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News

LA council votes to delay community center update

LA council votes to delay community center update


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council voted to delay adoption of a community center conceptual design plan last week. The plan includes elements from a design charette held earlier this fall, left.

The Los Altos City Council last...

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Schools

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
During a Science is Learning geology lesson, Theuerkauf Elementary School students learn about igneous rocks by observing how sugar changes form when heated.

Hundreds of local elementary students perform experiments w...

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Community

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
PYT’s “Oklahoma!” features, from left, David Peters of Mountain View, Jenna Levere of Los Altos and Kai Wessel of Mountain View.

Time is running out to catch Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma!”...

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Sports

Eagles advance

Eagles advance


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Carmen Annevelink, left, and Kristen Liu put up a block against Mountain View. Annevelink totaled 20 kills.

Mountain View High’s out-of-the-gate energy could last for only so long against rival and he...

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Comment

Coping with addictions: Haugh About That?

Preparing to deal with my lifelong addiction, I stood in front of the mirror ready to confess the shame I’d been hiding. The first step to healing, I reminded myself, is to admit something is wrong.

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Special Sections

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Hangar One, pictured here last January, will be restored under an agreement between Google and NASA.

NASA and Google Inc. forged an agreement last week that allows Google to lease a portion of NASA’s historic Moffett Fede...

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Business

State Street science center closing Nov. 30

State Street science center closing Nov. 30


Ellie Van Houtte/
Helix at 316 State St. is closing after the completion of a one-year grant from Passerelle Investment Co. The science center became a popular destination because of its various exhibits. Town Crier

A popular downtown destination...

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Books

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree


Author Tiffany Papageorge is scheduled to sign copies of new her book 11 a.m. Dec. 6 at Linden Tree Books, 265 State St., Los Altos.

Papageorge’s “My Yellow Balloon” (Minoan Moon, 2014) is a Mom’s Choice “Gold” winner. In the book, the Los Gat...

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People

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

January 11, 1939 – November 6, 2014
Resident of Mountain View

James Windell Smith, a 40 year resident of Los Altos, passed away from complications after a post-surgery stroke November 6th, 2014 in Los Gatos, California.

Born on January 11, 1939 on...

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Travel

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine


Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
While many day-trippers may think that Sonoma is all about the grapes, the region boasts other delights. Try a biplane ride over the patchwork landscape.

Sonoma, a scenic two-hour drive from Los Altos, boa...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company opens 'Fairway'

The Los Altos Stage Company production of Ken Ludwig’s new comedy “The Fox on the Fairway” is slated to run Thursday through Dec. 14 at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

A tribute to the English farces of the 1930s and 1940s, “Fox” is a romp that p...

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Spiritual Life

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am


The Beth Am Women have scheduled “A Conversation with Author Maggie Anton” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills.

Anton, winner of the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, will discu...

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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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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