Wed06012016

News

FAA report

FAA report "a start" in allaying noise onslaught


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Anti-noise advocates exchange informational door hangers to give to neighbors.

A federal report released last week identifies possible solutions to the aircraft noise plaguing South Bay communities.

The Federal Aviation...

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Schools

Almond community packs meals for those in need

Almond community packs meals for those in need


Courtesy of Polly Liu
Almond School families worked together last month to package more than 15,000 meals for the Stop Hunger Now organization. Approximately 85 volunteers, including students in grades K-6, packaged meals of rice, soy, vitamins and...

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Community

Veteran Marie Houghton Mong: Mapping out a long life of doing

Veteran Marie Houghton Mong: Mapping out a long life of doing


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Marie Houghton Mong relaxes with one of her two 16-year-old cats at The Terraces at Los Altos retirement community.

On the average day, Marie Houghton Mong can be found in her attractive and comfortable apartment at T...

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Comment

Blame it on Rio: No Shoes, Please

In 2008, I wrote a column explaining why I thought Beijing was an inappropriate venue for that year’s Summer Olympic Games. I cited health risks: the city’s terrible pollution and the country’s corrupt food supply chain. I also note...

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Special Sections

Upscale modern: Los Altos Hills home honors DNA of originals

Upscale modern: Los Altos Hills home honors DNA of originals


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Melissa and Nick French, right with son Grayson, pooled their talents to design their dream home. Melissa designed the living room sofa and table.

Melissa and Nick French took “do it yourself” to a new dim...

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Business

ATHENA awards recognize local leadership

ATHENA awards recognize local leadership


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Chamber of Commerce Mountain View presented this year’s ATHENA Leadership Award to Maria Marroquin, left, and Leane Reelfs, right. The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award went to Diana Bautista, center.

Chamber ...

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People

REGINA MARIE (DOOLEY) MARTIN

Regina Marie (Dooley) Martin, daughter of John Henry Dooley and Edna Donicia (Gianelli) Segur, step daughter of Clyde Henry Segur (one of the founding fathers of Los Altos), wife of Edward Joseph Martin, mother of Susan Elizabeth Martin and Edward Jo...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company's 'Arts Razzle-Dazzle' showcases local talent

LA Stage Company's 'Arts Razzle-Dazzle' showcases local talent


Courtesy of Eileen Eng
Mountain View High junior Julia Rogers, 2015 South Bay Teen Idol winner, is slated to perform at Tuesday’s “Arts Razzle-Dazzle” at Bus Barn Theater.

Los Altos Stage Company shines a spotlight on the perfo...

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Spiritual Life

Former St. Nicholas pastor shares his story as exorcist

The Rev. Gary Thomas served the Los Altos faith community as pastor of St. Nicholas Catholic Parish for several years before he announced in 2005 that San Jose Bishop Patrick J. McGrath had assigned him to study in Rome, not unusual for U.S. priests...

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Lessons learned at a landfill – trashing myths of recycling

Photo Courtesy Of Kacey Fitzpatrick

Nearly everything we throw away can be recycled or composted, as demonstrated at the Los Altos Community Picnic Sept. 7.

As part of our work in the water and waste workgroup for the Los Altos Green Ribbon Citizens Committee, some folks from GreenTown Los Altos had the opportunity to tour Norcal's state-of-the-art recycling facility and transfer station in San Francisco. Norcal is the parent company of Los Altos Garbage, which processes much of its waste and recycling closer to home at Newby Island Recyclery.

On that bright and sunny day a few weeks ago, 15 visitors stood with mouths agape at the sheer volume of recyclables. The transfer station – where Norcal processes waste destined for landfills, and food and yard wastes are slated for composting – evoked a similar response. It was simply not possible to leave the tour without feeling overwhelmed by the amount that we, as Americans, consume and throw away in our daily lives.

Furthermore, two myths were dispelled.

• Myth No. 1 – We throw away garbage. It turns out that most of what we throw away can be recycled or composted. Approximately 70 percent of material that goes to landfills is organic waste and paper. In a landfill, these materials produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas. A large percentage of the remaining 30 percent of waste is recoverable – plastic, metal, glass, and construction and demolition debris.

• Myth No. 2 – Our recyclables get recycled. Although Los Altos Garbage collects a wide range of materials at curbside, not all of them are recycled. Recycling depends on the market for the end product.

Typically, approximately 85 percent of plastics are recycled – primarily No. 1 and No. 2 plastics, with No. 2 being the most valuable. Plastics that do get recycled are often down-cycled into products that are not recyclable, such as pipes and picnic tables. Remaining waste is sent to landfills.

Blocks of Styrofoam go to landfills, even though they are accepted at curbside. Containers made from multiple layers of materials, such as milk cartons, juice boxes and juice bags, often meet a similar fate – here or in China.

So what can we do about it?

• Get food out of the trash. Start backyard composting or try worm composting – children love it. Composting keeps food waste out of landfills and provides valuable nutrients for your soil (see The Green Life, Aug. 20 Town Crier).

• Go paperless. Reduce the amount you print, and when you do, print double-sided.

• Bring your own. When you're out and about, remember to bring your own bags, water bottle, coffee mug and take-out containers. Lots of options are available. For bags, I've discovered Chico Bags – chicobag.com – a bag within a bag. You can easily hook it on your belt loop or store several in your purse – they're that small.

• Avoid packaging, or at the very least, plastic packaging, with the exception of No. 2 milk jugs, and packaging with several materials or layers, such as juice bags or milk cartons. Choose items packaged in reusable or returnable containers such as glass or recyclable materials, including paper and cardboard. Buy in bulk.

Margie Suozzo is a member of the GreenTown Los Altos leadership team and co-chairwoman of the Green Ribbon Citizens Committee subgroup on water and waste.

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