Tue09162014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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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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