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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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LASD partners with zSpace to enhance STEM curriculum


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District launched a partnership with zSpace, Inc. a company that designs units offering a 3-D personal computing experience.

The Los Altos School District recently joined forces with zSpace Inc., a startup that produces 3-D visualization stations, to boost its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum.

The zSpace system re-creates the standard personal computing experience into an immersive and interactive 3-D environment, commonly used in the business world for computing, creating and visualizing but now being pioneered in local schools as a learning tool.

The zSpace unit, which includes a screen, lightweight glasses and a stylus, enhances the 3-D experience. The glasses track the position of the user’s eyes to determine the appropriate plane of vision. The stylus can be used to reach into the screen and pull out an object to hover in a different area.

The district piloted the equipment with fifth-graders at Covington School during their study of the heart. Using the equipment, students could see a beating, fully functioning heart and dissect it using the stylus, which simulated the heart’s beats. With clicks of the stylus, students could peel off layers of the heart to peer into particular veins and chambers.

After their tryout at Covington, the zSpace units moved to Santa Rita School. The district acquired another set of units for use at Springer and Gardner Bullis schools this year. Students at Egan Junior High and Blach Intermediate schools can also experience zSpace technology, possibly in math courses.

“Through our partnership with zSpace, we will help develop and expand STEM learning tools in Earth, space, physical and life sciences for students in third through eighth grades,” said Alyssa Gallagher, district director of strategic initiatives and community partnerships. “Should the first two phases of our pilot be successful, we plan to engage all nine Los Altos School District schools in phase three, beginning fall 2014.”

Gallagher said the district’s teachers and STEM coaches are collaborating with zSpace employees to identify which units would be most appropriate to integrate into district classrooms.

It is a mutually beneficial relationship, according to Gallagher, because district teachers can provide feedback to the zSpace team to help them optimize technology for students in the future.

“Our benefit is that our students and teachers are getting exposure in the very early stages,” she said. “We have the ability to help shape and craft this technology the way we wish to use it in the classroom.”

For more information, visit zspace.com.

The Town Crier presents: 3-D tools for schools

Los Altos schools explore a 3-D world of learning

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