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News

Spooktacular moved indoors


Due to rain, today's downtown Los Altos Halloween activities have been moved to the indoor courtyard of Play! at 170 State St. Enter from the back on the parking lot side to participate in crafts, games and fun. Activities continue until 4 p.m.

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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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

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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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

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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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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Rotary speaker Troxel gives update on the battle against Alzheimer's disease


Town Crier File Photo
David Troxel speaks at a summer symposium in Los Altos. Troxel offered an update on Alzheimer’s at recent Rotary Club meeting.

Alzheimer’s disease advocate and author David B. Troxel warned that the “most expensive disease in the U.S.” is diagnosed every 68 seconds in America, and that a death from Alzheimer’s touches one in every four or five American families.

There is no magic pill to halt Alzheimer’s disease, said Troxel, who spoke at a Dec. 5 Rotary Club of Los Altos Rotary meeting.

While 460 unique compounds were researched in the U.S. between 2002 and 2012, the failure rate was 99.6 percent, Troxel said. Although core knowledge about Alzheimer’s doubles every 18 months, long-term care is needed for the 15 million cases estimated to be diagnosed by 2050, he added.

Troxel, co-author of five books on caring for Alzheimer’s sufferers, shared history of the affliction.

In 1906, Dr. Alois Alzheimer, a German physician, coined the term “lunacy” for the profound memory loss and delusions suffered by his patient, Auguste Deter. After Deter’s death, Alzheimer documented an abnormal buildup of plaque in her brain cells.

Among the numerous varieties of dementia, the pioneering doctor’s name is still used for the largest – Alzheimer’s disease. Troxel said small strokes are the second most common cause of dementia. Among the U.S. population 85 and older, 50 percent are expected to develop Alzheimer’s, he noted, while the younger onset form of the disease already affects 400,000 to 500,000 Americans.

A number of symptoms point to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, Troxel said, including short-term memory loss that disrupts daily life; disorientation; challenges in solving problems and planning, like the steps in making coffee; confusion of time and place; new problems in speaking and writing words; misplacing items; and losing the ability to retrace steps. Dr. Bruce Miller, director of the UC San Francisco Memory and Aging Center, documented an accompanying early spike in creativity.

The four drugs commonly prescribed can slow – but do not halt – dementia. Troxel advocates the “Best Friends Approach” for Alzheimer’s caregivers. Because an Alzheimer’s patient may feel like a stranger in a foreign land, socialization is important in stimulating brain activity. Purposeful chores like sweeping the patio, watering plants and learning in a class setting are helpful, he said. Troxel also recommended exercise, creative activities, conversations with laughter, music, exercise, being outdoors and contact with animals as valuable.

Informing caregivers of the positive events in a patient’s “life story” could help them connect with the fading memory of their patient, Troxel noted. Stories could include the patient’s favorite ball team, a cherished tea party, a prized accomplishments or a favorite song. Troxel said lyrics “live in a different part of the brain” from logical thought, so they are more easily recalled.

The knack for discovering clever strategies to approach the difficult problem of caring for an Alzheimer’s sufferer requires humor, flexibility, patience and respect for the patient, said Troxel, adding that one facility organized a grape-stomping event that brought exercise and laughter to patients.

Troxel said that in his estimation, the best Alzheimer’s caregivers would be barmaids and beauticians, because they are accustomed to listening and chatting.

For more information on Alzheimer’s disease, visit the Mountain View-based Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California and Northern Nevada at alz.org.

Marlene Cowan is a member of the Rotary Club of Los Altos. For more information, visit losaltosrotary.org.

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