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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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Holiday gift ideas to please the beer lovers in your life


courtesy of BeerCandy Inc.
Craft beer has crept into foods and gifts of all types this year, including chocolates from Beercandy Inc.

If you’re looking for gift ideas for the beer enthusiast in your family or circle of friends, look no further. From inexpensive stocking stuffers to a high-end option for the person who has everything, following is a small selection of suggestions for the holiday season. Of course you can always buy beer as a gift – the number of locally brewed options is growing quickly and increasing in quality – but this column will focus on nonliquid gift options.

Stocking stuffers

• People like beer, and people like candy, so Santa Clara resident Steve Casselman had the great idea to put them together when he founded Beercandy Inc. in 2009. Three varieties of Beercandy are available: Hopdrops are hard candies with a tasty hop bite, Beertaffy includes stout and IPA-flavored taffies, and my personal favorites are the delicious chocolate-enrobed caramels infused with real craft beer ($5.99 to $9.99 from beercandy.com).

• True beer aficionados often travel with their own opener. To avoid being caught without the right tool for the job, beer lovers can make sure to be prepared with either the Reef Leather Fanning sandals ($58 from reef.com), which include an opener in the sole, or the Opena iPhone case ($7.99 from opena.com), which has a slide-out bottle opener in the back.

Under the tree

• “The American Craft Beer Cookbook” (Storey Publishing, 2013) by John Holl includes unique recipes from brew pubs and brewers across the United States ($19.95 from storey.com). While not every recipe contains beer (though many of them do), the book recommends a half-dozen different brews that would pair well with each and every dish. From slow-cooked Doppelbock BBQ Meatballs to ice cream Beer Floats, this book is sure to please the beer-loving foodie in your life.

• Beer Nerd is a new beer-tasting trivia game ($35 from chroniclebooks.com). Players answer beer trivia questions as they travel around the game board, identifying specific beers if they land on the “Blind Taste Test” squares. With trivia questions for all skill levels (general knowledge to technical), Beer Nerd can be fun for everyone (over 21) in your family during the holidays.

• Every homebrewer or home bartender should have his or her own Craft Beer Barrel Sign ($99.99 from redenvelope.com). Constructed from solid oak with a galvanized iron barrel strap, the sign features a customizable graphic including name, city/state and date.

• For beer lovers who want to try brewing their own, MoreBeer at 991 N. San Antonio Road in Los Altos offers a variety of personal home-brewery kits ranging in price from $69 to $494 (morebeer.com). For the beginner, I’d recommend the Deluxe No. 2 kit ($109), which contains nearly all of the equipment needed to begin brewing beer, including a bottling/sanitation bucket, a fermentation carboy, a hydro- meter, a siphon, a thermometer, a bottle filler, a capper, sanitation and cleaning supplies and a beer-making manual. The kit does not include bottles, ingredients or a 5-gallon kettle, which can be purchased separately if the brewer does not already have a cooking pot this size.

For the beer lover who has everything

The Brew Cave (starts at $6,350 from brewcave.com) is a walk-in beer cooler that holds up to 30 cases plus six kegs of beer. Approximately 7-feet-by-5-feet-by-8-feet in size, with glass doors, the insulated storage system contains everything needed to keep beer cold, including a refrigeration system and serving equipment for the taps mounted on the outside of the cave. The Brew Cave is recommended for the beer lover whose basement or garage is already full of refrigerators for his or her favorite beverage.

Derek Wolfgram is chief communications officer for the Silicon Valley Sudzers Homebrew Club, which meets the first Friday of each month at a home in Los Altos Hills and welcomes both new and experienced beer enthusiasts. For more information, visit sudzers.org.

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