Sun10192014

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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Senior sensations Moldaw Singers perform concerts for local audiences


Ron Griggs/ Mirror Image Photography
Linda Mankin, 85, leads the Moldaw Singers in concert. The choral group comprises seniors in their 80s and 90s, including former Los Altos residents Henry and Lottie Burger.

The Moldaw Singers performed “A Biblical Songfest” concert at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto last month, an auditory and visual showcase that included a slideshow.

The group comprises nearly 40 singers in their 80s and 90s, including former Los Altos residents, who live at Moldaw Residences, the retirement community in Palo Alto.

Singing on key

Linda Mankin, 85, who earned a master’s degree in music composition from Stanford University, works hard to ensure that seniors in the Moldaw Singers choral group are on key and having fun.

The 12 songs featured at the concert were based on Bible stories, including “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho,” “Little David Play Your Harp” and “Sit Down, Sister,” some performed in Hebrew and Latin.

Resident Council President Henry Burger, 87, a former Los Altos resident and member of the Moldaw Singers, said he and his wife, Lottie, were excited to bring the show to the JCC’s Cultural Arts Hall, next door to Moldaw Residences.

“My wife and I love performing with the Moldaw Singers,” Burger said. “Our group leader and Moldaw resident, Linda, works so hard with us and really helps us prepare, even though some members have never sung before. Our practices and performances are just other ways for everyone to get together and enjoy each other’s company – and that’s important.”

Mankin assumed leadership of the group two years ago and has experienced success with the senior singers. She continues to attend conferences that inspire her and give her ideas and tips to share with the group. She recently attended a conference in San Francisco hosted by the Acoustical Society of America and came back with renewed enthusiasm to help improve the group’s performances.

“Witnessing the progress of this group has been confirmation of my belief that music can be a lifelong source of pride and pleasure,” Mankin said. “I would encourage anyone who used to sing or play an instrument to never give it up. It could be one of the greatest pleasures of your life.”

Standing room only

The Moldaw Singers include eight to 10 male vocalists and approximately 30 women. Mankin noted members’ increased sense of loyalty and dedication over time as they rehearsed and performed together. The group practiced every Monday night for nearly two hours, and what started as few participants has grown into a popular performing group whose shows are typically standing room only.

The concert theme “A Biblical Songfest” came naturally to Mankin. For a number of years, she has attended weekly Torah classes at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills. Mankin said she finds the stories fascinating and the songs written about them beautiful. Believing that people of all ages and religions can relate to them, Mankin added that she chose the theme with confidence.

“We’d been excited to show the community how hard we’ve been practicing and how talented our group is through such special songs with this biblical theme,” Burger said.

The Moldaw Singers are gearing up for their 2014 season, with Mankin planning to incorporate techniques she learned at a recent conference to help the senior singers produce more tone.

“According to several presenters,” Mankin said, “there is a tendency among some seniors to think that they sound louder than they do, which may be due to the feedback they get from their hearing aids or to the natural decline in the production of their vocal chords.”

Mankin said conference presenters suggested that she pass around a hand-held personal recorder, a smartphone perhaps, and allow the seniors actually to hear themselves. For those more visually oriented, an app shows a picture of the soundsignal as they sing, giving them input on the strength of their sound versus time.

“We never stop learning,” she said, “and I’m anxious to share these new methods with the group.”

For more information on Moldaw Residences, call 433-3600 or visit moldaw.org.

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