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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Overcome the winter blues with some tasty reds


Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
Red Ales pair malty sweetness with a strong hop backbone. California brewers have been trending toward potent “Imperial” editions.

Red Ale, also known as Amber Ale, originated with California brewers, and many commercial versions are still brewed here. While the style highlights a balance of hops and malt, there is great variation in different breweries’ interpretations of that balance. Some beers present a predominant caramel malt sweetness with hop bitterness and flavor in the background, while others significantly focus on hops and drink more like a darker-colored West Coast IPA.

I sampled five California-brewed examples and ranked them by my personal enjoyment, ending with the finest example I found. Based on the hefty bitterness and relatively high alcohol levels for the style, most of these would be categorized as Imperial Red Ales. While I don’t always prefer beers with higher alcohol levels, in this case, my rankings fell in order by the strength of the brews.

Evil Twin, Heretic Brewing, Fairfield, 6.8 percent ABV

Although marketed as a Red Ale, Evil Twin pours a deep brown in color with a low beige head. Pungent, catty hops dominate the aroma, and the flavor highlights dank hop bitterness, balanced by a dark-chocolate malt backbone. The interplay between the hops and malt results in an earthy flavor – while caramel malts in Red Ales tend to produce some sweetness, Evil Twin is malty without coming across as sweet. The beer is very well carbonated, and the bubbles accentuate a spicy Columbus hop flavor that lingers through the finish.

Red Rocket Ale, Bear Republic Brewing, Healdsburg, 6.8 percent ABV

Bear Republic describes Red Rocket as a “bastardized Scottish-style Red Ale.” The malt dominance certainly reflects the brew’s Scottish heritage, while the bitterness levels represent the West Coast of the U.S. Mahogany brown in color with a medium tan head, the aroma highlights a graham-cracker sweetness. However, the first sip reveals a firm, spicy bitterness that persists through the finish. Medium full-bodied, with just a hint of roast on the palate, Red Rocket does not offer much hop flavor despite the pronounced bitterness.

Hop Head Red, Green Flash Brewing, San Diego, 7 percent ABV

Ruby red with a full beige head, the aroma of Hop Head Red showcases a balance of orange zest from Amarillo hops with a caramel candy malt – the blend actually reminds me of orange Brach’s Caramel Royals candy (in a good way). The medium-bodied beer features a delicious juicy citrus hop flavor in balance with a toasty caramel sweetness. With moderate bitterness from start to finish, Hop Head Red drinks like an excellent fruity IPA.

McCarthy’s Bane, Knee Deep Brewing, Auburn, 8 percent ABV

With a humorous mock-Soviet label for its “red” beer, Knee Deep has produced a fine Imperial Red Ale. The beer pours deep copper in color with a fluffy off-white head, and the complex aroma includes citrusy hops, spicy rye notes and a hard-candy sweetness. On the palate, the mouthfeel is velvety and the moderate bitterness and light caramel malt provide a backdrop to feature a pronounced hops flavor. The pleasant grapefruit twang of the hops is present from the first sip through the finish.

Shark Attack, Port Brewing, San Diego, 9 percent ABV

Shark Attack is deep ruby red in color, with a huge rocky beige head and a resinous, piney aroma backed by a hint of malt sweetness. Surprisingly smooth for its strength, the flavor features a complex interplay of smooth bitterness, crystal malt sweetness and a crisp citrus hop flavor, all highlighted by high carbonation. While there is a moderate alcohol bite, Shark Attack is one of the finest Imperial Red Ales available.

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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