New El Camino CEO brings 'entrepreneurial spirit'


The El Camino Healthcare District named Dan Woods its new CEO in June. The district includes the 443-bed El Camino Hospital in Mountain View and a satellite facility in Los Gatos.

Woods, who officially started work Aug. 30, arrives from Georgia. He previously served as president and CEO of WellStar Kennestone Regional Medical Center in Marietta, Ga., where he oversaw a staff of more than 1,100 physicians and 4,700 employees. Prior to that, he held key administrative positions at Northwestern Memorial Healthcare and at the University of Chicago Hospitals and Health System.

Wildfires' impact felt locally

Megan V. Winslow / Town Crier
Los Altos residents Aimee Castaneda, left, and Trish Moore load donated household items from Moore’s front yard into a SUV Thursday. Within two days of posting a request for goods to help victims of the Northern California fires and first responders, Moore managed to collect five SUV’s worth of goods from her Los Altos and Los Altos Hills neighbors.

Strong winds carried smoke from a series of rampaging North Bay wildfires all the way south to Los Altos and Mountain View last week, prompting some residents venturing outdoors to wear masks as hazy skies rendered nearby foothills invisible from the valley floor.

The Hills are alive -- with the scourge of stinkwort

Megan V. Winslow / Town Crier
An odiferous invasive weed has begun seeding itself throughout Los Altos Hills, prompting an herbicidal response.

A stinkwort, by any other name, would smell just as noxious, excrete oils just as irritating and produce barbs just as sharp.

“It’s horrible stuff,” said Sue Welch, Los Altos Hills Open Space Committee member. “I would really like to see the town get a handle on it.”

Flu season is upon us

flu vaccine
Madison Ivy / Special to the Town Crier
Walgreens Pharmacy Manager John Budis gives Town Crier reporter Megan V. Winslow a flu shot last week.

The official start of flu season varies each year, but a two-week waiting period before antibodies reach full potency means health-care officials are already urging patients to roll up their sleeves and get the vaccine.

The flu season usually begins in late September or early October and peaks in January or February, according to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department.

TC at 70: Has it really been that long?

Town Crier publishers
Town Crier File Photo
The Big Three: Town Crier publishers past and present, from left, Paul Nyberg, Mort Levine and David MacKenzie

The Los Altos Town Crier turns 70 years old this month. Sept. 9, to be exact, was the date of the paper’s first issue – a hand-drawn four-pager filled 100 percent with advertising. In fact, the Town Crier would be a “shopper” for several years before finding editorial content.

The good old days

The two men behind the Town Crier’s founding in 1947 were characters, to say the least. David MacKenzie and Warren Good- rich were witty, highly talented gentlemen with a gift for subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) iconoclasm. In his 2001 autobiography, “An Artist’s Life,” Goodrich called the Town Crier “a tabloid shopper.”

Clean energy transition receives positive response, few opting out

The vast majority of Los Altos and Mountain View residents transitioned into Silicon Valley Clean Energy’s GreenStart program without lifting a finger.

That’s because the GreenStart electricity option, touted as 100 percent carbon-free and 50 percent from renewable energy sources, is the default program residents and businesses automatically enrolled in between April and July – unless they specifically opted out. It’s one of two programs offered by SVCE, a community-owned energy provider that buys electricity from clean energy sources and sells to customers. PG&E still delivers the electricity over existing utility lines and continues to handle maintenance, billing and customer service.

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