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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Foothill-De Anza district selected to lead Brown's statewide Online Education Initiative

The Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges recently awarded the partnership of the Foothill-De Anza and Butte-Glenn community college districts a $16.9 million competitive grant to launch Gov. Jerry Brown’s Online Education Initiative in California.

Building on the existing California Virtual Campus, the launch team will develop a one-stop statewide online education portal where California community college students can apply, register and take online courses from participating colleges.

The initiative’s goal is to increase the number of California students who earn associate degrees and transfer to four-year universities by dramatically boosting the number of online classes available and providing online students with support services to help them succeed.

Rather than requiring each college independently to define separate courses and degree programs, the Online Education Initiative will provide funding, support and best practices for all California community colleges to offer courses and programs via a statewide portal and common course management system, backed with an array of student support services.

An Online Education Initiative Advisory Committee representing all community college constituency groups will provide oversight for developing the initiative, with the faculty playing a primary leadership role.

“This is a cutting-edge vision for California,’” said Foothill-De Anza Chancellor Linda M. Thor. “I believe it will transform online learning for millions of community college students.”

Participation in the consortium of colleges delivering courses through the statewide portal will be voluntary, according to the launch team’s executive dean, Joseph Moreau, Foothill-De Anza’s vice chancellor of technology.

“California community colleges have always led the state in online education,” Moreau said. “By bringing together the talent and expertise within our own system and building on the technological innovation in Silicon Valley, we believe we can create an online education environment that will exceed anything any of us could accomplish alone.”

Moreau added that a statewide system has the potential to decrease operational costs by reducing overlap and taking advantage of economies of scale.

Scheduled to begin the project next week, the grant partners have recruited a launch team of community college veterans and will assemble a permanent staff. Moreau is slated to meet with technology companies to inform them about the project and exchange thoughts and ideas for implementation. In addition, Foothill-De Anza has been examining issues related to student retention and success online with the Stanford Graduate School of Education and intends to expand that partnership as part of the initiative.

Demand for online courses is on the rise. In 2011-2012, 27 percent of California community college students were enrolled in distance education courses – a 14.5 percent increase over the previous six years. That same year, more than 50 percent of California community colleges offered at least one degree or certificate through distance education.

Foothill-De Anza has been an early leader in distance education and was the first community college district in California to offer courses online. It has expanded its catalog of online courses to meet student demand and currently offers 20 fully online degrees. Additionally, the district is experienced in online course development and open source learning management systems. The Online Education Initiative grant is the largest in Foothill-De Anza’s history.

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