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Last updateWed, 24 Aug 2016 12pm

News

LAH council, residents reach  cost-sharing internet agreement

LAH council, residents reach cost-sharing internet agreement


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Deputy John Prado met members of the Los Altos Hills City Council last week. Prado, a motorcycle officer, is assigned to traffic enforcement in town.

Julietta Lane’s getting the hook-up, parts of Mora Drive are ent...

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Schools

LAEF announces $3.7 million goal

The Los Altos Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization led by a board of parent volunteers, is targeting a fundraising goal of $3.7 million for the 2016-2017 school year.

For more than 30 years, LAEF has raised funds from parents and the com...

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Community

 Foothill-De Anza chancellor highlights innovative programs in Rotary Club talk

Foothill-De Anza chancellor highlights innovative programs in Rotary Club talk


Steve Pomeroy/Rotary Club of Los Altos
Judy Miner addresses the Rotary Club of Los Altos at its Aug. 4 meeting.

Despite state funding cuts, Chancellor Judy C. Miner of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District remains positive about the colle...

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Sports

Eagles get defensive

Eagles get defensive


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos quarterback Cooper Cornell, above, hands the ball off to fullback Nick Pontius, who also starts at defensive tackle.

Football coaches can’t help but be optimistic this time of year – every team is st...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Remove coyotes from Los Altos

Coyotes are dangerous apex predators that are killing many cats (at least 10 in the past year) and will move on to attacking dogs and people.

Nationally, a number of people have been attacked recently, including four b...

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Special Sections

Got a wedding singer? Musicians and engaged couples work in tandem to orchestrate perfect night

Got a wedding singer? Musicians and engaged couples work in tandem to orchestrate perfect night


Courtesy of Dick Bright
Dick Bright, a veteran Bay Area musician, manages local bands such as the Dick Bright Orchestra, Club 90 and Encore. His bands ramp up the energy at weddings.

A wedding soundtrack draws nearly everyone to the dance floor....

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Business

LAH startup aims to make startups happy

LAH startup aims to make startups happy


Whether it’s a nail salon or a car mechanic on the premises, many startups are finding creative ways to keep employees happy. Coders have come to expect services at the office, but CEOs – and overstressed human resource officers –...

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People

EDITH B. LACHENBRUCH

EDITH B. LACHENBRUCH

Nov. 4, 1927- Aug. 7, 2016

Edith B. Lachenbruch died on Sunday, August 7th surrounded by family in her Corvallis, Oregon home. She lived an engaged and thoughtful life. Those who knew her will take comfort thinking of the almost 89 years that she ...

Readmore

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News

LAH council, residents reach cost-sharing internet agreement

LAH council, residents reach  cost-sharing internet agreement

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Deputy John Prado met members of the Los Altos Hills City Council last week. Prado, a motorcycle officer, is assigned to traffic enforcement in town.

Julietta Lane’s getting the hook-up, parts of Mora Drive are entering the fold and the town’s welcoming a ne...

Readmore

Business

LAH startup aims to make startups happy

LAH startup aims to make startups happy

Whether it’s a nail salon or a car mechanic on the premises, many startups are finding creative ways to keep employees happy. Coders have come to expect services at the office, but CEOs – and overstressed human resource officers – can’t always keep up with workers’ de...

Readmore

Sports

Eagles get defensive

Eagles get defensive

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos quarterback Cooper Cornell, above, hands the ball off to fullback Nick Pontius, who also starts at defensive tackle.

Football coaches can’t help but be optimistic this time of year – every team is still undefeated. Los Altos High coach Trevor Pruitt...

Readmore

Community

Foothill-De Anza chancellor highlights innovative programs in Rotary Club talk

 Foothill-De Anza chancellor highlights innovative programs in Rotary Club talk

Steve Pomeroy/Rotary Club of Los Altos
Judy Miner addresses the Rotary Club of Los Altos at its Aug. 4 meeting.

Despite state funding cuts, Chancellor Judy C. Miner of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District remains positive about the colleges’ innovative educational programs.

Miner...

Readmore

Comment

Letters to the Editor

Remove coyotes from Los Altos

Coyotes are dangerous apex predators that are killing many cats (at least 10 in the past year) and will move on to attacking dogs and people.

Nationally, a number of people have been attacked recently, including four by rabid coyotes. There are serious problems in Los...

Readmore

Spiritual Life

'World-embracing vision' requires a shift in thinking

 

More than 120 years ago, the prophet founder of the Baha’i faith wrote, “It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.”

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People

EDITH B. LACHENBRUCH

EDITH B. LACHENBRUCH

Nov. 4, 1927- Aug. 7, 2016

Edith B. Lachenbruch died on Sunday, August 7th surrounded by family in her Corvallis, Oregon home. She lived an engaged and thoughtful life. Those who knew her will take comfort thinking of the almost 89 years that she was able to be here as a living, helping, mindful,...

Readmore

Schools

LAEF announces $3.7 million goal

The Los Altos Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization led by a board of parent volunteers, is targeting a fundraising goal of $3.7 million for the 2016-2017 school year.

For more than 30 years, LAEF has raised funds from parents and the community to provide enrichment programs and smaller ...

Readmore

Special Sections

Got a wedding singer? Musicians and engaged couples work in tandem to orchestrate perfect night

Got a wedding singer? Musicians and engaged couples work in tandem to orchestrate perfect night

Courtesy of Dick Bright
Dick Bright, a veteran Bay Area musician, manages local bands such as the Dick Bright Orchestra, Club 90 and Encore. His bands ramp up the energy at weddings.

A wedding soundtrack draws nearly everyone to the dance floor. As the band plays a Beatles tune followed by Brun...

Readmore

Stepping Out

TheatreWorks gets 'Party' started in Mtn. View

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley is scheduled to give American audiences their first look at the London hit “The Life of the Party,” a celebration of songs by Andrew Lippa.

The musical is slated to run today through Sept. 18 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St.

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Obituaries

EDITH B. LACHENBRUCH

EDITH B. LACHENBRUCH

Nov. 4, 1927- Aug. 7, 2016

Edith B. Lachenbruch died on Sunday, August 7th surrounded by family in her Corvallis, Oregon home. She lived an engaged and thoughtful life. Those who knew her will take comfort thinking of the almost 89 years that she was able to be here as a living, helping, mindful,...

Readmore

Magazine

Festival offers fun for just about everyone

Festival offers fun for just about everyone

TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The 37th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival expects to draw thousands of people to the downtown village over the weekend. The festival features arts, crafts, food, wine, beer and children’s activities.

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'Natural' not always nice: Deciphering deception in organic labeling

Photo Elliott Burr/Town Crier Hidden Villa's Community Supported Agriculture farm manager Jason McKenney, right, loads organic produce into baskets with the help of Max Bryer. Produce can lose its organic label if one uses fertilizers or if a product doesn't contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients.

 

The trend for gardening at home continues to grow – and people are taking a particular interest in raising flowers and vegetables organically. With such prominent figures as First Lady Michelle Obama promoting organic gardening in the White House yard, products that cater to this trend are increasingly available.

Unfortunately, the increased interest in organic gardening has led to some confusion – and some deception – about what it means for a product to be organic. Product labels and their meanings have become a minefield for consumers interested in eco-friendly agriculture. It can be difficult to know exactly what products labeled natural, plant-based or organic signify.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designates the official organic labeling. The agency’s seal comes in several forms that denote whether a product is 100 percent organic, organic or made with organic ingredients. But anecdotal evidence suggests this multitiered labeling system is contributing to consumer confusion.

For example, if a product is labeled 100 percent organic, everything in it must be certified organic. If a product is labeled organic, that means it must contain 95 percent certified-organic ingredients. If a product contains 70 percent organic ingredients, it can be labeled as made with organic ingredients. Any product with less than 70 percent organic ingredients cannot carry the USDA seal.

Another tip is that a product labeled natural is not organic. While there might be some natural ingredients in the product, that doesn’t mean that it’s safe or Earth-friendly – not to mention organic.

The USDA directs consumers to other organizations that can help them determine whether the products they purchase are 100 percent organic. The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) is a non-profit, independent organization that reviews products and their rank on the USDA’s national organic standards list.

The institute provides a comprehensive list of products that pass the test for concerned consumers.

“OMRI’s list is an invaluable tool for gardeners who want to keep their plots organic,” said Claude Boisvert, president of Tree World Plant Care Products. “It makes it easier than ever to find gardening supplements that are not harmful to the environment.”

If a main concern in planting an organic garden is providing your family with safe-to-eat, healthful food from the backyard, you’ll want to ensure you’re using truly organic gardening products. At the same time, you want the garden to look great and produce well.

One of the biggest challenges in organic gardening is controlling pests in a way that is humane and safe – for people and the environment. For smaller pests, it is increasingly easy to find organic insecticidal soaps that are safe, unlike some traditional pesticides. Larger plant browsers can wreak havoc unless a rabbit or deer repellent is used. Several eco-conscious repellants are on the market, but if they’re not shelved at your store, it’s important to remember that consumers have the power to influence the products that are available.

If keeping an organic garden truly organic is important to you, discuss your concerns with local retailers. By asking them to stock products that are subject to rigorous standards, everyone in the community can have access to verified organic materials.

 

-ARAContent

Submit a Letter to the Editor

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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