Wed02102016

News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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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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