Thu07242014

News

Obama visits Los Altos area

Obama visits Los Altos area

President Obama made a fundraising stop today at a private residence in Los Altos Hills, an appearance that spurred traffic disruptions, helicopters scouting overhead and protesters. In the wake of his visit, unknown persons, apparently no fans of ...

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Schools

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall


Town Crier File Photo
Starting in the fall, daily use of laptops in the classroom will be standard operating procedure for students at Los Altos and Mountain View high schools as the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District launches a pil...

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Community

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'


Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.” ELIZA RIDGEWAY/ TOWN CRIER

A massive troupe of young people and grownups gathered in Los Altos this summer to stage the latest iteration of a childhood sta...

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Sports

Football in July

Football in July


Town Crier file photo
Mountain View High’s Anthony Avery is among the nine local players slated to play in tonight’s Silicon Valley Youth Classic.

Tonight’s 40th annual Silicon Valley Youth Classic – also known as the Charlie...

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Comment

Pools should be included: Editorial

Los Altos residents should be receiving calls this week from city representatives conducting a survey to determine priorities for a revamped Hillview Community Center.

Notice that we did not say “civic center” – chastened by a lack of public support...

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Special Sections

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Trang Ly, left, reviews blood sugar readings on a smartphone with Los Altos resident Tia Geri, right, and fellow participant Noa Simon during a closed-loop artificial pancreas study for Type 1 diabetics.
...

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Business

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Longtime Palo Alto law firm Thoits, Love, Hershberger & McClean plans to open an office at 400 Main St. in Los Altos after construction is complete in November.

A longtime Palo Alto law firm plans to expand into L...

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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

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

Resident of Palo Alto

Richard Patrick Brennan, journalist, editor, author, adventurer, died at his Palo Alto home on July 4, 2014 at age 92. He led a full life, professionally and personally. He was born and raised in San Francisco, joined the Arm...

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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

PYT stages 'Shrek'

PYT stages 'Shrek'


Lyn Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Dana Cullinane plays Fiona in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Shrek The Musical.”

Peninsula Youth Theatre presents “Shrek The Musical” Saturday through Aug. 3 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts...

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Spiritual Life

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting


Courtesy of Carolyn Barnes
The newly built Los Altos church in 1914 featured a bell tower and an arched front window. Both continue as elements of the building as it stands today.

Foothills Congregational Church – the oldest church building ...

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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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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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