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News

"Brown is the new green," says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spending nearl...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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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

DR. ALFRED HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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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

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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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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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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