Tue09162014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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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

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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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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El Camino Hospital board names firm for CEO search

As El Camino Hospital prepares to celebrate its 50th birthday next month and continues its search for a new CEO to replace Ken Graham, the board of directors voted at its March 19 meeting to ease those transitions by assigning new leadership for the board.

Normally scheduled for July in the new fiscal year, the board voted to appoint John Zoglin as chairman, replacing Wesley Alles. Other new officers are directors Uwe Kladde, vice chairman, and Dr. Patricia Einarson, secretary-treasurer.

Zoglin and Einarson will oversee the executive-officer search as sole members of the CEO search committee, which appointed the firm Russell Reynolds last month to conduct a national search for a new hospital leader. Without citing specific reason, the board voted 3-2 in February not to renew Graham’s contract, which expires in June.

Russell Reynolds is not a new name for El Camino. In the past few years, the company found the hospital’s chief medical and information officers, Eric Pifer, M.D., and Greg Walton, respectively. The executive search company has more than 300 consultants in 39 offices around the world and is the sixth largest health-care executive search firm in the United States.

“Our Russell Reynolds team has made some outstanding placements,” Einarson said. “As we move forward, we will be soliciting input from stakeholders about the qualities and experiences they see as most valuable for the next CEO.”

At the board’s April 12 meeting, the group recognized Alles for his contributions to the hospital, particularly during an era of health-care reform and a difficult economy, El Camino’s own financial crisis and its two campus openings, the new hospital in Mountain View and the Los Gatos facility.

“In a year when the challenges just seemed to keep coming, as chairperson, he demonstrated not only strategic thinking, but also vision and integrity,” a resolution honoring Alles’ service reads.

In the meantime, the search continues for a chief financial officer to replace Marla Marlow, who abruptly retired in May 2010, two months after the hospital announced a $11.3 million shortfall.

For several months, Robert Dvorak acted as interim chief financial officer, but he recently stepped down from those responsibilities. The board recognized his service with a resolution last month.

Moving forward, the board approved Ned Borgstrom as interim CFO. Borgstrom brings hospital financial experience from Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Exempla Healthcare in Denver and Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.

And the hospital’s overall finances are in the black, with year-to-date profits posting at more than $21 million through January.

In other key metrics for the hospital, quality care and hospital growth, Graham said there are areas of concern.

“Overall, the hospital is not quite achieving its volume objectives year-to-date because of lingering recession effects, but there are positive signs of volume improvements across the major service lines,” he said in a March report.

In a corporate scorecard measuring quality, finances, growth and employees in the second fiscal-year quarter, October-December 2010, the orthopedics, urology, cyberknife and infusion center departments surpassed their goals.

But in assessing hospital care, Graham said the hospital must improve patients’ overall length of stay, a high C. Difficile infection rate – Clostridium Difficile, an opportunistic bacterium that flourishes in patients on antibiotics – and nursing staff’s responsiveness.

In the patient safety/nursing sensitive indicators assessment, the scorecard rated nursing staff’s responsiveness at 63 percent – the goal was 70 percent.

The second fiscal-year quarter followed a large reduction in force in the nursing staff, accomplished through early retirements, voluntary leaves and job reorganization in October.

In the scorecard’s final metric – employees rating El Camino Hospital as a place to work – 25.3 percent of its employees gave it a thumbs-up. The goal was 55.1 percent.

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