09282016Wed
Last updateWed, 28 Sep 2016 4pm

News

Pickup flips on hill in Hills

Pickup flips on hill in Hills

The driver of a pest control truck escaped injury Wednesday morning when his pickup flipped, but officials worked into the early afternoon to contain chemicals spilled during the accident.

The accident scene

The single-vehicle accident occurred...

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Schools

Local Scout's Eagle project evolves into pilot program at Sunday Friends

Local Scout's Eagle project evolves into pilot program at Sunday Friends


Courtesy of Terence Lee
Los Altos High School students, from left, Terence Lee, Jane Zhao, Emma Kwan and David Ding are part of EqOpTech, a student-run nonprofit organization that works with Sunday Friends.

What began as an idea for a Boy Scout ...

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Community

Rotary Club of Los Altos speaker shares stories of wrongfully incarcerated

Rotary Club of Los Altos speaker shares stories of wrongfully incarcerated


Aguas-Rao
 

Although incarceration can result in great injustice, lawyers at the Northern California Innocence Project have succeeded in uncovering proof of innocence and restoring freedom to many inmates.

Aaron Aguas-Rao, case manager fo...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

How to select a councilmember

How to select a councilmember in the Nov. 8 election:

The Los Altos City Council has five members. Three seats are vacant. We need to elect or re-elect three of the six candidates running.

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Special Sections

Home Brief

Filoli has scheduled a new volunteer recruitment event 9:30-11:30 a.m. Oct. 15 at Filoli’s Visitor & Education Center, 86 Cañada Road, Woodside.

Attendees can learn about the many volunteer opportunities at Filoli, including house and gar...

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Business

Owners seek landmark status for LA farmhouse

Owners seek landmark status for LA farmhouse


courtesy of Daniil Reouk
A home on Grant Road in Los Altos built circa 1913 is considered by an architect to be a prime example of the Craftsman style. Originally constructed as a farmhouse, the property stayed within the family until a 2015 sale. ...

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People

KATHLEEN R. GARDNER

KATHLEEN R. GARDNER

February 7, 1924 – September 11, 2016
Resident of Los Altos

Kay passed peacefully away of old age at 92 with her family and caregiver at her son’s house in Los Altos on September 11, 2016. Kay was born in Casper, Wyoming on February 7, 1924 to Earl...

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News

Pickup flips on hill in Hills

Pickup flips on hill in Hills

The driver of a pest control truck escaped injury Wednesday morning when his pickup flipped, but officials worked into the early afternoon to contain chemicals spilled during the accident.

The accident scene

The single-vehicle accident occurred at approximately 11 a.m. on Alta Tierra Road near...

Readmore

Business

Owners seek landmark status for LA farmhouse

Owners seek landmark status for LA farmhouse

courtesy of Daniil Reouk
A home on Grant Road in Los Altos built circa 1913 is considered by an architect to be a prime example of the Craftsman style. Originally constructed as a farmhouse, the property stayed within the family until a 2015 sale. The Historical Commission is considering landmark ...

Readmore

Sports

St. Francis steamrolls Riordan

St. Francis steamrolls Riordan

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High defensive lineman Tyler Manoa takes down Riordan receiver Max Mezie. Manoa had eight tackles, including two sacks – the first for a safety – in Friday’s home win.

St. Francis High’s offense – and defense – outscored Ri...

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Community

Rotary Club of Los Altos speaker shares stories of wrongfully incarcerated

Rotary Club of Los Altos speaker shares stories of wrongfully incarcerated

Aguas-Rao
 

Although incarceration can result in great injustice, lawyers at the Northern California Innocence Project have succeeded in uncovering proof of innocence and restoring freedom to many inmates.

Aaron Aguas-Rao, case manager for the Northern California Innocence Project, spoke...

Readmore

Comment

Letters to the Editor

How to select a councilmember

How to select a councilmember in the Nov. 8 election:

The Los Altos City Council has five members. Three seats are vacant. We need to elect or re-elect three of the six candidates running.

Readmore

Spiritual Life

Spiritual Briefs

Baja orphanage founders share experiences Sunday

Bill and Kaye Lawrence, founders of the Rancho Santa Marta orphanage and school for developmentally challenged children in Baja California, are scheduled to speak 9:30 a.m. Sunday at Union Presbyterian Church of Los Altos, 858 University Ave. A light...

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People

KATHLEEN R. GARDNER

KATHLEEN R. GARDNER

February 7, 1924 – September 11, 2016
Resident of Los Altos

Kay passed peacefully away of old age at 92 with her family and caregiver at her son’s house in Los Altos on September 11, 2016. Kay was born in Casper, Wyoming on February 7, 1924 to Earl William Oliver and Annie Catherine (McCagherty) O...

Readmore

Schools

Local Scout's Eagle project evolves into pilot program at Sunday Friends

Local Scout's Eagle project evolves into pilot program at Sunday Friends

Courtesy of Terence Lee
Los Altos High School students, from left, Terence Lee, Jane Zhao, Emma Kwan and David Ding are part of EqOpTech, a student-run nonprofit organization that works with Sunday Friends.

What began as an idea for a Boy Scout Eagle project – which earned Terence Lee a Congres...

Readmore

Special Sections

Home Brief

Filoli has scheduled a new volunteer recruitment event 9:30-11:30 a.m. Oct. 15 at Filoli’s Visitor & Education Center, 86 Cañada Road, Woodside.

Attendees can learn about the many volunteer opportunities at Filoli, including house and garden self-guided tour docents, weekend tour docents...

Readmore

Stepping Out

Fall means Follies at Bus Barn

Fall means Follies at Bus Barn

Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
The cast of the 2016 Los Altos Follies will perform a musical parody titled “Bloviation, Obfuscation and Trepidation” this week at Bus Barn Theater.

The 23rd annual Los Altos Follies, “A Salute to Bloviation, Obfuscation and Trepidation,R...

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Obituaries

KATHLEEN R. GARDNER

KATHLEEN R. GARDNER

February 7, 1924 – September 11, 2016
Resident of Los Altos

Kay passed peacefully away of old age at 92 with her family and caregiver at her son’s house in Los Altos on September 11, 2016. Kay was born in Casper, Wyoming on February 7, 1924 to Earl William Oliver and Annie Catherine (McCagherty) O...

Readmore

Magazine

Local downtowns offer a variety of events and activities in fall and winter

Local downtowns offer a variety of events and activities in fall and winter

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A family walks through the Children's Alley at last year's Los Altos Fall Festival. This year's event, located in the South Parking Plazas between First Street and San Antonio Road, is scheduled Oct. 1 and 2.

As the new school year brings busy times for parents and s...

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Celebrate Earth Day in the garden

April 22 marks the 37th Annual International Earth Day, a chance to reflect on and renew our earthly commitments. It's a perfect day to spend in the garden, preparing the beds and planting organic spring crops of crunchy carrots, buttery lettuces, spicy arugula and sweet sugar snap peas. It's a perfect day to take care of the earth around us by following the lessons nature offers.

Compost is nature's way of renewing the earth's fertility. The forest floor is covered with compost created by the natural decay of all the leaves, trees, insects and wildlife that have fallen there. The resulting humus nourishes the soil and enriches the living plants - a beautiful example of the life cycle and sustainability.

Making your own compost can be as simple or as complex as you wish to make it. The object simply is to rescue the organic waste that goes into the garbage. It is piled outdoors and left for Mother Nature to perform the miracle of transforming it into nourishing soil.

All dead organic matter - for example, banana peels, weeds, autumn leaves - eventually turns into soil, whether we do anything about it or not, so we might as well collect it in one spot and have our own supply of nature's best.

Home gardens flourish with compost. It is called "gold" in the garden because of the high quality of food, texture and life it gives the soil, and the strong, healthful, pest-free plants that grow. Compost feeds the soil and feeds the plants. It also builds the soil and makes it richer and healthier each year because it becomes lighter with humus and fuller with living organisms.

This is sustainable gardening - we sustain the soil for next year's crops and for future generations. This is the organic way. As environmentalist Lester Brown said, "We have not inherited the Earth from our fathers, we are borrowing it from our children."

Recipe for 'sweet' compost

A compost pile is a spot we select to toss and layer garden debris, kitchen scraps, manure, soil and leaves to decompose (rot) and make new soil. Like the sweet fragrance of the forest, so is the fragrance of rich, crumbly compost. Following is a good recipe for odorless and pest-free compost:

1/4 garden soil

1/4 grass clippings, straw, garden debris, autumn leaves

1/4 fresh manure (chicken, horse, etc.)

1/4 kitchen waste - fruit and vegetable peels, cores, tops and seeds, eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags, fish and chicken bones (they break down quickly) and leftover leftovers.

As you go, layer 1 to 3 inches of ingredients to generate efficient heat and decomposition. Water the compost pile to keep it moist but not soggy. Earthworms will come, thrive and multiply. They will eat the kitchen scraps, generate earthworm castings, mix and aerate the soil and help break down the organic matter. It will take 3 to 6 months for the pile to decompose completely to rich, beautiful, "forest fragrant" soil. You will know when it's ready.

Compost tips

• In choosing a spot for the compost, make it as handy as possible - a short walk from the kitchen or a path that keeps your shoes from getting muddy in the winter. It is best if the compost is in the sun or partial sun for efficient decomposition, but not necessary.

• Keep a pile of organic matter next to the compost for ease in covering the kitchen waste. This can be soil, a bale of straw, grass clippings, leaves and even compost itself. In the winter and spring, weeds (seedless, runnerless) are usually sprouting and available to pull and pile easily on as a layer.

• Keep an old digging tool by the compost pile so the kitchen waste can be easily covered each time you take it out.

• Keep a small pail or old milk carton on top of or underneath your sink for all your organic waste. Take it out daily.

• Many materials are readily available around the house: fireplace ashes, hair, washing machine lint and vacuum cleaner dirt all go in.

• There are many sources for additional materials that are free for the asking. Produce departments, fish markets and barbershops will give away their trimmings. Stables will let you pick up manure that is often mixed with wood shavings. The liberal use of manure speeds up decomposition, but be sure it is pesticide free.

Jody Main is a professional organic garden consultant and teacher at Common Ground Organic Garden Supply and Education Center in Palo Alto. Her class, "Starting an Earth Day Herb Garden," is scheduled 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 21.

See "Earth Day salad" recipe on page 40

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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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