Wed09172014

News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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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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