Tue08042015

News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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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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