Sun10192014

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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Holiday book drive benefits children in need

I walked into my office last week and saw a huge box of children’s books donated anonymously for our annual book drive. It was a wonderful surprise, a reminder of how supportive the Los Altos community has been in our efforts to promote local literacy, confidence and creativity.

Books are at once a great escape and an even greater equalizer. When I was younger and had moved across the country with my family, I didn’t know many people. I spent hours reading, poring over biographies, historical fiction and narrative nonfiction. I would stay up half the night finishing a book started on a whim in the middle of the afternoon.

These days, I find my habit of needing to finish what I start to be an occasional handicap. Recently, Jojo Moyes, author of the best-sellers “Me Before You” (Penguin Books, 2013) and “The Last Letter from Your Lover” (Penguin Books, 2012), has been known to unintentionally thwart my afternoon plans after I innocently peruse the first few pages of one of her novels.

With the omnipresence of technological gadgets and interactive devices, we must continue promoting the simple act of reading more than ever. The social, emotional and economic impacts are hard to ignore. Research has uncovered a correlation between the amount of time children read for fun on their own and an increased level of reading achievement. Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are three to four times more likely to drop out in later years. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that more than $2 billion is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because of reading problems.

At my Green Ivy Educational Consulting office, I can quickly tell when students read regularly for fun. Parents often ask me how to improve test scores on standardized tests such as the ISEE, SSAT, HSPT, SAT or ACT (enough acronyms?). Typically, my answer is to encourage students to read more – even math skills are improved with increased reading, especially on tests with word problems. Reading helps with critical thinking, problem solving and creativity, in addition to offering a great way to relax and escape from the stresses of being a preteen or adolescent.

We are collecting books 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays through Dec. 19 at our Los Altos office, 302 Main St., Suite 201, on the second floor above US Bank. There is a drop-off container in our front waiting room.

In the past, we have had entire elementary school classrooms clean out their bookshelves to participate. We are gathering books in new or gently used condition for children and young adults. All books are donated to The Children’s Project, which distributes them to hospitals, homeless shelters and the homes of children in need in the Bay Area.

Help us reach this year’s goal of 500 books.

Ana Homayoun is founder and director of Green Ivy Educational Consulting. For more information, call 472-0617 or visit greenivyed.com.

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