08302016Tue
Last updateWed, 31 Aug 2016 4pm

News

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 ...

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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 – 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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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

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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