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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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El Camino Hospital institutes restrictions to protect patients, visitors from influenza


Diego Abeloos/
Town Crier Recently enacted visitation restrictions protect patients and visitors during flu season.

A robust flu season has led El Camino Hospital to take additional steps to protect its patients and visitors.

Hospital officials last week enacted visitation restrictions at its Mountain View and Los Gatos campuses prohibiting children under the age of 16 from visiting patients. Dr. Caroline Stratz, who practices at the hospital’s adult and senior health clinics, told the Town Crier that the restrictions were instituted to help combat the spread of influenza by young visitors.

“Children are just more likely to get sick and spread the flu,” said Stratz, who noted that flu season typically runs from December through March. “We just want to prevent our patients from being exposed to the flu. … When the number of cases rises, the restrictions are implemented as a protective mechanism.”

Of particular concern to health professionals is the emergence of the H1N1 flu strain – known more commonly as the swine flu – which can ultimately develop into viral pneumonia in severe cases, according to Stratz. As previously reported by the Town Crier, Santa Clara County health officials attributed four county fatalities to the H1N1 virus.

Stratz noted that while seniors are typically most at risk during any given year, the H1N1 strain has made this flu season more challenging because it poses a threat to all age groups.

“It doesn’t discriminate between age groups – it affects the young just as much as the elderly,” said Stratz, who added that most people with the flu virus are actually contagious one day before symptoms appear – and five to seven days after.

Stratz said getting a flu vaccination is a critical step in gaining protection. This year’s vaccine, she noted, has been particularly effective in protecting against the H1N1 virus. In addition, Stratz recommends tried and true methods of protection and prevention, including frequent hand washing with soap and water, and covering the nose and mouth area when sneezing or coughing.

“Washing your hands is probably one of the greatest ways we can prevent the flu – aside from getting the flu shot itself,” she noted.

As for those who currently have the flu, Stratz stressed that the road to recovery is simple – get plenty of rest and drink fluids.

“And if you’re still not feeling well, you really don’t want to push yourself to go back to work,” she added. “You don’t want to be potentially exposing everyone else in your office to that.”

Flu season impacts blood donations

The heightened flu season has had a negative impact in other ways. Last week, officials at the Stanford School of Medicine Blood Center announced a critical shortage of whole blood and platelet donations.

Reached by the Town Crier, Blood Center spokeswoman Deanna Bolio said that while the organization’s inventory stock usually “tends to be lower” in January, this year’s supply is even lower than normal. She noted that the shortage is partly attributable to cancellations by donors falling ill with the flu.

“We actually have started to do some rationing because our supply is so low, even more so than in past years,” said Bolio, who added that the center’s three locations in Mountain View, Palo Alto and Menlo Park are currently accepting walk-ins to donate blood. “We always experience a few cancellations, but they’ve definitely been higher than normal.”

For more information on flu prevention, visit elcaminohospital.org.

For more information on donating blood, visit bloodcenter.stanford.edu.

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