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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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Follow these tips to avoid new scams targeting seniors

While most people were taught to use good manners when answering the telephone, not everyone who calls you necessarily has good intentions.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, a recent spate of lottery scams and advance-fee frauds originating in Jamaica are targeting seniors and other Americans via telephone.

While the Jamaican and U.S. governments have teamed to tighten laws and combat the problem, it is important to guard against becoming the next victim.

Knowing the difference between legitimate telemarketers and scammers is crucial. Protect yourself by taking the following precautions.

• Never pay money to collect supposed sweepstakes winnings. Legitimate operations won’t require you to pay to collect winnings. It’s against U.S. law to play foreign lotteries. If you get a call saying you’ve won one, it’s probably a scam.

• Never wire money to anyone you don’t know.

• Ignore unsolicited calls from anyone, even charities and companies with whom you already do business. You have no way to confirm whether the caller is legitimate. Even caller ID can be faked. When in doubt, just hang up.

• Place your telephone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. It’s fast and free. Visit DoNotCall.gov or add your number to the registry by calling (888) 382-1222 from the phone you wish to register.

• Check unfamiliar area codes before returning calls. Be aware that there are many three-digit area codes that connect callers to international telephone numbers.

• If you don’t make international calls, ask your telephone provider to block incoming and outgoing international calls.

• Never provide anyone with personal information, such as bank accounts, PIN numbers or Social Security numbers.

• Prevent criminals from accessing your money. Contact your bank, brokerages and the Social Security Administration to add a password to your accounts.

• If callers insist on speaking with you, tell them that you’ll call them directly. Don’t take a number offered by a potential fraudster. You’re safer looking up the number independently.

• Scammers often create false deadlines. If you feel pressured, hang up. You’ve spent a lifetime earning your money. You deserve time to choose how to spend it.

• Help others from falling victim to scammers by warning friends and family. If you’ve received a call, mail or email you think might be from a scammer, contact local authorities or report it to the Federal Trade Commission by calling (877) 382-4357.

“The Jamaican government is resolved to successfully combat this scourge,” said Peter Bunting, Jamaica’s minister of national security, who is collaborating with U.S. officials to stop new Jamaican lottery scams. “We have put in place both legislative and operational measures that will ensure that persons who prey on vulnerable seniors are held accountable.”

You don’t have to live in fear to avoid being a victim. By becoming informed of the latest tactics used by scammers to defraud consumers, you can protect yourself and your finances.

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