Thu12182014

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

Rotary marks 25th anniversary of AIDS project

Rotary marks 25th anniversary of AIDS project


John Hammerschmidt/Special to the Town Crier
Celebrating the anniversary of the Los Altos Rotary AIDS Project are, from left, front row: Greg Hoblit, Dude Angius, Mary Prochnow and Robin Young. Back: Greg Betts, Joe Renati, Roy Lave, Bob Berka, Dic...

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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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Journey through CERT: Week 3


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Santa Clara County firefighters participate in a cribbing demonstration during last week’s CERT class in Los Altos Hills.

Town Crier staff writer and photographer Ellie Van Houtte chronicles her Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training in Los Altos Hills. Following is the third in her six-part series.

 

Movies and TV series make burning fires look dangerous but not impossible to extinguish. But unlike staged sequences – manipulated by controlled factors and performed by trained stunt actors – real fires can be quite lethal, both to firefighters and victims.

The lungs are among the most delicate parts of the body, and a single breath of hot air from a blazing fire can cause immediate death, according to El Monte Fire Station firefighters who serve as CERT class instructors in Los Altos Hills.

Week three of CERT training addressed how firefighters respond to emergencies and how volunteer disaster service workers like me should react when faced with crisis situations within our control. Although knowing how to use a fire extinguisher or lift a heavy object off an injured person may seem intuitive, CERT exercises provide those with little experience an opportunity to learn the ropes.

Wearing a green helmet and goggles (protective gear is key for CERT participants), I navigated my way into and out of an emergency scenario last week. In addition to learning how to shut off a gas valve, I paired up with a classmate to extinguish a small fire.

Using the PASS technique – Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep – I deployed an air-pressurized water extinguisher to douse a staged fire that simulated burning wood or a similar solid material. The intense experience required my full attention as I tried to follow the instructions in my training manual. For a kitchen fire or industrial fire with additional hazards, the method for putting out the fire would differ.

Cribbing – stabilizing a person or object so that it cannot slide, fall or move – was also a new concept. Although CERT trailers are equipped with wedges, blocks and two-by-fours that are ideal for cribbing, tree limbs and objects found in a garage or backyard could be substituted. The primary objective of the exercise is to create a stable foundation for distributing weight and to use leveraging to elevate the impeding object off a trapped element.

Regardless of how dire, I learned that I should never attempt to respond to a situation that exceeds my capacity – the risk just doesn’t match the reward. My preparedness and resourcefulness may never meet that of firefighters staffing the medically equipped Rescue 14 engine in Los Altos Hills, trained to mobilize from arrival on site within 60 seconds.

According to one of the El Monte Fire Station firefighters, Rescue 14 is always staffed with at least one certified emergency medical services firefighter, who can provide “early intervention in medical emergency to complement the limited ambulance system.”

Van Houtte’s report on disaster psychology and light search and rescue is scheduled to appear in next week’s Town Crier. To read Week 1 and Week 2 in the series, click through to the links.

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