Fri10242014

News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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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

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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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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Patient's relationship with doctor essential in euthanasia decisions, speaker says

The communication between doctor and patient is key in right-to-die decisions, especially those in which the physician plays an active role, a Los Altos pastor told the Los Altos Senior Coordinating Council last week.

"There must be a relationship between patient and doctor in medical ethics," said John Dodson, senior pastor of the Los Altos United Methodist Church, who has studied medical ethics decisions since 1960.

"For me, personally when that happens, I will have a physician I know who will gradually ease me into a gentle and dignified end."

Dodson, addressing the question Feb. 25 of whether physician assisted suicides should be legal, said several factors have to be considered.

"How is it possible to define when a patient is terminally ill?" Dodson asked. "And, how will the move to health-maintenance organizations be accepted?

"A patient may not have that close relationship, and may not even know the doctor as well as he used to know his old personal doctor. The dialogue between a doctor and a dying patient can affect the final decision. Will some doctors be more willing to help than other doctors?"

Dodson said there were two ways to assist in suicide. One is where the doctor provides the materials and leaves the patient on his own such as Jack Kevorkian practices; or active euthanasia where another person assists in the injection.

"The Netherlands is the only country that practices euthanasia and their advice is, 'don't do it,' " Dodson said.

"Over there they have a doctor for life, and in our country with managed care, we don't know who our doctor is."

Dodson said every hospital has a medical ethics staff who make decisions, but the family and patient are still in charge, and everyone has a responsibility to discuss any such decision.

He said the Clinton administration, acting through the solicitor-general, has filed briefs with the Federal Supreme Court urging the justices not to find a constitutional right to die.

The case arose from decisions in two federal appeals courts overturning state bans on assisted suicide.

The cases cite many nursing homes around the country, "where the active hastening in the movement of death" is forbidden.

Life sustaining treatment may be withdrawn, but the Clinton administration viewed it this way: "There is an important distinction between withdrawing artificial supports so that a disease will progress to its inevitable end, or to provide chemicals to be used to assist suicide."

Dodson explained his principles of medical ethics.

"The first principle is veracity. It's truth telling, and we didn't always have that," he said. "Today, when you are a patient, you are entitled to know everything about your illness.

"There has to be a faithful contract in the team approach, and there has to be distributive justice. That's the need to look at a balance of what is right and wrong, and a decision made through a balanced input.

"Finally, there has to be respect for the patient, the physician and the family," Dodson said.

"We need to consider rules and regulations on life and take in consideration all medical ethical concerns."

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