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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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Who will protect the children from their parents?: Confronting Domestic Violence

What a series of unfortunate events for children in our county – and in our country – recently.

Veronica Gonzalez spanked her 12-year-old daughter hard enough with a wooden spoon to cause bruising. The beating was severe enough to prompt social workers to report her to the State Department of Justice’s child abuse database with a “substantiated” abuse determination. And a trial court judge upheld that determination.

Then the Sixth District Court of Appeal in San Jose reversed the child abuse determination made by the Santa Clara County Department of Social Services.

Why? One reason was because parents do have a right to impose physical discipline on their children (disturbingly referred to as a “privilege”), and the underlying hearings never addressed the existence of this right. The finding against the mother was, therefore, determined to have been made and upheld in proceedings that were fundamentally unfair.

However, the appeals court justified its ruling by other means: namely, that other forms of punishment like grounding and confiscating the daughter’s cellphone had failed, her behavior was worsening and the mother’s intent was to discipline, not harm, the child.

I am reminded of abusers who tell their wives as they beat them: I didn’t hit you that hard, I didn’t mean to hurt you, I wouldn’t

have to do this if you hadn’t said that/done that/stepped out of line, etc. The difference with adults is that they are told in court that there is no excuse for abuse – period.

What recourse does a child have with regard to violence perpetrated by his or her parents? And if the wooden spoon doesn’t work, what’s the next step? A strap? A whip? A fist?

Once you begin to incorporate violence into a relationship with someone you supposedly love, you have contaminated it and started to teach that violence and love go together. No matter how pure our motive, where did we ever get the notion that it was OK to beat our children with a wooden spoon?

What are we teaching our loved ones about healthy relationships and healthy ways to discipline when we hit? Are we not teaching them to equate love with violence?

That’s what Nick Ladany, dean of education and psychological counseling at Santa Clara University, said. Ladany claims that spanking is the “last resort of the incompetent. If we’re not competent as parents, then we do resort to violence.”

We learn what love is not just by words, but also by behaviors. How do we show love? A kiss, a hug, an embrace. How do we show its opposite? A blow, a beating, violence. That can’t also be love.

You can’t jam two mutually exclusive concepts together – love and violence – in a single word and call it “discipline.” Even toddlers are taught the rule: “No hitting. Use your words.”

We expect that parental figures will protect their children. When guardians fail, when courts rule unwisely, when parents lobby for the right to hit/hurt/bruise/do violence in the name of discipline, who will protect the children from their parents?

Ruth Patrick, M.A., is a domestic violence consultant with the Los Altos Community Foundation’s nonprofit WomenSV program, which received the 2013 award for Outstanding Community Service from the Santa Clara County Psychological Association. For more information, visit losaltoscf.org/womensv.

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