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News

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics


The Town Crier chronicled the first election of Los Altos City Council incumbent Jarrett Fishpaw in 2010 and documented the Los Altos candidacy of Jean Mordo, who volunteered as a longtime public servant in Los Altos Hills before moving to the flat...

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Schools

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system


Courtesy of St. Simon Parish School
St. Simon fifth-grader Matthew Cummins uses a laptop in class last week. The school’s cloud-based Schoology system boosts organization and collaboration.

Families at St. Simon Parish School in Los Altos laun...

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Community

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos main library is among the more popular branches in the county library district system, set to celebrate 100 years.

In 1914, Babe Ruth made his debut with the Boston Red Sox, wages hit $5 per day, the first ste...

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Sports

Eagles eye another stellar season

Eagles eye another stellar season


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High outside hitter Carmen Annevelink, right, goes for the kill Thursday against Palo Alto, as teammates Sarah Tritschler, left, and Lulu Kishton prepare to play defense. The Eagles won the match in straight ga...

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Comment

Torok, Walter, Dave for MVLA board: Editorial

There’s really nothing major you can criticize about the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District. It offers a diverse array of effective programs for all types of students. Its instructors, with few exceptions, are outstanding.

Howe...

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Special Sections

'Funabout' Fiat

'Funabout' Fiat


Photos courtesy of Fiat
The 2014 Fiat 500e uses 29 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles, which the engineers claim is the equivalent of 116 mpg of gas use. It has a sticker price of $33,095.

If you believe in climate change, would love to see alternat...

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Business

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground


Ted Fagenson

An East Bay app developer is testing his newest creation in downtown Los Altos.

Ted Fagenson, co-founder of Skrownge (pronounced “scrounge”), told the Town Crier that he’s beta testing his mobile gaming app this week ...

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Books

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween


Courtesy of Dee Ellmann
Jenny Hurwick self-published her picture book last month after decades of storytelling.

During her years working as a teacher and a Los Altos mom, Jenny Hurwick loved to tell stories. One tale she crafted for her son just se...

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People

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

July 27, 1953 – August 12, 2014

Native Los Altan died Medford, OR. Graduated Bellarmine Prep. Married Josephine Domino, 1950. Licensed Auto Mechanic, Private Pilot, skilled Computer Scientist. Tim “could fix anything”. Afflicted with cancer 2001. ...

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Travel

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup


Rich Robertson/Special to the Town Crier
The sun sets over the Aegean Sea in Bodrum, Turkey, left.

Tours that whisk you from Istanbul to Bodrum in 11 days are as plentiful as souvenir hawkers in Turkey, but traveling from the Blue Mosque to Topkapi ...

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Stepping Out

'Gypsy' on its way out

'Gypsy' on its way out


Chris Berger/Special to the Town Crier
Alison Koch of Los Altos plays Dainty June in “Gypsy.”

This is the final weekend to catch the Sunnyvale Community Players production of “Gypsy” at the Sunnyvale Theatre. The musical is slated to close Sund...

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Spiritual Life

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Herman Lukwago educates children in Uganda.

Imagine life if your father had 25 children and you were raised in poverty in rural Uganda.

Now imagine that you and your siblings were orphaned at an early age and you ass...

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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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A royal pain in the neck

Pain in the neck and shoulder areas can be, pardon the pun, a real pain in the neck.

If you experience neck and shoulder pain, you’re not alone. Neck and shoulder pain are among the most common physical ailments adults suffer from these days – and with reason. Most of us spend our days enduring high stress levels, in sustained positions at the computer, while exhibiting poor posture. Unfortunately, these factors put us on the fast track to neck and shoulder tension.

The pain can be debilitating, but we can easily reverse the problem with proper training and focus. Pilates offers the essential tools to help eliminate neck and shoulder strain.

Poor posture

Most neck pain is attributable to poor posture. Many of us regularly spend hours sitting in front of a computer or driving. When we are in those sustained positions, we aren’t usually thinking about using good posture.

Poor posture can cause excessive fatigue in the neck muscles. Pilates can help to improve posture in a very engaging way by stretching and elongating the muscles surrounding the neck and spine. By stabilizing and improving endurance of the upper back muscles, we can improve posture and reduce pain in the neck and shoulders. Once these muscles are recruited and regularly engaged, proper posture becomes second nature.

The Pilates focus on engaging the core is another helpful way to get the neck and shoulder muscles to relax. Weakness in the deep muscles surrounding the core often results in leaning forward, thereby causing the neck and shoulder musculature to overwork. This compensation goes unnoticed until you build an awareness of your core muscles to restore proper muscle balance. By engaging your core and strengthening the deep abdominal muscles, you can effectively reduce tension in the neck and shoulders.

If you have taken Pilates classes, you are likely familiar with one of the biggest Pilates cues – tucking in your chin to make your neck long in the back. When your body is trained to maintain this position, you dramatically reduce the strain in your neck and shoulders. This exercise of neck lengthening helps to keep the deep neck muscles engaged, which is critical for proper muscle balance.

The muscles that surround the shoulder blades are a key part of this process. By dropping your shoulders down and back and making your neck long, your neck and shoulder muscles effectively rebalance. This positioning is essential for reducing strain and eliminating neck and shoulder pain.

Reducing the strain on the neck and shoulders is all about building awareness of the right muscles. We can easily eliminate the problem by gaining knowledge and learning how to recruit the muscles properly. Pilates prompts this level of awareness, allowing one to maintain long-term relief in the neck and shoulders and enjoy a pain-free existence.

Kim Gladfelter is a physical therapist and Pilates instructor at PhysioFit Physical Therapy and Wellness in Los Altos. For more information, call 947-8500 or visit physiofitpt.com.

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