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News

"Brown is the new green," says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spending nearl...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

DR. ALFRED HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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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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