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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Project Los Altos artist collecting everyday records from residents

COMM SFMOMA KaterinaSeda-8350
Šedá, above, wants local residents to enter records for best, worst, biggest and smallest for her “Project Los Altos” installation at 359 State St. For more details, visit everythingisperfect.org.

When Katerina Šedá, an artist from the Czech Republic, arrived in Los Altos this fall to research and design a commissioned installation for “Project Los Altos: SFMOMA in Silicon Valley,” she heard from residents time and again that “everything is perfect” in the community.

“I was so tired of hearing this that I wanted to use it in the project,” said Šedá, who decided to collect “ordinary” records for inclusion in “Everything Is Perfect,” a project that culminates in the publication of the “Los Altos World Records” book next spring.

Observing that many local residents were already winners in life, Šedá wanted to produce something that offers a different perspective on what it means to be “the best.” Twisting the assumption that only world records count, “Los Altos World Records” intends to show that every person can be successful at something.

Selecting from a list of existing record categories or one that a resident proposes, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills residents can submit records through Jan. 31, after which the submissions will be verified and category winners declared. As an incentive to enter, every participant who sets a record will receive a certificate and a copy of “Los Altos World Records.”

“The best records are ordinary and easy,” Šedá noted. “This is the paradox.”

Šedá has received approximately 40 entries so far, including Martin Alter’s submission for the “Largest Collection of Rubber Ducks” at 300 and Laura Brewer’s claim to “Fastest Stenographer Using a Steno Machine” at 290-300 words per minute.

Although some records are so unique that they’re unlikely to be surpassed, entries like “House with the Most Evergreen Trees Out Front” at seven, “Largest Conference Table” at 14 feet long and “Most Friends on Facebook” at 869 might draw a challenge.

At its core, though, the friendly competition isn’t about numbers at all.

“I want to connect people through ordinary stuff,” Šedá said. “It’s not really about success as much as it’s about thinking creatively about our own lives.”

To ensure her project’s success, Šedá is counting on participation from local residents, which is more difficult than she expected.

When visitors arrive in the back room of 359 State St., where Šedá’s installation is set up, they will find a desk with a computer and an assortment of accessories – a nondescript setup. So normal, in fact, that some guests have expressed initial confusion. Visitors have wondered why the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art would rent gallery space to another business, while others ask Šedá where her completed project is.

“They don’t understand that this is art,” said Šedá of how her project challenges the mainstream idea that art is something that is finished and sits passively on a gallery wall.

Once guests grasp the concept behind the project, Šedá noted, they’re receptive to her modern art.

She said she still finds coaxing residents to submit records challenging, in part because “they’re afraid their records aren’t special enough.”

Šedá is dispelling the perception by taking to the streets, going door-to-door with project flyers and talking with residents about submitting a record. She would also like to add more children’s entries to the project and is reaching out to school administrators.

Completed submission forms along with documentation of the record (a photo, business card, certificate, etc.) can be dropped off at the 359 State St. submission office 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays; mailed to “Los Altos World Records,” 359 State St., Los Altos 94022; or submitted online at everythingisperfect.org. There’s no limit to the number of entries an individual can submit. For inspiration, view a sampling of photos illustrating current entries in the installation space or in the “Submitted Records Gallery” on the project’s website.

By connecting people who may never cross paths, Šedá is confident that her project will achieve its mission of helping the local community redefine “success.”

“Success is something that divides people, and I’m trying to create a different picture.”

For more information, visit everythingisperfect.org.

COMM SFMOMA KaterinaSeda EverythingisPerfect graphic small

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