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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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School principal remembers slain priest as friend to all


Courtesy of St. Francis High School
The late Rev. Eric Freed formerly served as chaplain and teacher at St. Francis High.

St. Francis High School Principal Patricia Tennant last week remembered the Rev. Eric Freed, S.S., as a man who treated everyone he encountered in the same manner – without judgment.

“He was the everyman priest … he was everybody’s pastor,” Tennant said of Freed, a former St. Francis chaplain and religious studies teacher who was killed in the rectory of St. Bernard Catholic Church in Eureka New Year’s Day. “He was a great listener. He never judged and he truly had an open heart.”

Local police have since arrested 44-year-old Gary Lee Bullock and charged him with the murder. At the time of his death, Freed, 56, was pastor at St. Bernard’s, taught in the Religious Studies Department at Humboldt State University and served as chaplain of the university’s Newman Center.

In a conversation with the Town Crier, Tennant said she initially learned of Freed’s death shortly after a fellow priest discovered his body on New Year’s Day.

“I got a phone call the evening of New Year’s Day that he had been killed. It was a very difficult message to hear,” said Tennant, who added that the school held private Masses Jan. 6 and 9 for grieving students and faculty members. The school also celebrated Mass Sunday in the Brothers’ Chapel in remembrance of Freed.

“There was great disbelief,” Tennant said of the school community’s reaction to Freed’s passing. “I talked to a colleague today and he kept saying that he wants it to be a dream, that he wants to wake up.”

Tennant said she’ll remember Freed as not only a friend to her, but to countless students and faculty members he got to know both during and after his tenure at the school. She noted last seeing him in November, when he stayed at her home while assisting St. Francis faculty members in hosting the school’s annual senior retreat. It was an event, she noted, that Freed looked forward to every year, even after his 2002-2005 tenure at the school ended.

During his stay, Freed walked through the school, popping into classrooms to say hello to former colleagues and speak with students. In one class, she recalled, he held an on-the-spot calligraphy lesson for students.

“He walked into my English classroom and talked to all my kids,” said Tennant, who added that Freed had presided over her daughter’s wedding and also baptized all of her grandchildren. “He was that kind of guy. He was very worldly but so grounded in the human experience that he could talk to anyone.”

Tennant added that Freed’s 20-year residence in Japan, where he entered the Salesian Religious Congregation in 1979 before being ordained as a Salesian priest in 1990, helped shape his approach to people and the world.

“When he talked to kids or adults, he embraced all different cultures and approaches to life because he came from such a broad global perspective,” said Tennant, who attended the funeral service in Eureka last week. “It seemed there wasn’t anything in life that he couldn’t find a passion for.”

Tennant said Freed’s legacy was impactful considering the brief period he served at the school – and won’t soon be forgotten by its community.

“The grieving is open and it’s natural, but we also know he was a man of great faith, and that’s what sustaining me,” she said. “I just know that we loved him, and knowing that he loved us back is a good thing.”

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