Early school start times can result in unintended consequences for youth


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Start times at local middle and high schools vary, with some beginning up to an hour later than others a few times a week. Research shows classes beginning before 8:30 a.m. do not give adolescents enough time to get the recommended amount of sleep.

Later middle and high school start times have been recently debated in California. Senate Bill 328 passed the State Senate but was vetoed by Gov. Jerry Brown. Brown stated it should be up to local communities to make these decisions.

Earlier start times have resulted in significant negative impacts on children’s health, academic performance and overall well-being. A study shows that since 1991 – before the invention of smartphones – there has been a national decline in adolescent sleep.

Bone-on-bone arthritis: How to avoid knee replacement surgery


Courtesy of Physiofit
An increasing number of people face living with arthritis in their knees, but in some cases, tightness in parts of the body close to the knee can be treated through physical therapy to ease the pain and avoid knee replacement surgery.

“I don’t want to do anything crazy like run a marathon; I just want to live my normal life without this constant knee pain.”

– Diane, 60, Los Altos

Doctors claim remaining seats on El Camino Healthcare District board


As of the Town Crier’s publishing deadline, two doctors had secured the two open seats on the El Camino Healthcare District Board of Directors: Peter C. Fung and George O. Ting.

With 74 percent of the votes counted, Fung led with 25,337 votes, or 38.06 percent. Ting followed with 24,630 votes, or 37 percent. Former Mountain View mayor Mike Kasperzak received 10,904 votes, or 16.38 percent, while James Davis, labor champion and former Sunnyvale city councilman, trailed with 5,700 votes, or 8.56 percent.

Air quality district offers safety tips in wake of active wildfire season


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Women wear surgical masks as they walk along Castro Street in downtown Mountain View Friday afternoon. Bandanas and typical surgical masks do not protect against harmful smoke particles, according to a Santa Clara County Public Affairs health advisory issued last week. Fitted N-95 masks with two straps, available for purchase at most hardware stores, are most effective.

According to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the California wildfire season takes place between spring and early fall.

However, wildfires are continuing to spark late this year. Most recently, the Camp Fire in Butte County last week had a severe impact on air quality throughout the Santa Clara Valley, with multiple air quality advisories issued.

An ear-replaceable experience: How Pacific Hearing Service is serving an entire country by training one dedicated man


Courtesy of Barbara Beck
Zambian driver turned audiologist-in-training Sammy Fundiwa traveled to Los Altos to study how to take care of ears and hearing aids so that he can help his fellow villagers upon his return. Currently, 17 million Zambians rely on Entheos Audiology Cooperative clinics and the countrys lone audiologist to treat their ear problems.

Pacific Hearing Service in Los Altos is lending a hand – and an ear – as it trains the Zambian man set to become only the second audiologist in the African nation, which has a population of 17 million.

Sammy Fundiwa was a driver in his village of Chibombo, where the poverty level has normalized health care not as a necessity, but as a luxury. The Entheos Audiology Cooperative, which Pacific Hearing audiologists Deborah Clark and Jane Baxter joined in 2015, had traveled to Africa to provide hearing services to those who lived in and around Chibombo.

Deflecting mosquitoes during bite season


Courtesy of Center for Disease Control and Protection
The best way to fend off mosquitoes is to apply a repellent with 15-50 percent DEET, 20 percent picaridin or 30 percent oil of lemon eucalyptus. Repellents with lower percentages are not as effective.

Mosquitoes are incredibly well adapted for living on Earth in extreme conditions. They exist at 8,000 feet in the Himalayas and below sea level in the California desert. The eggs of mosquitoes can survive months to decades in desert, frozen tundra and even on dried flowers.

When it rains, the eggs hatch immediately, releasing mosquito larvae. Water reduces the amount of oxygen available to the eggs, which triggers hatching. Mosquitoes’ normal diet is nectar and aphid excrement. Blood is ingested only to fulfill reproductive needs. Mosquitoes become sexually mature at 2 days old and mate in swarms at dusk or dawn.


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