Mon10202014

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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A checkup from the neck up: Local therapists team up to conduct concussion tests


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Two Mountain View Los Altos Soccer Club players undergo concussion tests using ImPACT, a computer program that tracks various neurocognitive functions.

For two local physical therapists, good health begins – at least in part – above one’s shoulders.

Colleen O’Kane – owner of Bodies in Motion Physical Therapy in Los Altos – and Angie Moore combined forces earlier this year to form BrainOn! to provide concussion testing services to local youth athletic leagues. The duo partnered with the Mountain View Los Altos Soccer Club during its recently completed fall season to conduct tests on more than 700 of its young athletes.

“I always ask kids, ‘Do you want to go to college?’ Well, you need your brain for that,” O’Kane said of her motivation behind the venture. “If you’ve got headaches and have trouble thinking or organizing … those are key life things. Some people don’t realize that those are the things you lose when you get too many concussions.”

Moore, a physical therapist with more than 20 years of experience in neurological, orthopedic and sports rehabilitation, added that awareness of the effects of concussions – or, in some cases, scrutiny over how they’re treated – has increased in recent years.

In late 2011, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 25, requiring school districts to remove a student-athlete from a school-sponsored sporting event for the remainder of the day if he or she is suspected of sustaining a concussion. The bill, which took effect Jan. 1, 2012, also requires written medical clearance from a licensed health-care provider before the athlete returns to action. State Assembly Bill 1451 – signed into law in August 2012 by Brown – also requires high school coaches to undergo training every two years to recognize and respond to symptoms of a potential concussion.

On a larger stage, the National Football League earlier this year reached a $765 million settlement with more than 4,500 former players over brain injuries sustained during their careers.

Broadening awareness

Moore and O’Kane said more education in local communities is still needed, noting that national and statewide attention on the problem sometimes results in a trickle-down effect locally.

“I think some people have bought into protecting their kids’ brains, but some people definitely have not,” O’Kane said. “And some people, if their kid misses one game – there goes their big chance. It’s a highly competitive area.”

According to O’Kane, younger children are just as susceptible to sustaining concussions.

“When they get concussions, they’re often worse and take longer to heal,” she said. “Because their brains are so busy developing, they don’t have the bandwidth to heal as rapidly.”

With this in mind, the duo offers baseline and follow-up testing via ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment Cognitive Testing) – a computer program that tracks neurocognitive functions, memory retention, brain processing speeds, reactions and other factors. Several professional clubs, including those in Major League Baseball, the NFL, the National Hockey League and NASCAR, currently use the test.

O’Kane said the test essentially serves as “a brain game” that typically takes 30-35 minutes to complete and aids medical professionals in guiding athletes back into activities “so that it’s not so much of a guessing game.”

“If you get a concussion, we use this test to compare (you) to your pre-injury (baseline) test,” she said, adding that the initial partnership with the soccer league resulted in an “overwhelmingly supportive” response from parents and guardians of athletes.

Ultimately, O’Kane and Moore said they hope to expand their service to other local youth athletic leagues in an effort to continue spreading awareness on the issue.

“Concussions are not something to be taken lightly,” O’Kane said. “This is a brain injury … so I think the more education we can get out there, the better.”

For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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