Sat10252014

News

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

A flyer is being distributed across Los Altos that looks like it is from the Los Altos Town Crier but was neither created nor distributed by the community’s weekly newspaper. The flyer, pictured at right, is being distributed by workers from Pyrami...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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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

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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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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