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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Open Space District approves vision plan, considers bond measure


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District selected Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve as one of 25 priority projects in its long-term vision plan.

Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District officials propose improvements to Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve in their long-term vision plan.

At the conclusion of a nearly 10-month vision planning process, the district prioritized projects for the next 40 years based on scientific analysis and public input gathered via five public meetings and its online website.

The district narrowed the list of 73 potential projects into 25 priority projects for implementation in the “nearer-term,” defined by officials as the next 20 years or sooner. Projects range from campground and trail improvements to habitat conservation and watershed protection.

To qualify for inclusion on the tier-one priority list, a project needed public support at meetings and online, a high rating from members of the Community Advisory Committee and relevance to the goals of the vision plan.

After a final review last week, board members approved 23 tier-one projects in addition to two others that merited inclusion because of public interest and the large number of visitors that use the open spaces.

Improvements to Rancho San Antonio, the district’s most active preserve with nearly 13,000 visitors per day, made the priority project list. Enhancements at the preserve may include adding a visitors’ center, upgrading Deer Hollow Farm, extending bike trails, installing a bike-share station and coordinating bus service to reduce parking demands.

“We did a lot of upfront planning as to be as inclusive and open as possible,” said Curt Riffle, a Los Altos resident who represents Ward 4 on the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District board.

According to district officials, approximately 5 percent of all meeting participants and 10 percent of all online participants reside in Los Altos.

Riffle said local residents should be “pretty darn happy with what we’ve done.” In the 41 years since voters created the district to preserve open space, the district has acquired 62,000 acres of land. With less than 50 percent of district land currently open to the public, Riffle said the vision plan would make more open space accessible.

Now that the vision plan is approved, the board will evaluate costs for priority projects and examine supplemental funding options, such as a bond. According to a district estimate, the top 25 projects on the priority list could cost approximately $300 million.

“We think the public might be willing to pay a little more,” said Riffle of a bond measure that would generate funds to expedite the projects.

Board members will decide at their Feb. 26 meeting whether to place a General Obligation Bond on the June 2014 ballot.

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