07282016Thu
Last updateWed, 27 Jul 2016 10am

News

Program aims to help teachers afford housing

The Los Altos School District and Los Altos Community Foundation have joined forces to create an online form for local residents to connect with teachers in need of housing.

The district seeks to help teachers handle the high cost of housing in the ...

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Schools

AAUW supports local students at STEM Tech Trek camp

AAUW supports local students at STEM Tech Trek camp


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Tech Trek campers study the contents of a baby albatross’ stomach to understand the effect plastic can have on the marine ecosystem. The American Association of University Women provided scholarships that enabled seven...

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Community

Local vet: Dogs need teeth brushing, too: Pet Pause

Home oral hygiene can make a tremendous difference in your dog’s comfort and health. There are several home care oral hygiene options from which to choose, but keep in mind that anything you can do to help prevent plaque and tartar accumulation...

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Sports

It's been a big year for Little League

It's been a big year for Little League


Courtesy of Peter Jewett
The Los Altos & Los Altos Hills Little League’s 10-11 All-Stars won the Section 5 championship July 20. Front, from left: Connor Prahm, Jack Surdey, Jimmy Flynn, Rodrigo Ortiz, Justin Chou, Devan Reynard and Derek Gile....

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Comment

Letter to the Editor

LAH should examine short-term rentals

I used to think that a short-term rental (Airbnb style) was operated by someone who has a spare bedroom to share and was thus not a big issue. Living in Los Altos Hills, I was surprised to find out that one of m...

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Special Sections

Gardening for life: Strategies to make it easy

Gardening for life: Strategies to make it easy


Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Succulents are a good choice for a small, low-maintenance garden that needs minimal water. Combine a variety of interesting colors and shapes.

If aches and pains are starting to limit your ability to garden, t...

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Business

Maybe think twice before extending that warranty

Maybe think twice before extending that warranty


I was in an electronics store the other day and at checkout they asked – doing their best “Would you like some fries with that?” routine – if I would like to purchase a warranty.

I never buy a service contract. Most good pr...

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People

ULF STAUBER

Ulf Stauber passed away at his home on July 13; he had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Ulf was born in Berlinchen, Germany on May 23, 1938. Following the Russian invasion in 1945, he, his mother and two brothers fled to Hamburg where Ulf gre...

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News

Program aims to help teachers afford housing

The Los Altos School District and Los Altos Community Foundation have joined forces to create an online form for local residents to connect with teachers in need of housing.

The district seeks to help teachers handle the high cost of housing in the area. According to district officials, many teache...

Readmore

Business

Maybe think twice before extending that warranty

Maybe think twice before extending that warranty

I was in an electronics store the other day and at checkout they asked – doing their best “Would you like some fries with that?” routine – if I would like to purchase a warranty.

I never buy a service contract. Most good products come with a decent warranty, and if I shop ...

Readmore

Sports

It's been a big year for Little League

It's been a big year for Little League

Courtesy of Peter Jewett
The Los Altos & Los Altos Hills Little League’s 10-11 All-Stars won the Section 5 championship July 20. Front, from left: Connor Prahm, Jack Surdey, Jimmy Flynn, Rodrigo Ortiz, Justin Chou, Devan Reynard and Derek Gile. Middle: Thomas Walker, Alex Fuchs, Jake Skaggs, L...

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Community

Local vet: Dogs need teeth brushing, too: Pet Pause

Home oral hygiene can make a tremendous difference in your dog’s comfort and health. There are several home care oral hygiene options from which to choose, but keep in mind that anything you can do to help prevent plaque and tartar accumulation will pay big dividends. The most important thing ...

Readmore

Comment

Letter to the Editor

LAH should examine short-term rentals

I used to think that a short-term rental (Airbnb style) was operated by someone who has a spare bedroom to share and was thus not a big issue. Living in Los Altos Hills, I was surprised to find out that one of my neighbors in a small cul-de-sac is renting out a...

Readmore

People

ULF STAUBER

Ulf Stauber passed away at his home on July 13; he had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Ulf was born in Berlinchen, Germany on May 23, 1938. Following the Russian invasion in 1945, he, his mother and two brothers fled to Hamburg where Ulf grew up. He emigrated to the United States in 1963, l...

Readmore

Schools

AAUW supports local students at STEM Tech Trek camp

AAUW supports local students at STEM Tech Trek camp

Traci Newell/Town Crier
Tech Trek campers study the contents of a baby albatross’ stomach to understand the effect plastic can have on the marine ecosystem. The American Association of University Women provided scholarships that enabled seven local middle-school girls to attend the camp at S...

Readmore

Special Sections

Gardening for life: Strategies to make it easy

Gardening for life: Strategies to make it easy

Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Succulents are a good choice for a small, low-maintenance garden that needs minimal water. Combine a variety of interesting colors and shapes.

If aches and pains are starting to limit your ability to garden, then gardening industry expert Toni Gattone has a s...

Readmore

Stepping Out

TheatreWorks gets political

TheatreWorks gets political

Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Tasha Lawrence and Richard Prioleau play journalists in TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s world premiere of “Confederates,” playing through Aug. 7 at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley recently launched its 47th season with Suzann...

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Obituaries

ULF STAUBER

Ulf Stauber passed away at his home on July 13; he had been suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. Ulf was born in Berlinchen, Germany on May 23, 1938. Following the Russian invasion in 1945, he, his mother and two brothers fled to Hamburg where Ulf grew up. He emigrated to the United States in 1963, l...

Readmore

Magazine

Festival offers fun for just about everyone

Festival offers fun for just about everyone

TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The 37th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival expects to draw thousands of people to the downtown village over the weekend. The festival features arts, crafts, food, wine, beer and children’s activities.

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"Nurse Barb" offers college-ready health primer for recent graduates


courtesy of University of Oregon
University health centers offer more than just doctors on call – students can find travel and vaccination services, sexual health resources including free condoms, mental health services and often even a pharmacy.

Mountain View-based nurse-practitioner Barbara Dehn, known as author and presenter “Nurse Barb,” compiled tips for parents this year as they prepare students for the transition to college.

Eating and sleeping well, study habits, exercise and drug and alcohol choices are key components of a family conversation on the way to college.

But Dehn identified a few key topics that aren’t necessarily as obvious to parents. In an interview with the Town Crier, she provided a checklist of topics families might want to approach as the school year starts. She’s having these discussions herself – her son begins college in Oregon this fall.

Words of wisdom

Dehn’s first piece of advice: Make a family plan about privacy and/or shared health information. Under the law, a student has full medical and academic privacy rights when he or she turns 18. That means that a family needs to discuss what information children will choose to share with their parents, and how. Some families sign health-care proxies, durable power-of-attorney forms or health-care advance directive forms to keep on file with the university. This allows parents – with consent – to access records and participate in health-care decisions.

“You can set boundaries with your children and let them know that we’re not asking for carte blanche,” Dehn said. “Parents know their children really well. If you have a child and you know that they have some challenges – asthma, for instance – you might say that it’s really helpful for you to be able to talk to health-care providers on campus about asthma.”

Other families discuss mental health resources and stress management. Sometimes an orientation visit to the health center, on-campus pharmacy and counseling center can establish where to find assistance on demand.

“You want everyone to be successful, no matter what their challenges are – being open and not being ashamed,” Dehn said. “I highly recommend that parents who know that their children may have some challenges have that conversation at the health center ahead of time, so they’re aware and alert.

You might also want to read:
Ingredients for a college-ready first aid kit

At her son’s university, Dehn was intrigued to see a vaccination corner of the health center for students planning to study abroad, as well as information-sharing authorizations that allowed students to specify exactly when and how parents could participate in their health care. In addition to mental health resources, they start the year with relationship and sexual health information. Dehn has seen young patients with a huge range of comfort levels when it comes to discussing sexual subjects, and she believes in providing an opening for conversation and education, and letting the young person take it from there. University health centers continue the process that parents should start.

“I love that they had free condoms – female condoms, male condoms, lubricant – and they have the kids take a safe and consensual sex class,” Dehn said of her son’s school.

Dehn believes that a self-defense class might be the most helpful summer program for incoming freshmen – girls and boys. Both genders experience sexual assaults on college campuses, and those incidents are among the most underreported crimes, particularly for male victims. Dehn said universities have begun offering self-defense courses though PE departments. Training in physical assertiveness and situation assessment can contribute to safety beyond sexual encounters. Hazing by sports teams or in dorms can lead to physical confrontations, too.

“When trust has been built up and a person is confused and not really sure they’re reading the situation correctly, by the time they’re in an uncomfortable position, they have fewer recourses,” Dehn said. “And drugs and alcohol often play a role in acquaintance assault.”

Difficult conversations

Classes can build out a personal toolkit for assessing and responding to situations with escalating risk. And parents don’t need to wait for college classes to get their children thinking about these topics. Dehn believes that practicing difficult conversations – thinking through situations that might arise with a child, just to start the process of identifying problems and finding resources – should start as early as possible.

Learning how to verbally negotiate new dynamics – with roommates, friends or professors – can start at home. She suggests that parents might introduce a “what-ifs” chat during shared activities or on a drive: What would you do if …? Then what would happen?

“Not every child is communicative, but at least if you put it out there, they’ll realize it could happen,” Dehn said.

For more information on making a healthy transition to college, visit Dehn’s website at nursebarb.com or follow her on Twitter @NurseBarbDehn.

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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