The bloodsuckers are back: Local officials warn of mosquito, tick activity

James Gathany/CDC
A female Aedes aegypti (yellow fever) mosquito acquires a blood meal from her host. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are capable of transmitting Zika, the birth-defect-causing virus, are not currently active in the Bay Area but have been found locally in recent years.

Recent temperature fluctuations notwithstanding, warm weather has returned to the Bay Area, and with it comes the annual onslaught of disease carriers like mosquitoes and ticks, county officials warned last week.

Locally, May and June are considered the start of the active West Nile virus season, and Lyme disease peaks in ticks in July, according to Russell Parman, Santa Clara County Vector Control District assistant manager.

'Mystery' album of photos sparks search for owner's kin

Courtesy of Town of Los Altos Hills
Los Altos HIlls City Clerk Deborah Padovan and History Committee member Jitze Couperus have been searching for the descendants of Augusto Leonida Galdieri, above right. Galdieri’s photos, and many others, were found in a scrapbook in a Los Altos Hills Town Hall closet earlier this month.

Over the years, Los Altos Hills Town Hall storage facilities have accumulated an impressive array of historical miscellanea: scrapbooks filled with yellowed newspaper clippings, assorted cutlery and dishes – even a glass box containing a mannequin dressed as 18th-century Spanish explorer Juan Bautista de Anza. While many of the items originated from residents who donated them for posterity, deciphering the origins of a family photo album found in a town hall closet earlier this month has left City Clerk Deborah Padovan stumped.

“There must have been some significance in their mind why they donated it,” she said. “So I wasn’t going to throw it away. You don’t throw stuff like this away.”

Duck tales: Expert advice on discouraging unwelcome visiting waterfowl

Courtesy of Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA 
Three ducklings pulled from Fred and JoAnn Pfost’s Los Altos pool swim with other orphans at the Peninsula Humane Society.

Fred and JoAnn Pfost’s Los Altos swimming pool has attracted ducks for decades, but it wasn’t until earlier this month that the couple discovered their first duckling residents – nine in total plus their mallard mother. The recent arrival of new Pfost family member Katy, a 16-week-old Boston terrier, made relocating the pool party a priority.

“Our puppy would just think they were wind-up toys,” JoAnn Pfost said.

Dog days of summer: Canine flu cases down, but remain a concern

Graphic by Grace Hase/Town Crier
According to Dr. Cristie Kamiya of Humane Society Silicon Valley, there have been 486 confirmed canine flu cases in California, with 212 of them occurring in Northern California, as shown in the graphic above.

Nearly five months have passed since canine influenza virus (CIV) arrived in Santa Clara County and commenced a steady march through Silicon Valley, spreading north up the Peninsula and south toward Monterey County.

The highly contagious nature of the respiratory disease has influenced how animal care businesses operate; some local boarding and day care facilities no longer accept dogs that haven’t been vaccinated.

Foothill College student calls for justice amid Caserta resignations from campaign, council


Lydia Jungkind was a student in Dominic Caserta’s Foothill College class last fall when she started to notice her instructor’s peculiar behavior.

“He cussed a lot, he used the f-word and the c-word,” she said. “When he (collected) the final, he hugged the pretty girls. It wasn’t a casual hug – it was a long hug.”

Pedal pushers rejoice: Mountain View launches bike-share program

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Electric bikes offered for rent through LimeBike await customers at Centennial Park in downtown Mountain View Thursday morning. The city last week launched a dockless bike-share pilot program featuring 400 electric bikes from Lime and 400 traditional pedal bikes from ofo.

On-demand, two-wheel transportation is no longer exclusively a Google Inc. employee perk. Now all Mountain View residents and visitors have ready access to a two-wheeled steed, thanks to a bike-share pilot program the city launched last week.

“It just gives them another option to hop on a bike without them having to worry about bringing their own bike along or making other arrangements,” said Dawn Cameron, Mountain View assistant public works director.

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