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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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Help One Child supports at-risk youth and their families


Courtesy of Susan Herman
Help One Child’s new program provides a safety net for families by offering children a temporary place to live in lieu of foster care.

With all the ways Help One Child has aided at-risk youth over the years, staff and board members could have easily spent several hours of the nonprofit’s 20th-anniversary banquet touting their accomplishments. Instead, they used the spring event to launch another ambitious program.

The Los Altos-based Help One Child announced that it would be the San Francisco Peninsula hub of Safe Families for Children, a national movement designed to deflect children from foster care. An alternative to child welfare custody, the program provides a safety net for families in crisis that have nowhere else to turn by offering their children a temporary place to live.

“It’s a very natural extension of what we already do,” said Susan Herman, Help One Child’s executive director. “We are already recruiting families to open their homes to at-risk youth. We are already supporting those families who have adopted or opened their home to these children.”

Serving Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, Help One Child assists at-risk children in and out of the foster-care system by recruiting, training and supporting those willing to house or otherwise help them. When the faith-based organization asked people attending the banquet to champion Safe Families for Children at their churches, Herman said they did so enthusiastically. The next step was to work with the churches and the counties to create referral networks.

“If you’re a single mom who has lost your job and there’s no room at a shelter for you and your children, you can come to Help One Child as a sponsor of the Safe Families for Children program for help,” she said. “We will find a family supported by their church that will open their home for no compensation and care for those children until the parent or parents are able to complete their endeavor, whatever it might be. Maybe somebody has to go to alcohol or drug rehab, or maybe there’s some short-term criminal sentence that needs to be completed.”

The program offers what Herman called “nonresidential placement” as well.

“Sometimes a family needs extended help – taking their child to school early in the morning or making them dinner – and those kinds of connections have been made,” she said.

Over the summer, Help One Child connected volunteers with 11-year-old Alex.

“His father just needed some extra help that normally a family member would provide, but he was alone – the mom was no longer in the picture,” Herman said. “We must have had 15 people offer to have (Alex) into their homes for dinner. Two people offered to bring him to youth group activities at their church during the week while his dad was working. Someone sent him to camp and we took him to our camp. His summer was filled with people inviting him to join their activities. Every time we saw him, he told us how grateful he was.”

Help One Child recently ramped up its Supper Club program. The staff organizes volunteers to cook meals for youth living in nine group homes and two receiving homes (for emergency placement) throughout the two counties.

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