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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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Letters to the Editor

No mystery in downtown parking

The city of Los Altos Downtown Parking Management Plan and the Downtown Public Parking Data sheet both accurately report the number of parking spaces, despite comments to the contrary (“Los Altos mysteries explored,” Jan. 29).

In the mid-1990s, the city purchased two downtown parcels – 400 Main St. and 230 First St. The private businesses operating in those locations were allowed to continue, and the city opened up 54 of the existing parking spaces for public use. While preparing for the eventual sale of the property, the city demolished the buildings in 2010 and used the site as a staging area to minimize construction impacts of the downtown beautification and First Street streetscape projects.

In 2012, with those projects complete, the city chose to allow, on a temporary basis, unregulated parking on the empty, unimproved lot while the site plan was under development. From April 2012 to August 2013, a total of 96 parking spaces were available.

The city’s Downtown Urban Design Plan identifies the First and Main site as a key gateway to the downtown and indicates that future development of the site should incorporate a “mixture of land uses, with retail on the ground floor” (Downtown Urban Design Plan, page 35). The development underway accomplishes that goal and will provide a welcoming entry into the downtown, which will promote vibrancy and economic vitality in downtown Los Altos.

To review the Downtown Parking Management Plan and the Downtown Urban Design Plan, visit losaltosca.gov/masterplans.

Marcia Somers

Los Altos City Manager

Leaf-blower violations merit citations

I am responding to a letter in another local newspaper regarding the Los Altos police beat, which reported 11 persons cited for illegally using gas-powered leaf blowers in Los Altos. The letter writer indicated that this was a waste of police time and taxpayers’ money.

Does the letter writer know about pollution?

The California Air Resources Board documents that the exhaust pollution from one gas blower used for one hour equals the smog produced by 17 cars driven for one hour.

Green alternatives include an electric blower, which has less power to stir up dangerous particulate matter, and a rake and a broom, which provide healthful exercise for the user.

The Los Altos City Council and other councils in the state and the U.S. acknowledged the detrimental environmental effects of these machines and banned them.

We commend the police for taking care of our citizens and citing the lawbreakers who violated our local ban, in effect since 1991.

Myra Orta

Los Altos

Yes to bond measure – if BCS goes to Morgan Hill

After receiving multiple survey phone calls on the wording of the school bond measure, my response has become somewhat brief.

I am all for it, up to $40 million, with one stipulation: Bullis Charter School must reside in Morgan Hill.

What? Oh yes – Morgan Hill! The legal requirement for a location in Santa Clara County would be met.

Bullis Charter School can continue to provide quality education services while cherry-picking enrollment and avoiding those with special needs, less-fluent English and substandard affluence. The obligatory $5,000 tuition will be paid without question.

It does beg the question of why Los Altos Hills doesn’t seek private financing for its own students as a strictly private school, which by all other aspects it is. Land is available.

Oh – by the way, if the stipulation of Morgan Hill isn’t met, my answer to the bond measure is no.

Kurt Ayers

Los Altos

Kudos to The European Cobblery

As a former mayor of Los Altos and downtown property owner, I extend a very special thanks to the many Los Altans and the Town Crier for quietly and politely letting both The European Cobblery and its landlord, Passarelle Investment Co., know how special the shop is to our village.

It provides a unique service, and they are staying – a welcomed development.

A final special thanks goes to The Cobblery and Passerelle.

Ron Packard

Los Altos

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