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News

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Campaign yard signs are just one expenditure for candidates during election season.

Election finance filings are in, and Los Altos appears to be hosting a few financially lopsided races.

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Schools

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Bullis Charter School students wear their school spirit clothing to greet their mascot Oct. 3 in celebration of being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Blach Intermediate, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools ea...

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Community

Sports

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High running back Austin Johnson goes for a big gain after evading Los Altos High defensive tackle Phil Alameda in Friday’s game. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Spartans.

After unveiling its wildc...

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Comment

Logan, McClatchie, Peruri for LASD board: Editorial

This is a crucial time for the Los Altos School District. Its leadership faces the challenge of balancing enrollment growth versus maintaining the small, neighborhood schools that make it a very popular district to attend. The district must also adap...

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Special Sections

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Tandava Waldon, left, manager of East West Bookstore on Castro Street in Mountain View, works with a customer. Waldon said the recently approved minimum-wage hike will have little impact on his business. “It’s not such a...

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Business

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

Suzanne Monica Dimm Specht passed Tuesday, Sept. 9th at the age of 84. Sue was born on April 21, 1930 in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in with a degree in Music, Sue taught in a little town called Clatskanie, Oreg...

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Travel

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening


Courtesy of Sally Brew
North Korea is home to many monuments honoring its “Dear Leaders,” left.

In August, I traveled for 11 days with MIR Corp. to North Korea, a fascinating country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. ...

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Stepping Out

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto


Courtesy of José Luis Moscovich
West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” is slated to open Friday night in Palo Alto and run through Oct. 26.

West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) is scheduled to open this weekend...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Headache specialist weighs in on treatments


Courtesy of Dr. Ken Peters
Dr. Ken Peters of the Northern California Headache Clinic in Mountain View offers expert advice for migraine sufferers.

According to the World Health Organization, nearly 47 percent of Americans reported experiencing at least one headache in the past year, and more than 10 percent reported suffering a migraine. While headaches are an annoyance for some, they can be downright debilitating for others. Migraine headaches, among the leading causes of missing work, can place significant stress on family life.

For a better grasp of the subject, I asked headache expert Dr. Ken Peters of the Northern California Headache Clinic in Mountain View to share his insights on the causes and potential cures for migraine headaches.

Q: Who gets migraine headaches?

A: Migraine occurs in 12 percent of the population, with 18 percent of females and 6 percent of males being afflicted. The age of onset varies from early childhood to early 40s. The frequency of migraine attacks per month can vary from rarely to near daily. Approximately 4 percent of the population suffers with chronic migraine – when the migraines occur at least 15 days a month.

Q: What does a migraine look like?

A: The symptoms of migraine consist of head pain, which is usually throbbing nausea, vomiting, as well as uncomfortable sensitivity to light, sound and movement. Fifteen percent of sufferers have an aura that is usually visual that precedes the onset of head pain.

Q: When should someone seek medical attention for a headache?

A: Sometimes a severe headache can be the first symptom of a life-threatening event. Red flags that warrant emergency care are:

• The worst headache of your life.

• Headache associated with neurological symptoms such as arm or leg weakness, poor coordination, difficulties with speech or change in alertness.

• Headache associated with fever or stiff neck.

Q: What causes a migraine headache?

A: The common triggers for migraine include:

• Stress.

• Foods such as alcohol, aged cheeses, chocolate, MSG and nitrates. Caffeine can help stop a migraine, but if taken daily it can cause rebound headaches.

• Hormonal effects such as menstrual migraine and worsening of migraine with oral contraceptives.

• Environmental such as sunlight glare, air pollution, pungent odors or change in barometric pressure. It is helpful to keep a headache diary to discover one’s individual triggers.

Q: How do you treat migraine headaches?

A: There are many effective treatment options for sufferers. Lifestyle change such as regular aerobic exercise, keeping well hydrated, not skipping meals and not overscheduling yourself can be quite helpful in prevention. Non-medication approaches such as biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy, mindfulness meditation and acupuncture are effective and highly recommended. Certain supplements such as magnesium, riboflavin, CoQ10, butterbur and feverfew show benefit in controlled studies.

Q: Which over-the-counter medications are most effective?

A: Certain over-the-counter meds can be helpful for abortive treatment of migraine. Excedrin can be helpful if used sparingly. Daily use could lead to daily medication overuse headaches. Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and Naprosyn can also be helpful.

Q: What about prescription headache medicine?

A: There have been great strides made in medications available to treat migraine. The triptans were initially developed in the early 1990s. They are used to abort a migraine attack and have improved the lives of millions of sufferers. New methods of delivery have recently been developed that allow quick absorption into the bloodstream and improve treatment.

There are also several effective medications that help prevent migraines. These are generally taken daily and include topiramate, amitriptyline and propranolol. For those who suffer chronic migraine, Botox treatment has shown effectiveness and is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Migraine headaches: An alternative view

In Chinese medicine, two people may have the same headache but have completely different diagnoses. Following are some common patterns that explain headaches.

• Liver energy imbalance headache. The liver is easily affected by stress, anger, alcohol and lack of sleep. Liver-type headaches include sharp or dull pain at the top of the head or the temples. They worsen with strong emotions, especially stress, and around menstruation.

• Kidneys energy weakness headache. The kidney is affected by overwork, fear, over-sex and inherited weakness. Kidney-type headaches start at the back of the neck and travel to the forehead. They are better with rest and difficult to treat with medication.

• Spleen and stomach imbalance headache. The spleen and stomach are affected by eating too fast, too late or too much; worry; cold food; and sweets. Spleen and stomach-type headaches, associated with food allergies, include throbbing (may be resolved by eating) and pain in the entire head or behind the eyes. They become worse when a person is tired.

Regardless of the cause, acupuncture and herbal medicine work to restore the underlying imbalances and treat the symptoms of headache. A successful course of treatment can result in remission of headache symptoms or in greatly reducing their intensity and frequency.

Ted Ray is a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist in private practice in Mountain View. For more information, call 564-9002 or visit peninsulaacupuncture.com.

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