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News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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Keep abreast of identify theft

My mom once told me her important documents are stored in a shoebox on a shelf in her closet. As a business professional, you may often leave your information in your office, car and home. Did you ever wonder where else that information could be? More than 10 million people in the United States last year were victims of identity theft.

Identity theft cannot be prevented, even if you are diligent about shredding and filing, but it can be minimized, and early detection can help to mitigate damages.

According to the Federal Trade Commission and news reports, your PII (personally identifiable information) or NPI (nonpublic information) can be purchased online for pennies on the dollar. Your personal, business and financial information has already been compromised somewhere on the Internet. How does this impact you as a business professional? You should keep abreast of the most common types of identity theft and the most effective ways in which it can affect you and your clients.

Most of us are familiar with financial identity theft and credit- card fraud. I have a client who recently had an identity thief superimpose his own picture over the victim's driver's license and open bank accounts in Florida and New York. The thief wire-transferred $120,000 out of the victim's line of credit into the fraudulent accounts.

There are four primary areas of identity theft: Social Security, driver's license, criminal/character and medical.

Social Security identity theft occurs when another person wants to minimize exposure in his or her own name and uses your Social Security number to work and gain benefits.

Driver's license identity theft allows a criminal to impersonate you and open a bank account or provide law enforcement with your information rather than his or her own for a traffic violation or DUI.

Criminal/character identity theft occurs when a thief actually begins a new life under your name. It can go on for years undetected.

Medical identity theft is one I experienced personally. I lost my purse at my son's baseball tournament. Although I canceled my credit cards right away, someone used my medical ID card for treatment in a hospital in Southern California. The impact? Bills from that hospital could have affected my credit, and it is no easy task to clear up incorrect medical information.

In a newly released book, "The Silent Crime: What You Need to Know About Identity Theft" by Michael McCoy and Steffen Schmidt, a hospital nurse is quoted, "Why worry? Because I know that the vast number of patient records lost each year contains enough data for someone else to start a new life."

New legislation empowers the Federal Trade Commission to monitor small and large companies to protect personal data collected about clients and employees. It is important to be aware of these new laws and put a plan in place to mitigate potential damages from a data breach, which can include misplacing or losing a disk with names, addresses, employee records, health information or any other personal information. It is not always the result of malicious intent, but often a result of carelessness. However it happens, liability follows the data. These liabilities include significant fines and impact you in business and personally.

For more information, call 964-7733 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Joanna Medin is a Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist through the Institute of Fraud Risk Management.

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