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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LASD counters charter school's enrollment forecast

The Los Altos School District countered Bullis Charter School’s projected enrollment for the 2014-2015 school year last week, calculating 73 fewer students than the charter school’s estimation.

The district’s response is part of the annual facilities allocation process, in which the district is required to provide Bullis Charter School “reasonably equivalent” facilities as outlined in Proposition 30 for all in-district students enrolled at the charter school.

Bullis Charter School officials submitted their facilities request Nov. 1, projecting an enrollment of 711 students next year, 678 in-district. The growth would require additional kindergarten, fourth- and seventh-grade classes.

In a letter sent to the charter school last week, the school district asserted that the charter school’s projected enrollment is “overly aggressive.” It stated that for the current school year, the charter school anticipated 140 additional in-district students but registered only 108, a difference of 32 students. The letter also pointed out that the charter school’s figures assume no attrition in any cohort of students returning and project an increase of 16 students in the fourth grade.

The district supported its decision to counter the numbers with a lower rate because of “historical negative variance” at the middle-school level, overprojection for seventh and eighth grades (58 percent and 25 percent, respectively) and historical overprojection.

The letter also stated that the charter school has not provided sufficient information to support the increase in incoming kindergartners and additional fourth-graders.

District officials requested additional information substantiating the increases, stating that they may use the information to re-evaluate the counter projection, including:

• A list of applicants, identified by student number and district of residence, for the current school year.

• Final disposition of each applicant’s status (offered enrollment via lottery, offered enrollment from waitlist, date on which enrollment was offered or enrollment declined).

• Indication whether applicant enrolled and remains enrolled.

• Documents reflecting the admission of students from the waitlist for the past three school years.

• Copies of all documentation related to action taken by the charter school board to increase the size of grade cohorts to 80, and in the case of kindergarten to 100.

“In providing its counter projections, the district has evaluated Bullis Charter School’s historical projections and attrition rates, as well as the veracity of the district’s own counter projections,” the letter stated. “The district’s counter projections are reasonable and supported by substantial evidence.”

The charter school has until Jan. 2 to respond to the district’s assertions.

For a complete copy of the letter, visit losaltosonline.com.

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