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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High school foundation finances new science technology for classrooms


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Mountain View Los Altos High School Foundation donated $150,000 in lab equipment for high school science classes. Meghan Stratz, a biotechnology teacher at Los Altos High, demontrates how the new transilluminator can identify characteristics of DNA strands.

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District last month presented a Science Showcase, highlighting the $150,00 in lab equipment recently purchased to enhance the science curriculum.

The Mountain View Los Altos High School Foundation and Google Grants donated the funds for the new equipment. The foundation has made enriching the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program at local high schools a priority.

“A major goal is to focus on STEM education for all students and to do more than textbook learning,” said Superintendent Barry Groves. “We want to be hands-on and to be excited about science. These things that the foundation is supporting are the things that are going to make a difference for our kids.”

The Science Showcase consisted of several brief presentations from science instructors, who demonstrated the new bells and whistles available in classrooms this year.

Teri Faught, who teaches biology, earth science and environmental science at Mountain View High, said she was thankful for being able to purchase new specimens – two cow hearts and a sheep’s brain.

“Tangible specimens often inspire students to enter research or the medical field,” she said.

Digital microscopes also “brought life back to microbiology,” Faught said, adding that before acquisition of the new technology, the department was using 20-year-old slides.

Faught praised the classroom set of pressure cuffs and stethoscopes, noting that students became more engaged with the new equipment.

Steven Widmark, physics and earth science teacher at Mountain View High, presented a video showing students operating new equipment in classes. The students used Labquest 2 Data Collection Units to record information live during experiments dealing with distance and velocity. He also touted the use of a radio frequency responder that polls students after posing a question.

Mountain View High biology and chemistry teacher Anthony Gallego lauded the new technology, which aided his students during data collection. He explained the benefits of receiving 32 Microsoft Pro tablets.

“Students are no longer chained to the lab table,” he said. “These tablets allow robust data analysis. It allows students and teachers to project their work.”

Greg Stoehr, biology and environmental science teacher at Los Altos High, extolled the gift of digital microscopes. He projected slides on a large screen, demonstrating how both teacher and students can make annotations on each digital slide and save the images.

“The students spend more time analyzing,” he said. “This totally changes the way we teach with slides.”

Darren Dressen, chemistry teacher at Los Altos High, discussed the benefits of the miniature gas chromatograph, which assists students during experiments. He said the technology helps to answer students’ questions, encouraging their curiosity and engagement.

Los Altos High physics teacher Adam Randall uses a high-frequency vibration tool to study waves and patterns in his class.

Meghan Stratz, biotechnology teacher at Los Altos High, outlined a new course she was able to introduce at the school.

“The really neat thing about this course is that it allows us to tie in everything the students have learned or are learning in their bio, chemistry and physics courses to understand genetics at a better level,” she said.

Stratz demonstrated the transilluminator, showing the audience how students can use the tool to take pictures of DNA and identify characteristics that indicate a genetically modified organism.

“What I really appreciate about this is that we can now allow students to do real science or citizen science projects,” she said.

Mountain View High chemistry teacher Katie Thornburg addressed the donors in the audience.

“I would like to thank all of you for the contributions you have made,” she said. “You have made our program much richer and much more attractive in many, many ways.”

For more information on the foundation, visit mvlafoundation.org.

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