Tue07292014

News

LASD, BCS boards finalize 5-year agreement

Bullis Charter School board members unanimously approved a five-year agreement with the Los Altos School District just before midnight Monday. The agreement, also unanimously approved by LASD trustees earlier in the evening, outlines facilities uses ...

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Schools

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall


Town Crier File Photo
Starting in the fall, daily use of laptops in the classroom will be standard operating procedure for students at Los Altos and Mountain View high schools as the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District launches a pil...

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Community

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'


Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.” ELIZA RIDGEWAY/ TOWN CRIER

A massive troupe of young people and grownups gathered in Los Altos this summer to stage the latest iteration of a childhood sta...

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Sports

Football in July

Football in July


Town Crier file photo
Mountain View High’s Anthony Avery is among the nine local players slated to play in tonight’s Silicon Valley Youth Classic.

Tonight’s 40th annual Silicon Valley Youth Classic – also known as the Charlie...

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Comment

Pools should be included: Editorial

Los Altos residents should be receiving calls this week from city representatives conducting a survey to determine priorities for a revamped Hillview Community Center.

Notice that we did not say “civic center” – chastened by a lack of public support...

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Special Sections

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Trang Ly, left, reviews blood sugar readings on a smartphone with Los Altos resident Tia Geri, right, and fellow participant Noa Simon during a closed-loop artificial pancreas study for Type 1 diabetics.
...

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Business

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Longtime Palo Alto law firm Thoits, Love, Hershberger & McClean plans to open an office at 400 Main St. in Los Altos after construction is complete in November.

A longtime Palo Alto law firm plans to expand int...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

Resident of Palo Alto

Richard Patrick Brennan, journalist, editor, author, adventurer, died at his Palo Alto home on July 4, 2014 at age 92. He led a full life, professionally and personally. He was born and raised in San Francisco, joined the Arm...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

PYT stages 'Shrek'

PYT stages 'Shrek'


Lyn Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Dana Cullinane plays Fiona in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Shrek The Musical.”

Peninsula Youth Theatre presents “Shrek The Musical” Saturday through Aug. 3 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts...

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Spiritual Life

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting


Courtesy of Carolyn Barnes
The newly built Los Altos church in 1914 featured a bell tower and an arched front window. Both continue as elements of the building as it stands today.

Foothills Congregational Church – the oldest church building in L...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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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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