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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Council approves funds for civic center update

The Los Altos City Council last week unanimously approved funding of up to $184,000 for the services of a consultant to lead the update of its five-year-old Civic Center Master Plan.

The decision to retain the services of Anderson Brulé Architects – a consultant for the original 2009 master plan – came after the council opted earlier in January to move forward with a 10-month time frame for the revamp design. As previously reported by the Town Crier, the update focuses primarily on replacing the aging Hillview Community Center with a new multiuse, multigenerational facility.

In addition, the council unanimously approved a more detailed schedule for the project, which includes community workshops in April, August and October. A council study session on the project was scheduled Tuesday – after the Town Crier’s press deadline – to serve as a historical review of the 2009 master plan.

Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins explained that the city’s ultimate goal in updating the community center plan “is to really get residents to support a bond measure” that would fund Hillview’s replacement.

“No money, no project,” she said. “It really is trying to say, ‘How do we build to get to residents’ embracing the ability to support a bond?’”

During the hour-plus discussion, a handful of residents asked the council to consider additional elements in developing a new community center facility plan, such as a community pool and a dog park.

Los Altos resident David Smith urged the council to consider holding a community center design contest as a way to encourage better public involvement in the process. He said more public input could potentially mean greater buy-in if the city seeks a bond measure to fund a new facility in the future.

“At the end of the day, you’ve got to get the community to say yes,” he noted.

The council approved funding for the consultant and the 10-month update schedule – with some alterations.

Councilwoman Val Carpenter said the use of applicable city commissions and other community groups should “be taken into consideration as we move forward” – a point some of her council colleagues, including Jan Pepper, agreed with.

“(The commissions) have the expertise in their particular areas, and perhaps we can even save some money on this project by utilizing their expertise,” Pepper said. “That also helps to get more community buy-in.”

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