Mon07282014

News

Downtown green park pops up again in August

Downtown green park pops up again in August


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Third Street Green debuts Aug. 3 on the 300 block of State Street in downtown Los Altos.

Another temporary park is poised to pop up in downtown Los Altos this summer.

According to Brooke Ray Smith, community devel...

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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 int...

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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 in L...

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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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Memory loss: Why it's increasingly common and what to do about it

We’ve all done it. When was the last time you walked into a room and said to yourself, “What did I come in here to do?”

In recent years, a growing number of patients of all ages are coming to see me because of memory loss. They do their usual online research, type in their symptoms and then panic because they think they have early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Fortunately, this isn’t usually the case.

What is it about our modern-day lifestyle that leads to deteriorating memory? Following are some common causes of (non-Alzheimer’s) memory loss.

• Stress. Stress hormones like cortisol send blood flow away from a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which creates new memories and controls our sense of direction.

• Lack of sleep. Sleep is becoming a lower priority as bedtimes shift later as a result of our nighttime digital addictions. Sleep allows us to process data from our day and consolidate them into memories and learning experiences. Many people resort to the chronic use of sleep medications, which may also have negative effects on cognitive function and memory.

• Lack of exercise. Exercise is a great brain booster. Increased sitting time is linked to obesity, heart disease and reduced brain function. Studies show that sedentary people have reduced levels of a vital brain chemical called BDNF (brain-derived neurotropic factor) that contributes to memory loss.

• Unhealthy diet. How you eat can impact how clearly you think and recall information. Glucose in particular is the brain’s primary fuel source, so eating foods that cause significant fluctuations in glucose levels will have a negative impact on both mood and memory. Insulin resistance is the underlying cause of diabetes, heart disease and a growing list of chronic health conditions, including memory loss.

• Too much computer time. New studies indicate that a brain that’s overly reliant on technology is at risk for reduced memory and cognitive function. For example, if we have a question or are trying to recall information, we have instant access to it on our phones or computers. In the old days, individuals could actually remember at least a dozen different phone numbers and addresses. Our reliance on high-tech tools may contribute to a weaker brain.

• Too much alcohol and medications. Drinking too much alcohol can impair memory. Prescription and over-the-counter drugs and supplements may also affect your memory, so discuss them with your doctor.

• Other medical conditions. Diabetes, thyroid disorders, depression and a long list of other medical disorders can be connected to memory loss, so be sure to discuss this symptom with your doctor.

Preventive steps

The following steps can protect and improve your memory – while also reducing the risk of chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

• Get more exercise.

• Manage stress through activities such as yoga and meditation.

• Get plenty of sleep.

• Improve your diet with an emphasis on reducing sugars and excess carbohydrates. Eat more vegetables and fruits.

• Start hobbies that stimulate different parts of your brain, such as learning a language or playing an instrument.

• Socialize more face-to-face and not online. Human social stimulation helps enhance brain function.

In today’s world, memory loss is more common, but there are many ways you can fight this trend. For persistent or progressive memory loss, consult your doctor for a thorough evaluation.

Dr. Ronesh Sinha is an internal medicine physician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Los Altos Center, where he provides medical consults to high-risk South Asians. He also runs health education and wellness programs for local employers.

The Palo Alto Medical Foundation and column editor Arian Dasmalchi provide this monthly column.

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