12042016Sun
Last updateWed, 30 Nov 2016 4pm

News

Reaching readers: Library makes strides to attract new cardholders

Reaching readers: Library makes strides to attract new cardholders


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Patrons of the Los Altos main library may soon benefit from expanded hours. Santa Clara County Library District and North County Library Authority representatives were expected to mull additional evening and weekend hour...

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Schools

MVLA board honors longtime trustee

MVLA board honors longtime trustee


Courtesy of MVLA
Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian honors outgoing Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Trustee Susan Sweeley at the Nov. 21 MVLA board meeting.

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of ...

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Community

Los Altos resident's passion for Girl Scouts results in 2016 exemplary leadership award

Los Altos resident's passion for Girl Scouts results in 2016 exemplary leadership award


Courtesy of the Miner family
Petere Miner’s Girl Scouts award recognizes volunteers who serve as “exceptional models for girls and adults and have had an extraordinarily profound impact on girls’ lives through their empowerment of those girls.”
&n...

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Sports

St. Francis swept out of playoffs

St. Francis swept out of playoffs


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Brigitte Canty leaps to make a kill in Saturday’s playoff match against Valley Christian. She led the Lancers with 12 kills.

After the Lancers let leads slip away in the first two sets, ther...

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Comment

In search of trees: Other Voices

There weren’t any trees. That’s how it looked to me when I arrived at Stanford University. I had come with a fellowship for a doctorate in modern British history. Home was in Missouri, college in New York, both were in river valleys. I was used to an...

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Special Sections

Holidays by design: Los Altos company provides  seasonal decorating service

Holidays by design: Los Altos company provides seasonal decorating service


Megan V. Winslow/ Town Crier
Amy Fischer of Spectrum Interior Design decorated Los Altos resident Katie Beers’ living room for the holidays last week.

Don’t worry if you have no time to shop for unique holiday decor, decorate Christma...

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Business

Recent renovation keeps  Spangler business at home

Recent renovation keeps Spangler business at home


megan v. winslow/Town Crier
The Spangler Mortuary in Los Altos, built in the 1950s, has been in the Spangler family for three generations.

Spangler Mortuary recently underwent a full renovation at its Los Altos location on San Antonio Road. A ribbon...

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People

ATTELLIA ANN BERG

ATTELLIA ANN BERG

Attellia Ann Berg age 94, a resident of Los Altos and Mt. View, CA from 1965 – 2016 and most recently of Santa Fe, New Mexico passed away early Tuesday morning, November 15, 2016. After struggling valiantly in recent years with the crippling effect...

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News

Reaching readers: Library makes strides to attract new cardholders

Reaching readers: Library makes strides to attract new cardholders

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Patrons of the Los Altos main library may soon benefit from expanded hours. Santa Clara County Library District and North County Library Authority representatives were expected to mull additional evening and weekend hours this month.

It’s a lofty goal – obtain the h...

Readmore

Business

Recent renovation keeps Spangler business at home

Recent renovation keeps  Spangler business at home

megan v. winslow/Town Crier
The Spangler Mortuary in Los Altos, built in the 1950s, has been in the Spangler family for three generations.

Spangler Mortuary recently underwent a full renovation at its Los Altos location on San Antonio Road. A ribbon-cutting ceremony held early this month underscore...

Readmore

Sports

St. Francis swept out of playoffs

St. Francis swept out of playoffs

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Brigitte Canty leaps to make a kill in Saturday’s playoff match against Valley Christian. She led the Lancers with 12 kills.

After the Lancers let leads slip away in the first two sets, there was no turning back. The momentum belonged to vi...

Readmore

Community

Los Altos resident's passion for Girl Scouts results in 2016 exemplary leadership award

Los Altos resident's passion for Girl Scouts results in 2016 exemplary leadership award

Courtesy of the Miner family
Petere Miner’s Girl Scouts award recognizes volunteers who serve as “exceptional models for girls and adults and have had an extraordinarily profound impact on girls’ lives through their empowerment of those girls.”
 

You could say Petere Miner is a Girl Scout...

Readmore

Comment

In search of trees: Other Voices

There weren’t any trees. That’s how it looked to me when I arrived at Stanford University. I had come with a fellowship for a doctorate in modern British history. Home was in Missouri, college in New York, both were in river valleys. I was used to an environment of deciduous trees: maples, elms, oak...

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Spiritual Life

'Junkyard Wisdom': Businessman shares story of wealth, generosity

What can you learn working in a junkyard? According to Roy Goble, quite a lot.

He learned hard work. He learned about business. And he came across a diverse group of people. His junkyard experience also launched him into a career that led to a great deal of wealth.

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People

ATTELLIA ANN BERG

ATTELLIA ANN BERG

Attellia Ann Berg age 94, a resident of Los Altos and Mt. View, CA from 1965 – 2016 and most recently of Santa Fe, New Mexico passed away early Tuesday morning, November 15, 2016. After struggling valiantly in recent years with the crippling effects of osteoarthritis, she is free from the challeng...

Readmore

Schools

MVLA board honors longtime trustee

MVLA board honors longtime trustee

Courtesy of MVLA
Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian honors outgoing Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Trustee Susan Sweeley at the Nov. 21 MVLA board meeting.

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees honored one of its own last week.

Susan ...

Readmore

Special Sections

Holidays by design: Los Altos company provides seasonal decorating service

Holidays by design: Los Altos company provides  seasonal decorating service

Megan V. Winslow/ Town Crier
Amy Fischer of Spectrum Interior Design decorated Los Altos resident Katie Beers’ living room for the holidays last week.

Don’t worry if you have no time to shop for unique holiday decor, decorate Christmas trees, make garlands and untangle and hang the o...

Readmore

Stepping Out

A 'Geek' tragedy

A 'Geek' tragedy

Courtesy of Pear Theatre
Pear Theatre’s “Geeks vs. Zombies” runs through Dec. 18.

In a departure from standard Christmas fare, the Pear Theatre presents “Geeks vs. Zombies,” a gory funfest by the creator of “Super Villain!,” a hit at the Pear two holiday seasons ago.

“Geeks” is slated to previ...

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Obituaries

ATTELLIA ANN BERG

ATTELLIA ANN BERG

Attellia Ann Berg age 94, a resident of Los Altos and Mt. View, CA from 1965 – 2016 and most recently of Santa Fe, New Mexico passed away early Tuesday morning, November 15, 2016. After struggling valiantly in recent years with the crippling effects of osteoarthritis, she is free from the challeng...

Readmore

Magazine

Holidays in the heat: Commemorate Christmas south of the equator

Holidays in the heat: Commemorate Christmas south of the equator

Courtesy of Camping
Patrons of Camping, a restaurant in Buenos Aires, enjoy the warm weather during last year’s holiday season.

When I relocated from Mountain View to Buenos Aires in July, I knew I’d be stepping into winter. I packed my rain boots and heavy coat, and I set aside my longing for a p...

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Native plants serve many practical uses


Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Yarrow is a convenient and effective first-aid remedy found in the garden. Crush a leaf and apply it to any cut or scrape for quick relief. The native white and Island Pink varieties have the most medicinal value. You can also eat the young leaves in salads.

When I’m working in my garden late and the mosquitoes are biting, I usually rub an aromatic plant on my arms and face to minimize bites and keep welts from rising. For those times when I’m away from my garden, I recently learned how to make a simple bug spray using native plants.

At a talk sponsored by the Gardening with Natives group of the California Native Plant Society, Alicia Funk, an expert in plant-based medicine, said mugwort was an especially effective bug repellent. To make it, she fills a glass jar with the plants, pours boiling water over them and lets them steep overnight. In the morning, she strains the overnight infusion and puts it in a spray bottle. Other plants that can be added to the mixture include California Bay, Mountain Pennyroyal or Coyote Mint, Yerba Santa or manzanita.

I’m delighted to find this practical use for mugwort, because it’s a vigorous plant that needs to be pruned regularly to keep it within bounds.

For poison oak, Funk makes a spray using manzanita leaves in the same way: Fill a jar with manzanita leaves, pour boiling water over them, let the mixture steep overnight and strain. Put the liquid in a spray bottle for easy application. The astringency of the leaves dries rashes and is a very effective treatment, she said. Other plants that have been used to treat poison oak include mugwort, California Bay, Yerba Santa, acorn shells and Grindelia.

Did you notice that bay, manzanita and mugwort could be used in both formulas? One of the first things I noticed when I began studying herbs was that the same herbs seemed to be used for many different conditions, which made me think it was a scattershot approach. But as I learned more, I realized that this is a strength, because you can substitute what’s available. For first-aid uses, often all you need is a certain property. For an insect repellent, you need aromatics that repel bugs. For poison oak, you need something that calms the itching or that’s anti-inflammatory.

Funk’s household cleaner for the past four years is also an overnight infusion she makes from native plants. She uses California Bay leaves and the bright-green tips of Douglas Fir branches and adds distilled vinegar to the strained mixture. It’s an all-purpose spray she uses to clean wood floors and disinfect countertops.

"If you can boil water," Funk said, "you can make these useful concoctions."

Even her 5-year-old knows about yarrow. When someone has a minor injury, instead of getting a Band-Aid, he runs to the garden to get some yarrow leaves. Lightly crushed and applied to a cut or scrape, the leaves stop the bleeding and quickly reduce pain. The most effective varieties are the native white or Island Pink Yarrow.

Tanya Kucak gardens organically. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. n

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The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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