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News

First St. closure set for Saturday

First Street in downtown Los Altos will be closed Saturday (Nov. 22) between West Edith Avenue and Shasta Street for street paving. The closure is scheduled from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In the event of poor weather, the work will be rescheduled for a later ...

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Schools

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
During a Science is Learning geology lesson, Theuerkauf Elementary School students learn about igneous rocks by observing how sugar changes form when heated.

Hundreds of local elementary students perform experiments w...

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Community

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
PYT’s “Oklahoma!” features, from left, David Peters of Mountain View, Jenna Levere of Los Altos and Kai Wessel of Mountain View.

Time is running out to catch Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma!”...

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Sports

Eagles advance

Eagles advance


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Carmen Annevelink, left, and Kristen Liu put up a block against Mountain View. Annevelink totaled 20 kills.

Mountain View High’s out-of-the-gate energy could last for only so long against rival and he...

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Comment

Coping with addictions: Haugh About That?

Preparing to deal with my lifelong addiction, I stood in front of the mirror ready to confess the shame I’d been hiding. The first step to healing, I reminded myself, is to admit something is wrong.

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Special Sections

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Hangar One, pictured here last January, will be restored under an agreement between Google and NASA.

NASA and Google Inc. forged an agreement last week that allows Google to lease a portion of NASA’s historic Moffett Fede...

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Business

State Street science center closing Nov. 30

State Street science center closing Nov. 30


Ellie Van Houtte/
Helix at 316 State St. is closing after the completion of a one-year grant from Passerelle Investment Co. The science center became a popular destination because of its various exhibits. Town Crier

A popular downtown destination...

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Books

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree


Author Tiffany Papageorge is scheduled to sign copies of new her book 11 a.m. Dec. 6 at Linden Tree Books, 265 State St., Los Altos.

Papageorge’s “My Yellow Balloon” (Minoan Moon, 2014) is a Mom’s Choice “Gold” winner. In the book, the Los Gat...

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People

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

January 11, 1939 – November 6, 2014
Resident of Mountain View

James Windell Smith, a 40 year resident of Los Altos, passed away from complications after a post-surgery stroke November 6th, 2014 in Los Gatos, California.

Born on January 11, 1939 on...

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Travel

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine


Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
While many day-trippers may think that Sonoma is all about the grapes, the region boasts other delights. Try a biplane ride over the patchwork landscape.

Sonoma, a scenic two-hour drive from Los Altos, boa...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company opens 'Fairway'

The Los Altos Stage Company production of Ken Ludwig’s new comedy “The Fox on the Fairway” is slated to run Thursday through Dec. 14 at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

A tribute to the English farces of the 1930s and 1940s, “Fox” is a romp that p...

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Spiritual Life

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am


The Beth Am Women have scheduled “A Conversation with Author Maggie Anton” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills.

Anton, winner of the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, will discu...

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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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The window to better learning: Keeping your children's eyes healthy


Photo By: Town Crier File Photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo Fatigue after reading for a short time is one of several common signs that a child may have a vision problem.

August is National Children’s Vision & Learning Month. As teachers busily prepare their classrooms and parents gather school supplies and backpacks to equip their children for the new academic year, I often wonder as an optometrist and a mom how many schoolchildren have been checked to determine if one of their most important assets for higher learning is intact. I am referring to a child’s vision.

Our vision is the primary way we gather information about the world around us. In fact, 80 percent of learning occurs through the visual system. Without good vision, many aspects of our lives are affected. But what is not commonly known is how poor vision can play a large part in poor academic and sports performances, in addition to causing primary learning disabilities.

Many parents expect children to complain when they have poor vision, just as they would with a toothache. But the truth is that children cannot possibly know what good vision is if all they have known their entire lives is blurry vision. That is normal to them.

Vision, however, can be as personal as someone’s color preference. A person’s brain will make abnormal adaptations to poor vision to accommodate and achieve better ability to see. For the most part, these adaptations to poor-quality vision are not even known by the child or his or her parents.

Parents often expect school screenings and pediatric examinations to affirm that their child’s vision is OK. But these screenings in general can only catch very gross vision issues, such as high myopia (nearsightedness) or amblyopia (lazy eye).

These screenings cannot detect learning difficulties that are attributed to poor vision. Problems in eye coordination, eye focusing, eye tracking, visual perception and integration (how visual information is processed) play an important role in academic performance. However, they are not assessed in a typical school or pediatric vision screening. Viewing the eye chart and reading a few letters or shapes correctly does not equate to a good visual system.

Good vision is learned, and learning good vision can directly affect one’s ability to assess his or her environment. Famous athletes often receive vision training to improve their performance in their respective sport.

How would you know if your child has a vision problem? Check for the following problems that may extend from an underperforming visual system within a child.

• Complaints of blurry vision

• Frequent squinting

• Frequent eye rubbing

• Closing an eye when reading

• Reading for a short time before getting tired

• Poor reading comprehension

• Headaches when reading

• Losing place or skipping words when reading

• Short attention span

• Difficulty recognizing letters or numbers

• Letter or number reversal

• Red eyes after reading for a short time

• Poor copying skills

• Unable to see 3D images

Aside from the symptoms above, when a child is diagnosed with a learning disability, whether it is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, dyslexia or even autism, it is paramount that a vision assessment is among the first evaluations performed.

A recent study conducted by researchers at the Children’s Eye Center at the University of San Diego discovered a close relationship between convergence insufficiency (inability of eyes to turn toward each other) and ADHD.

Children should undergo a full eye exam no later than kindergarten. An optometrist should closely review every aspect of the visual system, including focusing, tracking and binocularity skills (how well two eyes work together as a team) to prepare a child for school. Children should have eye exams at least once a year from that time on.

In the meantime, keep your child’s eyes healthy by reducing video screen time and increasing family time outdoors. The eyes are part of the body and a window to your child’s learning. Maintaining a balanced lifestyle will encourage good vision and healthy learning.

Dr. Susan Lodenquai is an optometrist at Altos Family Optometry, 668-B Fremont Ave., Los Altos. For more information, call 948-5061 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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