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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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Plants make ideal holiday decorations


Courtesy of Laxmi Natarajan
Euphorbia pulcherrima, commonly known as poinsettia, is a popular holiday plant that brings a bright pop of Christmas red to decorations.

With the holidays upon us, it’s time to deck the halls.

Bring the garden inside by making wreaths, garlands, topiaries and other table arrangements to enhance your holiday decor. A look around the yard may yield some interesting results, not to mention being easy on the budget.

Supplement your garden treasures with a trip to a garden center.

Following are some plants that work really well to brighten the holidays.

• Euphorbia pulcherrima, commonly known as poinsettia, is one of the most popular plants during the holidays. Poinsettias come in a variety of colors, including red, white, pink, marbled, burgundy and cream.

• Kalanchoe blossfeldiana, or winter cactus, is great for blooms and comes in different colors ranging from red to orange, white, yellow and pink. The succulent is a very hardy indoor plant that requires very little maintenance in the home or office. The thick, waxy, dark-green leaves with a cluster of flowers above the foliage make it a very attractive plant.

• Ilex opaca, American holly, boasts thick, dark-green leaves and bright-red berries. It’s the ideal accompaniment to many table decorations and holiday garlands.

• Evergreens, such as redwoods, Douglas firs and pines, are used extensively in garlands and wreaths. If you’re lucky enough to have them available in your yard, try creating your own this year. The trick is to wet the branches so that they become a little flexible and are easier to wire together.

• Another good candidate for the holidays is the red or white anthurium, not just for its color, but because its big, bold leaves are stunning and add a touch of the tropics to decorations.

• Amaryllis bulbs, usually sold in garden centers, are available now so that they bloom during the holidays. They make beautiful tabletop arrangements.

• Branches of trees and shrubs like manzanita, curly willow, coral bark maple, flowering plum, bamboo, sword ferns and moss make nice complements to holiday decorations.

• Add driftwood, seeds and pods, pine cones and dried fruits to your holiday decoration toolbox. Savvy decorators glitter it up by spraying gold, silver and/or metallic paint to create sparkling ornaments.

• Use herbs such as rosemary, bay leaves and cinnamon sticks as fragrant decorative materials.

Visit a craft store to purchase a simple wreath base, wire, twine, coir rope and a glue gun to style your own decorations this season.

If you’re not good at craft projects, simply collect some greenery, pine cones and berries and arrange them free-form in a decorative glass jar, bowl, plate, fancy basket or rustic box.

Laxmi Natarajan, a member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, is founder of Bagicha Garden & Flora Design, an indoor garden/ plant design and maintenance company that specializes in creating custom living walls, floor plants and desktop arrangements. For more information, call 703-9756 or visit bagicha.com.

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