12042016Sun
Last updateWed, 30 Nov 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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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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