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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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Pilates: great medicine for scoliosis


courtesy of Kim Gladfelter
Pilates can serve as more than just a tool for those seeking to improve their fitness. The discipline can also help patients suffering from scoliosis achieve a pain-free life.

One might think of Pilates as a modern-day exercise program geared toward the athletic type – the person seeking strength, endurance and overall body health. Pilates does accomplish all of these goals, but its applications go far beyond general fitness.

In fact, some of the most challenging body dysfunctions can be treated with a Pilates-based rehabilitation program. Scoliosis is one such condition that can be effectively managed by the healing power of Pilates.

Scoliosis causes a “C” or “S” curvature of the spine, making it rotate and twist to one side. Most cases are mild, but severe curvature may cause significant malalignment of the shoulders, hips, pelvis and spine, as well as breathing problems due to spinal compression. While these problems can be debilitating, scoliosis need not alter the quality of one’s life.

The Pilates focus on alignment and centering makes it an effective tool to manage the symptoms associated with scoliosis. By rebalancing muscles in the back, elongating the spine, improving breathing capacity and realigning the hips, Pilates-based techniques can help patients with scoliosis enjoy an active, pain-free existence.

Malalignment from a curvature can be managed most effectively by rebalancing the use of muscles around the spine. By better engaging the underused weak muscles, the overused muscles can relax, thereby creating a more symmetrical alignment. This rebalancing of the muscles can be achieved via simultaneous strengthening and stretching – a concept that Pilates helps to manage quite well. Once the muscles are rebalanced with these Pilates-based techniques, improved alignment of the spine allows for more efficient, pain-free movement.

The compression and reduced lung capacity associated with scoliosis can be addressed with elongation of the spine – a basic concept in Pilates rehabilitative exercise. Decompressing the spine is accomplished through correct use of the abdominal, hip and back muscles. There are many Pilates mat and apparatus exercises that target these muscle groups, thereby building an awareness of posture and spinal elongation. In addition, Pilates helps patients mobilize the rib cage and breathe deeply, which maximizes breathing function and lung capacity.

Scoliosis often results in asymmetrical hip alignment that can cause pain and impede function. Building an awareness of even hip height can help patients better manage the condition. Pilates exercises train patients to align their hips by recruiting the right muscles around their pelvis and spine. When the proper muscles are engaged, patients can correct the hip rotation and twisting associated with scoliosis.

Pilates is more than an avenue to fitness. It is often the best medicine for body dysfunction, and that includes managing any functional loss associated with scoliosis. Although no exercise or physical therapy can straighten or stop scoliosis, rehabilitative Pilates can successfully improve functional management of the condition.

Kim Gladfelter is a physical therapist and Pilates instructor at PhysioFit Physical Therapy and Wellness in Los Altos. For more information, call 947-8500 or visit physiofitpt.com.

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