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News

Obama's coming to town

Obama's coming to town

The president is scheduled to make a stop about noon today at a private residence in Los Altos Hills. He and his entourage are expected to travel south from San Francisco to the event, then head back north for San Francisco International Airport and ...

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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


ft, 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.

Tia Geri can’t wait to bring her new golden retriev...

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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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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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