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News

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Campaign yard signs are just one expenditure for candidates during election season.

Election finance filings are in, and Los Altos appears to be hosting a few financially lopsided races.

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Schools

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Bullis Charter School students wear their school spirit clothing to greet their mascot Oct. 3 in celebration of being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Blach Intermediate, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools ea...

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Community

Sports

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High running back Austin Johnson goes for a big gain after evading Los Altos High defensive tackle Phil Alameda in Friday’s game. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Spartans.

After unveiling its wildc...

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Comment

Logan, McClatchie, Peruri for LASD board: Editorial

This is a crucial time for the Los Altos School District. Its leadership faces the challenge of balancing enrollment growth versus maintaining the small, neighborhood schools that make it a very popular district to attend. The district must also adap...

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Special Sections

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Tandava Waldon, left, manager of East West Bookstore on Castro Street in Mountain View, works with a customer. Waldon said the recently approved minimum-wage hike will have little impact on his business. “It’s not such a...

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Business

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

Suzanne Monica Dimm Specht passed Tuesday, Sept. 9th at the age of 84. Sue was born on April 21, 1930 in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in with a degree in Music, Sue taught in a little town called Clatskanie, Oreg...

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Travel

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening


Courtesy of Sally Brew
North Korea is home to many monuments honoring its “Dear Leaders,” left.

In August, I traveled for 11 days with MIR Corp. to North Korea, a fascinating country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. ...

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Stepping Out

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto


Courtesy of José Luis Moscovich
West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” is slated to open Friday night in Palo Alto and run through Oct. 26.

West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) is scheduled to open this weekend...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Treating the gateway of the body: Relocated periodontist sets up shop in Los Altos

Photo Rie Nakanishi/Special To The Town Crier

Dr. Mark Beckstead operates on a patient with recessive gums. Beckstead talks with the consciously sedated patient occasionally during surgery to confirm that the patient is comfortable.

Any new business in Los Altos means additional services for local residents. Mark Beckstead, D.D.S., the owner and principal manager of Mid-Peninsula Periodontics, a business relocated to downtown Los Altos, offers innovation in periodontal treatment.

Beckstead, a Los Altos resident, practiced periodontics in Palo Alto from 1991 until he moved his business to Los Altos approximately a year ago.

Working closely with dentists in the community who refer patients to his office, he provides services intended to make patients' periodontal experiences as comfortable and pleasant as possible.

"I think it's a great time to be a patient in a periodontal office because there've been a lot of advances that made treatment easy for patients," Beckstead said.

But what exactly is a periodontist and what does a periodontist do?

"We treat everything around the teeth," he said. "Whereas general dentists handle all the general need of patients, we've focused our attention on the supporting structure around the teeth."

One of nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association, periodontics treats gum diseases, and gum recession and fits dental implants.

For a long time, treating periodontal disease with conventional methods equaled pain. Pain was no myth in periodontal practices – it was fact. But with technological advances in recent years, periodontal procedures now involve less cutting, peeling and stitching of the gums.

Finally, intense pain is becoming a myth in such practices, Beckstead said.

For example, in treating gum recession, today Beckstead often uses allograft tissue from a tissue bank instead of employing an earlier method, which required obtaining the graft tissue from a patient's own mouth.

Recent research supports the use of laser therapy in the treatment of gum diseases.

"This is a real benefit for patients who are nervous about conventional gum surgery – either they heard bad things about it or they are afraid to have gum surgery done," he said. "The (laser) treatment itself is less invasive, easier to recover from and there's little discomfort with it."

To make patients' experiences even more comfortable and less painful, Beckstead offers intravenous sedation in his practice – the process of releasing medication directly into a patient's vein to make him or her consciously sleep during the surgery.

"Our emphasis is trying to make each patient's experience here as positive as possible," Beckstead said. "We help people feel relaxed by giving them all the information they need to make decisions about their health."

Many patients who are sedated don't remember anything about the procedure, he added. If a patient doesn't want to be sedated, Beckstead will provide other choices appropriate for the treatment.

Recent scientific studies confirm an association, or perio-systemic link, between gum and systemic diseases, according to Beckstead.

For instance, diabetics who do not balance their blood sugars carefully tend to have gum disease, and reciprocally, patients who have gum disease may also have poorly controlled blood-glucose levels. Links between gum disease and coronary artery disease have also been found. Mothers of preterm or low-birth-weight babies tend to have periodontal diseases, too.

Pain or fear might not be an adequate reason to reject or neglect the treatment of periodontal disease anymore. Taking care of the gums and practicing good oral health can save the teeth.

"This is a great time for patients who have been reluctant to see a periodontist and go through treatment," Beckstead said. "Technology is giving us (more choices) to make going to treatment easy. It's a great time for perio."

Mid-Peninsula Periodontics is located at 20 First St., Suite 200.

For more information, call 941-7300 or visit www.periodocs.com.

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