Wed07292015

News

Cal Water says no E. coli in water; limits boiling advisory area

Cal Water says no E. coli in water; limits boiling advisory area

Cal Water officials said today that preliminary water quality test results were negative for E. coli were negative and "only a single hydrant" in the South El Monte area of Los Altos showed the presence of total coliform. They reduced the "boil your ...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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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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