Wed10222014

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

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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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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Cybersecurity expert Coleman addresses Forum on how to guard against dangers of the Internet


Coleman

A cybersecurity expert cautioned against the dangers of the Internet in a Nov. 19 Morning Forum of Los Altos presentation, “The Challenges of Cybersecurity: National and Personal.”

Bill Coleman, chairman and CEO of the cybersecurity firm Resilient Systems Inc. and director of Business Executives for National Security, discussed how to protect computers and computer systems from unauthorized attacks.

According to Coleman, during the next 20 years, people’s lives will become even more dependent on the Internet. He said that while computers help in many aspects of our lives, the Internet can be scary. Without cybersecurity, he added, all privacy will be destroyed.

The Internet presently is not being used in the most secure way, Coleman said, which allows criminals to act with impunity as they obtain personal information. And threats are escalating, he noted.

“Our governments can’t protect us adequately because cyber attacks occur at network speed, while our defensive responses are at human speed,” he said.

Coleman said the U.S. is the most vulnerable and least protected country, because it depends heavily on the Internet and remains the biggest target.

“Many individuals and corporations do not have state-of-the-art security systems,” he said. “The public lacks awareness of the immensity of the problem. Cybercrime constitutes the biggest transfer of wealth in history.”

To combat the problem, the U.S. government oversees more than 20 agencies working to protect cyberspace. Unfortunately, Coleman said, the agencies are not well coordinated. Moreover, he added, there are inadequate laws to protect U.S. citizens.

Cybercrime is tough to combat, Coleman said, because it is well funded by professional crime syndicates, and governments as well as individuals commit cybercrime. Russia is the world leader in consumer cybercrime, while China is the world leader in cyberespionage (stealing intellectual property), he noted.

Coleman advised people to protect themselves in cyberspace by using security software with automatic updates, performing frequent security scans, using a separate credit card for online financial transactions and selecting strong passwords and changing them often. He warned against online banking, unless the user has a really secure system. He suggested only opening online documents “if you trust them.”

Coleman concluded that even though many bad things are occurring in the cyberworld, he is optimistic and believes that the U.S. is making progress in regards to cybersecurity.

The Morning Forum of Los Altos is a members-only lecture series that meets at Los Altos United Methodist Church. For membership details and more information, visit morning forum.com.

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