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News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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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

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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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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