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News

"Brown is the new green," says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spending nearl...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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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

DR. ALFRED HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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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

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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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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More faces, more need in 2013 for RotaCare Mountain View



Volunteer medical staff help out at the RotaCare clinic near El Camino Hospital, providing care to underrepresented and uninsured patients. Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier

RotaCare Interim Manager and Clinical Services Coordinator Michelle Luttrell encountered an unusual sight at her Mountain View clinic. On a recent November day, it had more medical providers than patients onsite.

“We actually did not fill our provider schedules, but usually it’s the opposite,” said Luttrell, a nurse practitioner by trade. “Usually we have more patients than volunteers.”

In fact, Luttrell added, the need remains greater than ever. The clinic is currently averaging 530 patients per month – two-thirds of them between the ages of 19 and 64 – a pace far greater than the 3,500-plus patients it has served on an annual basis in recent years.

Although it has traditionally served low-income local workers who are either uninsured or underinsured, the clinic has seen an increased mix in the demography in 2013. That includes a bump in the number of unemployed and highly educated workers who are victims of what Luttrell calls “ageism” – those too young for Medicare but deemed too old to employ.

“That particular patient population is growing,” said Luttrell, who added that the clinic also has experienced a growing number of homeless patients in the past year. “I can’t tell you how many out-of-work engineers we see who are in their 50s and early 60s.”

Making matters increasingly difficult, she added, is a lack of awareness by some who assume that problems like being underemployed or uninsured don’t exist in prosperous Silicon Valley.

“People who work for themselves or work part time – or multiple jobs part time – they don’t have insurance,” she said. “It’s the behind-the-scenes folks, the person who cuts your hair or the person who serves your coffee. It’s your nanny (and) it’s your gardener.”

According to Luttrell, RotaCare doesn’t just keep the individuals healthy.

“We keep the family healthy and, by doing that, we keep the community healthy. … It’s a benefit to the public, which receives services from these people who are uninsured.”

Still, Luttrell said there’s plenty of room for optimism at RotaCare Mountain View. As usual, the clinic continues to offer traditional medical services for acute issues like coughs and colds as well as for chronic illnesses like diabetes or high blood pressure, among other maladies. This year, the clinic added cardiology, vascular and pulmonology services in an effort to meet more diverse medical needs.

Luttrell added that she’s particularly thankful for the horde of physicians, nurses and specialists who regularly volunteer their time and expertise to help those without the necessary means.

“We wouldn’t be here without our volunteers,” Luttrell said. “RotaCare would not exist without our volunteers. It’s a really special clinic and a special place to work because the people who are here want to be here.”

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