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News

West Nile fogging commences Sept. 2

West Nile fogging commences Sept. 2


Courtesy of the Santa Clara County Vector Control District
Fogging commences Wednesday within the highlighted area.

The detection of West Nile Virus-infected mosquitos means that Santa Clara County officials will begin mosquito fogging operations...

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Schools

LASD trustees reopen negotiations with Los Altos Teachers Association

The Los Altos School District Board of Trustees last week directed staff to reopen negotiations with the Los Altos Teachers Association, a move intended to shore up the district’s financial picture.

According to the district’s current co...

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Community

LA teenager crowned Miss Golden State, advances to national pageant in Florida

LA teenager crowned Miss Golden State, advances to national pageant in Florida


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Alexandra McCarthy, crowned Miss Golden State Teen in July, earned “Ms. Personality” honors from her peers.

Alexandra McCarthy has a ways to go before reaching her coveted role as a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Bu...

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Sports

After rough year, Eagles aim to soar once more

After rough year, Eagles aim to soar once more


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High senior running back Patrick Vargas snares a pass in practice last week.

Don’t dismiss the Eagles. Coach Trevor Pruitt is adamant that his Los Altos High football team will be better than expected.

&#...

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Comment

Car spotting 2015: A Piece of My Mind

When I was a kid, September was exciting, almost like Christmas, because that was when the Big Three automakers would reveal the new models for the upcoming year.

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Special Sections

Loving on the Edge

Loving on the Edge


Courtesy of Ford
The Ford Edge has been redesigned for 2015. Ford lengthened the wheel base and added cargo space, among other things. The Titanium model sells for approximately $42,000.

Once in a while, a vehicle we test-drive is just right for our...

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Business

Wine bar aims for October opening

Wine bar aims for October opening


Rendering courtesy of Honcho
Honcho, the wine and beer lounge on First Street, expects an October launch. A rendering of the space reveals the interior layout, which includes bar and lounge-style seating.

A downtown libations lounge that anticip...

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People

LOIS CAROLINE WALLES

LOIS CAROLINE WALLES

November, 1928

Lois lost a long and courageous battle with a prolonged illness on July 14th, 2015. She passed away knowing how well she was loved. She was always the life of the party and loved bringing everyone to her home for dinner or an event,...

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Travel

Carmel Valley Ranch unveils upgrades

Carmel Valley Ranch unveils upgrades


Courtesy of Carmel Valley Ranch
Carmel Valley Ranch recently upgraded its Vineyard Oak suites, which feature sweeping views, rocking chairs and private outdoor tubs for soaking under the stars.

Things are heating up at Carmel Valley Ranch, with 30 n...

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Stepping Out

'Dead Man' comes alive at Bus Barn

'Dead Man' comes alive at Bus Barn


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” includes, from left, Marjorie Hazeltine (as Hermia), Kristin Walter (Jean) and Adrienne Walters (Carlotta).

Los Altos Stage Company opens its ...

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Spiritual Life

Inside Mountain View

MV actress/playwright Garvin wins NY festival award for

MV actress/playwright Garvin wins NY festival award for "Corners Grove"


Courtesy of Undiscovered Countries
Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin received a New York arts festival award for a featured role in “Corners Grove,” a play she wrote.

New York recognized that one of Mountain View’s own can “make it there” when the Planet C...

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GreenTown on the go: Environmental volunteers focus on year ahead

Photo Town Crier File Photo When students return to local elementary and middle schools, GreenTown Los Altos will again sponsor the Walk or Wheel to school program, which launches Oct. 5.

Just months after newly appointed Keith Turner resigned from his duties as executive director, GreenTown Los Altos leaders have refocused their energies and goals on the group’s grassroots: GreenTown is, once again, an all-volunteer organization.

First named Cool Los Altos, the non-profit environmental group now known as GreenTown Los Altos has been wracked with leadership problems after Executive Director Kacey Fitzpatrick, Cool Los Altos co-founder, resigned from the full-time, paid position following a management-infrastructure reorganization in July 2010.

GreenTown members thought they needed executive leadership with administrative capabilities in a new director and invited Turner on board, according to Margie Suozzo, GreenTown chairwoman for the leadership team. Turner’s tenure ended five months later in April.

“The fit just wasn’t right,” she said.

But all of that’s in the past now, said Suozzo, who has assumed an overseer’s role – unpaid – to help the group focus on its four primary programs and promote environmental education for all.

Coming off Los Altos’ recent success among other cities participating in the Drive Less Challenge – “We (came in) fourth on a list of nine communities,” Suozzo said – a new challenge arises with the upcoming school year in promoting green transportation.

Once again, GreenTown is encouraging elementary- and middle-school students to bike or walk to school by subsidizing incentives and the Zap-machine software that records students’ green miles from tracking devices on bike helmets or backpacks. Nationally known as Freiker or Boltage, GreenTown has its own name for the program – Walk or Wheel (WoW) – which includes using scooters, skates or carpooling.

Suozzo said a baseline would be established at participating WoW schools, and in coming weeks, GreenTown plans to promote the program, culminating in a celebratory kickoff Oct. 5, Walk-to-School Day.

“Our goal is to get 20 percent more than that baseline by the end of the school year,” she said.

GreenTown members also lead first-Saturday bike rides during spring and summer months to encourage adults and families to ride their bikes.

“We want to engage people to show them it’s not that hard to get from here to there,” said Mary Gospe, marketing and communications chairwoman. “And it’s fun.”

And anyone 8 to 80 is a target, she said.

GreenTown also sponsors a bike safety expo in March. Suozzo said the Los Altos School District didn’t use $30,000 last year earmarked for bike and bike-safety issues. She wants to ensure that doesn’t happen again.

Another important focus is GreenTown’s water stewardship and conservation program, which educates people on how water is used, how pollutants reach the watershed and how to conserve resources. Premiering in October, the Los Altos History Museum’s newest exhibition, “Shaped by Water: Past, Present and Future,” will further help inform the public, Suozzo said.

The group’s water-reduction chairman, Joe Eyre, is collaborating with California Water Service Company to crunch data on Los Altos residents’ water use, particularly outdoor watering, which accounts for approximately 50 percent of consumption in Los Altos and 80 percent in Los Altos Hills.

“Conserve outdoor water,” Suozzo said.

The education campaign will include information on harvesting greywater and rainwater. An added incentive for conservation – Suozzo said the first 25 residents who sign up for a free Santa Clara Valley waterwise audit by Sept. 30 will be entered in a drawing for a $100 gift certificate for native plants.

And GreenTown’s water-stewardship program includes at least two creek cleanups each year.

GreenTown members are participating in downtown development meetings to promote bike and walking paths, underground parking, parks and high-density building structures for sustainable land use.

“We’ll weigh in on these issues, but we’re doing a little less lobbying,” Suozzo said.

Other programs include the business co-op, which advocates that schools and restaurants switch from Styrofoam to compostable food containers.

Upcoming activities include showcasing energy efficiency and renewable energy at house parties in leading-edge homes. One such event is scheduled 4-6 p.m. Sept. 18 at the residence of Waidy Lee in Los Altos.

“Her home is completely carbon neutral,” Suozzo said.

For more information, visit www.greentownlosaltos.org.

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