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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Downtown College Prep schools encourage, empower students



Downtown College Prep students spend four 45-minute periods a week preparing college applications, with support from teachers and staff. Traci Newell/ Town Crier

For teachers and students alike, Downtown College Prep schools are a family, and family members don’t let each other down.

“The teachers are committed to helping you out,” said Mario Rodriguez, a member of the 78-student senior class at Downtown College Prep in San Jose. “They give you a sense of comfort and make school feel like home. Here, you actually know your teachers and they spend time with you, and that is something I really value and cherish.”

Downtown College Prep schools are charter schools in the San Jose Unified and Alum Rock school districts. The singular mission for students, most the first in their families to apply to college, is be accepted to and enroll at a four-year university, a graduation requirement.

Last week at Downtown College Prep in San Jose, Rodriguez and his classmates celebrated the completion of the UC and CSU college admissions process.

“It was really stressful, but it was really worth it,” said senior Audrey Aguilar. “I felt like sometimes I was thinking, ‘I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t know if I’m good enough.’ But I just had to get over that fear.”

One of the aspects that makes Downtown College Prep unique is that students spend four 45-minute periods a week preparing college applications, with support from teachers and staff.

Jeff Dagan, senior English teacher, said he has a chart in his room tracking his students’ progress in meeting deadlines for college admissions.

“It’s amazing how many of our students go to college,” he said. “This little rule of having the graduation requirement of being accepted into a four-year university really works to get them going right from the beginning. Making it a structural piece and requirement is the key to why we are so successful.”

Downtown College Prep believes that all students, regardless of academic achievement, could and should be prepared for college success. Five hundred graduates later, the school continues to build transformational learning communities where students become pioneers in their families and communities.

Downtown College Prep is committed to college success. The school’s “To and Through” college completion model ensures that graduates and their families are supported in the pursuit of a college degree. With a focus on students who are historically underserved by traditional public schools, Downtown College Prep families are largely low-income Latino families with limited education.

Next year, Downtown College Prep will add 550 seats in its Alum Rock and San Jose schools. Alum Rock currently serves sixth- through ninth-graders but is growing to eventually continue through 12th grade. Next year, the San Jose school will add a sixth-grade program, which will connect to the current ninth- through 12th-grade program.

The Town Crier Holiday Fund’s contribution supports Downtown College Prep programs in San Jose and Alum Rock.

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