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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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The Talon explores undocumented student

Undocumented immigration affects several students at Los Altos High School and their families. The school’s student newspaper, The Talon, investigated the topic to provide information about what it means to be an undocumented student in the area. Below is the account of one undocumented student at Los Altos High.

At the age of 7, Lily watched her mother make a decision that would forever change her family members’ lives. Lily, her sisters and her mother left their home in Puebla Tejarta, Mexico, to meet up with Lily’s father, who had left for the United States two years before.

“I didn’t have a choice whether or not I wanted to go,” Lily said. “It’s because my father was here in the United States, and my mother couldn’t live another day without my dad. After my father had left, all I remembered would be his phone calls, as he would call for my birthday or for my sisters’ birthdays.”

With Lily’s father in mind, the remaining family members set off to cross the border. Guided by “coyotaje” smugglers, they along with others hiked the distance across the border to the United States.

“A total of 15 people were in my group; we all walked three days, straight through the desert,” Lily said. “There was no airplane, no nothing. That experience, it scarred all of us. For three years, my sisters were scared of helicopters. They would hide under a tree every time we would go out.”

The border crossing was rough. Statistically speaking, the U.S. Border Patrol estimates that more than 5,600 people have died crossing the border illegally since 1998.

“Of the 15 group members, only 13 of us made it to America,” Lily said. “One of the people who died was elderly. Since there was no water, he drank his urine and he died.”

Because of the treacherous journey, the group was unable to hang on to their possessions.

“We took a bag of clothes, but we left it behind in the desert,” Lily said. “When it came time to cross the border, we just couldn’t take anything with us.”

However, her physical journey paled in comparison to the hardships she would face in her new country. After finally settling on American soil, the family had to work hard to make ends meet.

“I remember that we didn’t have to worry about paying for rent and for school events in Mexico,” Lily said. “Here, I feel like we go through struggle after struggle just to make ends meet.”

While Lily’s family worried about money and rent, Lily spent the next few years acclimating to her new environment. Language barriers coupled with her lack of proper identification left her feeling alienated and alone.

“When I came to school for the first time, I came in the middle of the school year, so the other students all knew each other,” she said. “Since I didn’t know a single drop of English, I was completely lost. Thank goodness my teacher was bilingual.”

Lily’s experiences were not unique. The Pew Research Center Hispanic Trends Project estimated that in 2008, 13.5 percent of all K-12 students in California were the children of undocumented immigrants.

“For me, coming to America is just about having the opportunity to further my education and further my family and to learn and live,” she said. “Coming to America meant not being scared. In Mexico, there are a lot of really bad things happening over there. I would love to go back home, but not to Mexico the way it is right now.”

Lily is a senior; she plans to attend a four-year college after graduation.

For more of The Talon’s coverage on immigration, visit immigration.lahstalon.org.

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