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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 faces, more need in 2013 for RotaCare Mountain View



Volunteer medical staff help out at the RotaCare clinic near El Camino Hospital, providing care to underrepresented and uninsured patients. Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier

RotaCare Interim Manager and Clinical Services Coordinator Michelle Luttrell encountered an unusual sight at her Mountain View clinic. On a recent November day, it had more medical providers than patients onsite.

“We actually did not fill our provider schedules, but usually it’s the opposite,” said Luttrell, a nurse practitioner by trade. “Usually we have more patients than volunteers.”

In fact, Luttrell added, the need remains greater than ever. The clinic is currently averaging 530 patients per month – two-thirds of them between the ages of 19 and 64 – a pace far greater than the 3,500-plus patients it has served on an annual basis in recent years.

Although it has traditionally served low-income local workers who are either uninsured or underinsured, the clinic has seen an increased mix in the demography in 2013. That includes a bump in the number of unemployed and highly educated workers who are victims of what Luttrell calls “ageism” – those too young for Medicare but deemed too old to employ.

“That particular patient population is growing,” said Luttrell, who added that the clinic also has experienced a growing number of homeless patients in the past year. “I can’t tell you how many out-of-work engineers we see who are in their 50s and early 60s.”

Making matters increasingly difficult, she added, is a lack of awareness by some who assume that problems like being underemployed or uninsured don’t exist in prosperous Silicon Valley.

“People who work for themselves or work part time – or multiple jobs part time – they don’t have insurance,” she said. “It’s the behind-the-scenes folks, the person who cuts your hair or the person who serves your coffee. It’s your nanny (and) it’s your gardener.”

According to Luttrell, RotaCare doesn’t just keep the individuals healthy.

“We keep the family healthy and, by doing that, we keep the community healthy. … It’s a benefit to the public, which receives services from these people who are uninsured.”

Still, Luttrell said there’s plenty of room for optimism at RotaCare Mountain View. As usual, the clinic continues to offer traditional medical services for acute issues like coughs and colds as well as for chronic illnesses like diabetes or high blood pressure, among other maladies. This year, the clinic added cardiology, vascular and pulmonology services in an effort to meet more diverse medical needs.

Luttrell added that she’s particularly thankful for the horde of physicians, nurses and specialists who regularly volunteer their time and expertise to help those without the necessary means.

“We wouldn’t be here without our volunteers,” Luttrell said. “RotaCare would not exist without our volunteers. It’s a really special clinic and a special place to work because the people who are here want to be here.”

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