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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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Religious institutions chart path for wandering travelers

It is not uncommon for people today to express an interest in spirituality but eschew the church or other religious institutions. This is like expressing an interest in cruises but not wanting anything to do with ships.

Religious institutions can go terribly wrong – as can the occasional cruise ship. And some passengers can occasionally behave in unspeakable ways. But without ships, there are no cruises.

What happens in the bowels of the ship may not seem especially noble. But without the steel girders and boilers and generators and kitchens, without the navigational charts and waste management, there can be no cruise.

Religious institutions – churches, synagogues, mosques and temples – are the infrastructure that provides the opportunity for spirituality. They preserve the stories from the ancient texts that call us to a deeper awareness of ourselves and our obligations to one another. They provide the institutions for teachers and mystics and those we have come to call saints. They provide the images that feed great art. They provide the patterns of life we dismiss as ritual but are the fabric from which great spirituality is woven.

The Christian practice of Holy Communion can be seen as mere ritual, but those who ponder the spiritual significance of this act see a profound reality: The central act of the Christian community is sharing bread. In a world where little bread is shared, this is a profound act of faith and hope and ethical formation, not just mere words.

Religious institutions tell the stories from which noble deeds arise. We use the term “Good Samaritan,” but it would have no meaning apart from the story Jesus told. And would we feel the obligation to be Good Samaritans without such stories? At the very least, these stories give us a common language for our best ideals.

Religious organizations are made up of human beings, so all the glory and shame of human beings can be found there. But they should be judged on that to which they aspire, not how well they have attained it. We cheer a child’s soccer game knowing the children are learning a sport, not because they have perfected it.

Religious institutions should be respected and supported for what they try to do: Teach a way of life that speaks of humility before the mystery of existence and compassion for others on this spiritual journey of life.

The Rev. David K. Bonde is pastor of Los Altos Lutheran Church, 460 S. El Monte Ave. For more information, call 948-3012 or visit losaltoslutheran.org.

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