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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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More than a game: No Shoes, Please

There is a lot about the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito situation that intrigues me. As I write, the full details regarding Martin’s allegations about his tenure as an offensive lineman for the Miami Dolphins have yet to be disclosed. However, by abruptly leaving his team and filing a formal complaint, Martin has been criticized by his former teammates and other NFL players for not standing up for himself and airing locker room dirty laundry in public.

Support for Martin has surfaced, too. People have questioned hazing rituals that really amount to nothing more than sanctioned extortion and abuse, in addition to criticizing Incognito’s use of the N-word in a text message to Martin.

I wasn’t surprised to learn that African-American players on the team found nothing offensive about Incognito’s message. It seems that Americans in general have been spoon-fed enough rap music that the N-word is OK in certain locales (locker rooms) with certain people (Caucasians like Incognito who are conferred “honorary” black status) and under certain conditions (when demeaning language is used to “toughen” someone up or even convey warmth and camaraderie).

However, I was shocked to hear reports that Martin – a Stanford University graduate with Harvard-educated parents – was considered “less black” than Incognito, whose thuggish behavior has been documented since his college career. It reminds me of complaints I’ve heard from African-Americans who say that their own community will accuse them of acting “too white” if they are educated and/or well spoken. Whether or not those misaligned values played a role with the players who lined up to defend Incognito’s behavior is unproven, but something smells weird to me.

The NFL investigation into the Miami Dolphins workplace environment will take some time because it’s not only a complicated situation, it’s also a chaotic hot mess. But I’m fascinated by several arguments already being made in the court of public opinion.

First, there’s the one regarding Martin’s manhood. When that particular assessment is at play, I can almost predict that the definition of said manhood is going to be extremely narrow, rigid and backward thinking, rather than broad, open and current. I wonder how long men will continue putting themselves through that lifetime gauntlet.

Second, there’s the argument that things are routinely said and done in any garden-variety locker room that are unacceptable in other workplaces. That’s called exceptionalism: Organization A is exempt from a normal code of conduct for X and Y reasons. OK, but explain how X and Y serve the common or team good, thereby qualifying Organization A for special dispensation – and “It’s always been that way” doesn’t count as a good reason.

Finally, there’s the admonishment that Martin should have kept things in-house regardless. A situation may merit attention and scrutiny, but it must be done out of public view. I’ve heard that old chestnut invoked under circumstances ranging from safeguarding personal privacy to covering up crimes like child molestation. So unless the Miami Dolphins locker room is a matter of national security, I think transparency regarding organizational practices is a good thing.

I can understand why players might be afraid of a little light, but I’d be more concerned about remaining in the shadows.

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