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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Hidden in plain sight: Rotary speaker warns of dangers of human trafficking


Steve Pomeroy/ Rotary Club of Los Altos
Betty Ann Boeving addresses the Los Altos Rotary Club Jan. 16.

Betty Ann Boeving, founder and executive director of the Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition, warned members of the Rotary Club of Los Altos Jan. 16 that human trafficking has grown into a $32 billion industry that plagues not only distant developing countries, but also the Bay Area.

“Human trafficking in the Bay Area is hidden in plain sight here in Los Altos, Mountain View, Los Gatos and beyond,” she said, defining it as “modern-day slavery.”

Boeving estimated that 50 percent of human trafficking victims are children and 80 percent are female, totaling 23 million victims worldwide.

In Silicon Valley, she noted, victims may be forced into domestic servitude as nannies or maids, child labor in restaurants or sex trafficking in nail salons and massage parlors.

Human traffickers may attempt to hide suspicious activity by using a legitimate business as a front, such as a massage parlor, she said.

Impact close to home

The perpetrators of human trafficking may appear innocent, Boeving cautioned. One nicely maintained Silicon Valley house, for example, aroused suspicion when a neighbor noticed that there were bars inside, not outside, the windows. Even in Los Altos, Boeving added, the parents of a high school student sold their daughter for sex. The girl, who escaped only after going away to college, has since appeared as a speaker at the Freedom Summit human trafficking conference.

Victims may include domestic workers, young people selling fruit on corners and children selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door, Boeving said. In a Menlo Park case, the police caught traffickers dropping off a young girl at a church after the service to beg among parishioners.

Some violent video games, like Grand Theft Auto, may desensitize children to violence against women, prompting Boeving to suggest that parents be alert to attitudes forming within their families.

Californians approved Proposition 35, the ban on human trafficking and sex slavery, by an 81 percent margin in 2012, the largest initiative victory in state history. A concerted effort by individuals, communities and nonprofit groups is needed to defeat human trafficking, Boeving said.

San Jose International Airport personnel have been trained to recognize human trafficking by people posing as sports coaches, field trip leaders or even aunts and uncles. Other personnel with heightened awareness should include school staff, medical first responders and local legislators.

Boeving recommended that corporations investigate their supply chains for labor violations in source countries. In their own homes, consumers may unknowingly support human trafficking via their product purchases and should check to ensure that companies with slave-free supply chains market the products they buy.

Boeving noted that coffee, chocolate, tea, rice, sugar and hygiene products like shampoo should display the Fair Trade Certified logo that guarantees slave-free production.

Boeving said coordinated effort by individuals, communities and nonprofit groups could eliminate human trafficking within one generation.

“We are all needed to send the message to traffickers that they will be stopped – the Bay Area is a place where they can’t do business,” she said.

For more information, visit baatc.org.

Marlene Cowan is a member of the Rotary Club of Los Altos.

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