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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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Bayshore Christian Ministries uses technology to hook teens


Courtesy of Bayshore Christian Ministries
Bayshore Christian Ministries is using technology to draw students in, but its core mission is to develop the next generation of leaders who choose to remain in the community.

With Facebook mere miles to the north and Google to the south, Bayshore Christian Ministries (BCM) aims to share a slice of the high-tech pie.

The faith-based organization, an East Palo Alto mainstay that for three decades has served youth through its year-round tutoring, mentoring and Bible club activities, saw its focus expand in 2013 as teens clamored for a place at the technology table.

BCM piloted two programs – the EPA Chica Squad and Teens ’n Tech – to introduce youth to computer science and programming principles.

According to Executive Director Rolando Zeledon, the initiatives are designed to engage youth, teach them practical skills and, most importantly, challenge them to create products that move the community forward in a positive, influential way.

“Holistically, it’s not just about the skills, and it’s not just about leadership – though, obviously, that combination is powerful – it’s about what they do with those skills,” he said. “It’s value-centered, and we focus on developing the character values that come along with that.”

Zeledon sees another benefit for his BCM charges, who often lack the exposure, means and resources to pursue tech-related activities like robotics.

“What’s the biggest need we have?” he asked. “Hope. We still have kids who come from broken homes, broken situations.”

Often, according to Zeledon, kids raised in East Palo Alto define success as leaving – moving to another community.

“But imagine the economic transformation that could happen when you equip a child with not just the tech skills to remain in the community, but also with a passion and heart for that community,” he said. “Here at BCM, we’re helping kids think about serving others. Technology is the hook, but we have a bigger commission – serving deep is what we’re about.”

In the big picture, Zeledon said, BCM wants to impart technical knowledge that leads to 21st-century workplace skills, but the programming is designed for students to “discover their gifting.”

“We want students to realize, ‘We all have different gifts, we all have different skills, but together we can come up with something,’” he said. “It’s a win-win – tech plus character.”

Despite the new high-tech offerings, BCM remains committed to boosting literacy. The organization used last year’s Town Crier Holiday Fund contribution to expand its KidSmart tutoring program, enabling 20 percent more students to enroll. BCM will use the 2014 Holiday Fund donation to shore up its programs.

As Bayshore Christian Ministries celebrates its 30th anniversary with a gala event May 4, the organization’s board plans to conduct a strategic review and update its programs.

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