if the district does not accept the charter school’s growth projection.

“The opportunity here is that we won’t have a deal unless we put forth numbers that we are going to grow toward and you guys buy into that,” La Poll said.

He added that all children are entitled to appropriate facilities, and that is what the charter school seeks in the future.

“The word ‘entitlement’ you use is where we are going to run into issues,” Logan said. “Your view of what you are entitled to and our view is different. You have to balance these things or we are going to be in the same place.”

When asked if the charter school would use some of its set-aside funds for facilities for a new campus, La Poll said that would not be fair.

There was discussion about sharing funds, which Logan said the district would be more willing to do if the charter school were under the district’s, not the county’s, oversight.

“I think all things are possible,” Evans said. “The equity in the notion is sufficiently strong, how we are governed by comparison, a detail.”

The meeting concluded with agreement that Bullis Charter School officials would return with a rough estimate of classroom and teaching space required as the charter school grows toward its goal of 875-900 students.

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