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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City council looks ahead: Goals include developing new community center plan


Town Crier File Photo
During their annual retreat, members of the Los Altos City Council committed to implementing short-term parking solutions for downtown Los Altos in 2014.

A plan that would lead to the funding and construction of a new community center is among a handful of goals on the Los Altos City’s Council’s to-do list for 2014.

Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins told the Town Crier that the development of an action plan to replace the aging Hillview Community Center was one in a “manageable set of goals” discussed by the council at its annual retreat Dec. 14 at the Jesuit Retreat Center.

Bruins noted that the city would spend the year exploring “what it will take” for a new center to become reality. She noted that the plan would likely cover several crucial components in detail, including funding strategies, design options and potential partnerships with other entities.

Mayor Megan Satterlee added that public feedback from a 2012 public survey showed a higher level of resident interest in replacing the aging community center as opposed to some other civic facilities. The survey was conducted at the time to gauge public interest in a bond measure to fund the first phase of the city’s Civic Center Master Plan, which called for the replacement of city hall, the Los Altos Police Department and the community center.

“What is different is that the feedback on the master plan has caused us to amend the phasing. Clearly the top priority is the community center,” said Satterlee, who described public interest as “high” for replacing Hillview.

Satterlee added that the task would include a 2014 public engagement process “around some options that look different from the master plan so that we can get to a design we think we can move forward with.”

Other priorities

Planning for a new community center wasn’t the only goal discussed during the daylong retreat.

Bruins said the city would continue to explore parking solutions for downtown Los Altos. Satterlee confirmed that the city would implement and follow up the short-term strategies outlined in the city’s Downtown Parking Management Plan.

Satterlee expressed interest in crafting a policy that would outline ways that developers could meet their projects’ parking demands by helping to fund the reconfiguration of public parking plazas. She cautioned, however, that “there has to be a meeting of the minds by the majority of the council in order for this policy to move forward.”

Satterlee pointed to transportation issues as another key discussion for the new year. She noted that the council would explore solutions in 2014 to the “barriers to success” that prevent some city transportation projects from moving forward at a more rapid rate. She said the issue could include looking at “making some modifications” to engage the public on projects earlier and more efficiently.

“The goal is to move faster when we start projects and to move more of them forward,” Bruins said.

The council also listed an ongoing effort to improve community engagement as a whole, which might include the appointment of an ad hoc committee to develop new strategies, Bruins noted. In addition, Bruins and Satterlee cited the continuation of managing the city’s finances in a prudent manner as a top priority for 2014.

Some items that could not be addressed in the daylong retreat, including discussions on council norms, the 2014 legislative calendar and potential adjustments to the city’s administrative approval process, are slated for discussion at a special meeting, scheduled Tuesday.

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