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Monitoring, new tools may help fend off flu epidemic


Top Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Above Screen capture from SickWeather.com
To prevent the flu from spreading, Bullis Charter School students receive hand wipes as they enter the classroom, above. Apps like SickWeather, left, track flu outbreaks.

In cyclical fashion, the flu season emerges each fall, prompting a rush to local pharmacies and doctors’ offices for preventive shots or nasal sprays.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that between 5 and 20 percent of the population fall victim to the virus each year. The CDC recommends flu shots for everyone 6 months of age and older. Although a flu shot is highly effective in preventing the onset of influenza – a CDC study reports a 77 percent reduction in flu-related hospitalizations for vaccinated adults over the age of 50 – risks still exist, particularly if those who are contagious act irresponsibly.

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Bark beetles targeting drought-weakened trees in Los Altos


Courtesy of City of Los Altos
Red turpentine beetles leave a pink substance when tunneling into pine trees.

A little pest has been wreaking havoc on pine trees in Los Altos, according to city officials.

Rangel Reynoso, the city’s interim maintenance supervisor, told the Town Crier that an infestation of bark beetles – specifically red turpentine beetles – has caused more than a dozen Monterey pine trees on city property to die in recent weeks.

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Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution when traveling through school zones.

An Oct. 17 bicyclist-vehicle accident at the intersection of Magdalena Avenue and Foothill Expressway resulted in a local elementary school student being transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

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Former symphony executive pleads no contest


Former Peninsula Symphony Executive Director Stephen Jay Carlton recently pleaded no contest to six felony counts, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

According to Deputy DA Judy Lee, Carlton entered a no-contest plea Sept. 23 to single counts of grand theft, identity theft and embezzlement and three counts of forgery.

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LAH dog park receives green light


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A 0.3-acre stretch of land near Purissima and Elena roads in Los Altos Hills is on track for a dog park. The city council recently approved up to $33,000 in funding for the project.

Los Altos Hills residents should soon be able to let their canines run leash-free in the town’s first dog park.

With a 5-0 vote, the Los Altos Hills City Council approved a budget of up to $33,000 for the fencing and plumbing work needed to construct the park. Funding for the project will come from the town’s Parks and Recreation In-Lieu Fee Fund. To minimize project costs, the town is soliciting donors for additional amenities, including benches, a water fountain, a waste-bag dispenser and garbage cans.

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Football season off and running


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Football players from Los Altos (above) and Mountain View high schools prepare for the season, scheduled to kick off later this week.

Both teams are practicing on new turf fields installed over the summer. Season previews for the Eagles and Spartans appear on page 26 of this week's paper and online here.

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Foothill College expands resource center for veterans

A popular destination for military veterans attending Foothill College will soon have a new address.

In early September, the Foothill College Veterans Resource Center (VRC) is slated to relocate to an on-campus office more than double the size of its current surroundings. The center will move from a 400-square-foot office within the campus center to an estimated 880-square-foot space in Building 5400, located near the library. The move is on schedule for completion before school begins Sept. 22.

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