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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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City Briefs


Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Construction at Foothill Crossing Shopping Center aims to boost traffic flow and safety at the center’s busy intersection, left.

Project aims to install more reflective street signs

A new five-year project is underway to install new, more reflective street signs that are easier for motorists to spot at night.

The project – which has earmarked $25,000 per year for traffic sign replacement – seeks to replace 8,000 of the city’s nonreflective traffic signs, according to Los Altos Transportation Projects Manager Cedric Novenario. That includes approximately 2,000 “noncompliant” stop and speed-limit signs, which the city plans to replace ahead of other signage, he added.

“We’re prioritizing the level of importance for regulatory signs,” said Novenario, who noted that each sign costs the city between $100 and $200. “Stop signs are important, yield signs are important and speed-limit signs are important.”

Novenario added that the five-year project is necessary because of California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) requirements that established new “retroflectivity standards” – or minimum levels of visibility – for regulatory signs in cities in 2009.

“A lot of signs get dull (less reflective) pretty fast. … Some of the older ones don’t have any reflectivity at all,” said Novenario, who added that the city’s maintenance department has been tasked with replacing signs “when they have the staffing and resources to do it.”

The project will eventually replace green “guide” signs, street-name signs and yellow warning signs throughout Los Altos as well, Novenario said.

The city’s regulatory, warning and ground-mounted guide signs must be in full compliance with the MUTCD regulation by January 2015. The city’s overhead guide signs and street-name signs must be in full compliance by January 2018.

Homestead project eyes November finish

The Homestead Road Safety Improvements project will likely be completed on time, according to a city official.

Public Works Director Jim Gustafson said one of the $1.5 million project’s major components – the installation of a traffic signal and a crosswalk at the entrance of Foothill Crossing Shopping Center – is complete. The city, he added, is waiting on a work order to allow PG&E to power the signal’s controller box.

Traffic signal aside, Gustafson noted that the city’s contractor must still complete landscaping and remove large dirt piles from the new median strips constructed as part of the project. Project work also included new storm drainage improvements and the construction of a Class I bike and pedestrian path on the north side of Homestead Road. Overall, Gustafson said, the project is shaping up for a timely finish.

“We still anticipate wrapping this up at the end of November,” he said. “If it’s not on schedule, then it’s very, very close.”

– Diego Abeloos

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