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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Pick the perfect wines for your Thanksgiving table


Courtesy of Christine Moore
Fit holiday wines to the style of your family’s feast.

Hands down, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I’m a fan of all celebrations, but the simplicity of Thanksgiving won my heart years ago. It’s a day to come together with friends and family in celebration of gratitude. Of course, there’s an overabundance of food and plenty of football involved, too.

Pairing wine with the many flavors of Thanksgiving may seem daunting. After all, it’s not unusual to have everything from giblet gravy to marshmallows on a single plate. But because the recipes of the day are often a reflection of the personalities and tastes of the family around the table, I say select what fits your gathering.

Thanksgiving wines should not be about opening your cherished bottles. Stick with budget-friendly libations instead, because if you’re like most families, you’ll have plenty of glasses to keep full.

At our home, Thanksgiving is all about fresh herbs. I cover the turkey with a mass of thyme, sage and rosemary and then dry-brine it for several days. The result is a juicy and herbaceous bird. Our sourdough boule bread stuffing is loaded with the same selection of fresh seasonings. All this herbiness gives our meal a very Northern California flare. As such, I’ll be serving two California wines this year.

• The 2010 Qupe Central Coast Syrah ($15.99) is my red wine of choice. A beautiful bright-violet color, the light and cheery wine serves up lashings of strawberry and minerality with an easygoing mouth-feel and fresh finish.

• A Sauvignon Blanc, in all its verdant glory, is a great wine to pair with sage-soaked dishes and turkey. Sharp, dry California versions with citrus undertones are the best bet. I plan to serve the 2011 Grgich Hills Napa Valley Fumé Blanc ($14.99) because it’s a snappy wine with loads of herby whiffs on the nose.

Suggested pairings

I asked some local wine authorities to share their thoughts on the ideal Thanksgiving wines.

Stacy Ahrweiler, wine department manager at Draeger’s Market in Los Altos, looks forward to pairing a wine that works with spice.

“My mother-in-law’s incredible and nontraditional chili-rubbed turkey with chorizo stuffing is the centerpiece at our Thanksgiving meal,” she said. “I think a bit of spice is becoming more common at the Thanksgiving table. I’m suggesting two slightly spicy wines because they complement the full spectrum of Thanksgiving eats.”

For white-wine fans, Ahrweiler suggests the 2010 Leojami Viognier, a medium-bodied wine with hints of lemon and orange and an ever-so-slight ginger zing ($16.99).

Ahrweiler’s red selection is the 2011 M. Chapoutier Belleruche Côtes-du-Rhône ($11.99), a blend of Grenache and Syrah. She describes the wine as having “just a bit of oak and a dash of pepper along with a laser beam of pure cherries and raspberries.”

Christine Tran of Artisan Wine Depot in Mountain View is a sommelier and the store’s wine buyer. She gives plenty of good reasons to include sparkling wine at the Thanksgiving table this year.

“The effervescence of a sparkling wine creates a terrific contrast to the richness of the turkey, gravy and stuffing, and kicks off your holiday on a festive note,” she said. “Sparkling wine also pairs well with appetizers. In particular, oysters, smoked salmon, brie or goat cheese will taste great with a drier sparkling wine.”

Tran’s recommendation for a drier bubbly is Domaine des Varinelles Cremant de Loire Brut N.V. ($19.99).

“A slightly sweet sparkling wine will work well throughout the meal and will complement the sweeter flavors of side dishes such as candied yams, fall fruit chutney and cranberry sauce,” Tran explained, suggesting the slightly sweet Caves Carod Clairette de Die “Tradition” White Sparkling N.V. ($17.99).

“Another festive option is Kerisac Sparkling Cider ($9.99). The low-alcohol cider has a touch of sweetness with a refreshing and striking balance of acidity. It is unlike most other ciders, in that it is not cloyingly sweet,” she added.

Max Feshbach, wine specialist at Whole Foods Market in Los Altos, marks the day with an extravagant take on the traditional turkey.

“For the past few years, my family teams up to create a turducken,” said Feshbach, explaining that a turducken is a turkey stuffed with chicken stuffed with duck.

“A bit ridiculous and relatively decadent, it’s a fun and hearty meal that’s a newfound family favorite,” he said.

Feshbach will be bringing a red and a white to his family’s feast this year. His recommendation for a red is the 2009 Brandborg Bench Lands Pinot Noir ($19.99). The Pinot provides notes of fresh red fruits with a bright acidity and subtle earthiness.

His white selection is the Thomas Fogarty Monterey County Gewürztraminer ($15.99).

“I chose this wine because of its dryness and aromas of pear and citrus,” he said. “A slightly tannic finish is just what’s needed, and the perfect amount of acidity brings it home on the palate. Plus, it’s local.”

When it comes to counting my blessings, I’ll certainly give thanks for the incredible wine variety we have available to us at Los Altos, Mountain View and Palo Alto shops.

Mountain View resident Christine Moore is learning more about wine every day. To read her blog, visit sheepishsommelier.blogspot.com.

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