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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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Jeremiah’s Promise assists foster youth in bridging gap to adulthood



Jeremiah’s Promise made all the difference in the world for An Tran, a 21-year-old foster youth who found herself without a home when she turned 18. Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Imagine navigating into adulthood without the warm embrace of a parent’s hug. In a world that spins quickly around them, when foster youth age out and become emancipated from the system that supported them, they often follow a lonely path.

Fate proved different for An Tran, 21, who found her way to California after aging out of the foster-care system in another state. She landed in the supportive enclave of Jeremiah’s Promise – a local nonprofit that provides one-on-one mentoring, college and career support and web-based life coaching to 17- to 24-year-old former foster youth.

“Jeremiah’s Promise helped me see the brighter side of things,” said Tran, crediting her trained adult mentor, a science researcher at Stanford University who gave her the encouragement and direction to complete her GED and enroll in West Valley College to study biomedical engineering.

The journey wasn’t always easy for Tran, who experienced problems within her foster families and felt ignored by the legal foster-care system.

“After you age out, you literally get dumped on the street,” she said.

The Santa Clara County Department of Family & Child Services reports that 150 young adults age out of foster care in the county each year.

Without photo identification or a birth certificate, tasks like opening a bank account and applying for a job became nearly impossible for Tran.

She received invaluable support from Jeremiah’s Promise.

The organization treated her with respect, she said, asking what she needed to improve her life situation. She identified things as basic as a new pair of glasses and school supplies to more sustainable resources like life skills and relationship-building advice.

“The greatest need of our clients is to heal the very damaging emotional and physical scars left from years of childhood abuse or exploitation,” Jeremiah’s Promise founder and CEO Kim Golter said. “The second greatest need is to find people who will support, encourage and challenge them to become the people they were born to be.”

Jeremiah’s Promise volunteer Carolyn Robinson has experience working with foster youth at an area correctional institution. She became involved as a workshop instructor.

“I hear it every day: ‘If only I had this information earlier, I would have done things differently,’” she said.

Together with a dozen regular volunteers, Robinson played an integral role in instructing and mentoring 115 students through Jeremiah’s Promise community college workshops in 2013. The organization also provided donations and support to more than 180 emancipated foster youth and dependents in a local transitional housing program.

With the launch of a new web-based coaching tool that will be accessible to local workshop participants and emancipated foster youth from across the country, Golter sees the impact of Jeremiah’s Promise’s work expanding even more in the future.

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