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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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Craft beer finds a home at Winter Fancy Food Show


Derek Wolfgram/Special to the Town Crier
A crowd gathers to sample Cypress Grove Chevre paired with local beers and ciders at the Winter Fancy Food Show.

At the 39th annual Winter Fancy Food Show, held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center last month, more than 1,300 companies from around the world highlighted an incredible diversity of food and beverage products from artisanal cheeses and charcuterie to microwavable prepared meals.

Of course, I went in search of beer-infused and beer-related products, and I found that beer appeared in two significant segments of the specialty-food products at the show: cheese and candy.

Beer-infused cheese

Beer and cheese share an affinity as products that are both fermented, in addition to tasting great together.

Two cheesemakers highlighted the relationship between cheese and beer in different ways. Cypress Grove Chevre, a goat-cheese producer from Arcata, served cheese samples with two different beers from North Coast Brewing Co. in Mendocino and a cider from Ace Cider in Sebastopol. The pairings brought out the complex flavors of both products. Cypress Grove Marketing Director Jason Baxter said they initially planned to recommend specific beers with specific cheeses but decided to let people make their own combinations because each beer brought out different characteristics in each cheese. My personal favorite pairing was the Sgt. Pepper cheese, a slightly tangy goat cheese with spicy chili threads, with the smooth roastiness of the North Coast Old No. 38 Stout.

Rogue Creamery, based in Central Point, Ore., took things a step further. As Francis Plowman, whose business card identifies him as the “Cheese Narrator” for Rogue, said, “The next step in the cheese world beyond beer and cheese pairing is to put it right in the vat.” Since 2004, Rogue has incorporated beer directly into the cheesemaking process, and it currently offers seven different beer cheeses. Four of the cheeses feature beer or ingredients from Rogue Ales, which is not formally connected to Rogue Creamery despite the Rogue name. Several cheeses incorporate porters or stouts (including Rogue Chocolate Stout, Caldera Mogli Porter and Hopworks Survival Stout), each with different flavor balances but highlighting the distinct roast and chocolate notes of these styles. The Hopyard Cheese is a salty, smooth, buttery, medium-sharp cheddar with an herbal bitter finish from hops pressed into the cheese.

Beer-flavored candy

Beer also made an appearance in several candy products, some more successful than others. One highly touted product debut at the Fancy Food Show was Jelly Belly’s “Draft Beer”-flavored jelly beans. The golden beans, with an iridescent “foam” finish, actually look like beer in a glass. However, while the chemically-produced flavor of beer is unmistakable, I have to confess to not really enjoying this candy. I found the beans to taste like a slightly stale mass-produced cheap beer – the possibilities of craft beer flavor are endless, but Jelly Belly went for the lowest common denominator.

Annette’s Chocolates from Napa served two versions of Beer Brittle – regular and “Firey” with spicy peppers. While the brittles were certainly tasty, the flavor contribution of the “local amber ale” was quite subtle. Beercandy Inc., featured in my December column on gift ideas, distributed thousands of samples of its Hopdrops, Beercaramels and Beertaffy. While Beercandy has been producing its beer-infused caramels since 2009, other producers have joined in. Chicago’s Vosges Haut-Chocolat, known for its bacon and chocolate bars, also had a Smoke & Stout Caramel Bar on exhibit, featuring Rogue Chocolate Stout beer and alderwood-smoked salt with burnt sugar caramel and 70 percent cacao dark chocolate.

Derek Wolfgram is chief communications officer for the Silicon Valley Sudzers Homebrew Club in Los Altos Hills, which welcomes both new and experienced beer enthusiasts. For more information, visit sudzers.org.

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