12062016Tue
Last updateMon, 05 Dec 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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'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

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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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