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News

City chips in $7,000 for SFMOMA installation

City chips in $7,000 for SFMOMA installation


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council earmarked $7,000 for the purchase of Chris Johanson’s artwork.

The city of Los Altos will contribute $7,000 toward the purchase of a $28,000 art installation featured in the San Francisco Museum...

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Schools

LASD students celebrate service learning

LASD students celebrate service learning


Courtesy of Sandra McGonagle
We Day, held March 26 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, exhorts students in the Los Altos School District to effect positive change.

More than 150 Los Altos School District student leaders joined 16,000 Bay Area students to ce...

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Community

Film career launches with Cannes screening

Film career launches with Cannes screening


Courtesy of Zachary Ready
Los Altos native Zachary Ready, front left, and co-director Andrew Cathey, right, celebrate their Campus MovieFest awards.

After learning the art of filmmaking as a child in the front yard of his family’s Los Altos home...

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Sports

Sports on the Side

Pathways Run/Walk slated May 10 in Hills

The 13th annual Pathways Run/Walk is scheduled 9 a.m. May 10 at Westwind Community Barn, 27210 Altamont Road, Los Altos Hills. The course wends through Byrne Preserve and onto the Los Altos Hills Pathways sys...

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Comment

Now is the time to expand parking: Editorial

Just a few short years ago, vacancies dotted downtown Los Altos. Property owners had a hard time attracting businesses because there was a shortage of customers. That is no longer true. Now, the cry is: Where are my customers going to park?

The city...

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Special Sections

Epicurean's Mary Clark Bartlett: Serving sustainability

Epicurean's Mary Clark Bartlett: Serving sustainability


Courtesy of Michael McTighe
Mary Clark Bartlett is founder and CEO of Los Altos-based Epicurean Group.

Labels such as “healthy,” “organic” and “green” are rarely used to describe the meals served in most corporate cafes in Silicon Valley. But on...

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Business

Local realtor honored for volunteer efforts

Local realtor honored for volunteer efforts


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Coldwell Banker recently recognized realtor Kim Copher, right, for her philanthropic efforts. Copher and colleague Alan Russell, left, volunteer at Reach Potential Movement, where they collect books for its Bookshelf in ...

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Books

Local Author Spotlight

In an effort to support authors from Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View, many self-published, Book Buzz periodically spotlights their books and offers information on where to purchase them. Local authors are encouraged to submit brief summa...

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People

Noteworthy

RotaCare honors local volunteer

RotaCare Bay Area honored Jim Cochran of the RotaCare Mountain View Free Medical Clinic with the Outstanding Clinic Volunteer Award April 10 for his commitment to RotaCare’s mission of providing free medical care to t...

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Travel

Sausalito: Explore the historical city with world-class views

Sausalito: Explore the historical city with world-class views


Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
Sausalito offers panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay. A number of companies schedule boat tours that sail past Angel Island and Alcatraz.

On a clear day, Sausalito offers spectacular views of the San Franc...

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Stepping Out

Western Ballet performs this weekend  at Smithwick Theatre in Los Altos Hills

Western Ballet performs this weekend at Smithwick Theatre in Los Altos Hills


Courtesy of Alexi Zubiria
Western Ballet’s “La Fille Mal Gardée” features Alison Share and Maykel Solas. The production runs Friday and Saturday at Foothill College

Western Ballet is slated to perform “La Fille Mal GardéeR...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

A yoga class a day keeps the stress away

A yoga class a day keeps the stress away


Van Houtte/Town Crier Yoga of Los Altos hosts a variety of classes, including Strong Flow Vinyasa, above, taught by Doron Hanoch. Yin Yoga instructor Janya Wongsopa guides a student in the practice, below.

It’s nearly 9 a.m. on a Monday mornin...

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Local doctor diagnoses state of U.S. health care

If you want the inside scoop on what's wrong with our current medical system, local author Saul William Seidman, M.D., FACS, is scheduled to share his opinion at Main Street Cafe & Books 6:30-8 p.m. June 14.

Seidman, a retired neurosurgeon, will present evidence from his new book, "Inevitable Incompetence: Soaring Medical Costs, Dangerous Medical Care" (Universal, 2007), a lambasting of the current trend toward health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and socialized medicine.

The doctor knows what he is talking about - his book is based on 25 years' experience as a neurosurgeon, primarily at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View. He completed his neurosurgery residency at Yale University.

Seidman's wife, Grace, had a long-term bad experience with Kaiser Permanente, resulting in a successful lawsuit. Her dealings with the hospital provided Seidman with a foundation for the book.

He does more than complain about current trends. Seidman offers suggestions for reversing the prevailing tides and gives tips on improving the chances of receiving good medical care.

About the direction of medicine, Seidman wrote: "We have two choices. We can follow the delusion of 'universal health care' or we can accept a market approach to health care. Putting patients in charge of their medical care is a market approach. It guarantees competence, at least."

Seidman continued: "The corruption of medical care is the result of interference by nonphysicians in the process of patient care. … Bureaucrats now dictate policy. ... I was fortunate to practice neurosurgery in the golden age of medicine. ... Patients had the choice of whom they would trust."

Seidman said that administrators and bureaucrats - so-called medicrats - consume 30 percent of medical expenditures. "Inevitable Incompetence" offers a blistering invective of bureaucrats.

In the book, Seidman said that the most challenging problem with modern medicine is the lack of slow, careful diagnoses. The art and science of clinical diagnoses suffer from the availability of expensive diagnostic tests - doctors tend to order tests rather than take 30 minutes to talk with the patient, record a thorough history and listen to what the patient has to say.

"Today's HMO doctors are expected to limit each visit to six minutes," he wrote.

When Seidman was practicing medicine, he went to the waiting room himself to escort patients to the examination room to observe their gait, an important neurological function. He then spent up to 45 minutes listening to their explanations of what was wrong.

He blames "patient churning" - the policy of getting patients in and out as quickly as possible - for the decline in medical care.

Noting that neurosurgeons are not being adequately replaced - he claims a 33 percent drop in applications - Seidman laments the impersonal nature of current medical practice. He and his colleagues knew each other and spent time together, discussing medicine and getting to know each other's strengths and weaknesses. Within an HMO, he writes, doctors often are unaware of the competency of doctors to whom they refer patients, care is fragmented and a doctor does not take responsibility for a patient's total care.

A section of the book offers suggestions for checking up on your doctor: how to find out if a specialist is board certified, how to evaluate your doctor's skill level, how to find out if your doctor has been involved in disciplinary actions and how to determine the questions a doctor should ask the patient.

"Inevitable Incompetence" is available at Main Street Cafe & Books, 134 Main St., Los Altos. Seidman will sign books at the event. For more information, call 948-8040.

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