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News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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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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