Thu07302015

News

Cal Water says no E. coli in water; limits boiling advisory area

Cal Water says no E. coli in water; limits boiling advisory area

Cal Water officials said today that preliminary water quality test results were negative for E. coli were negative and "only a single hydrant" in the South El Monte area of Los Altos showed the presence of total coliform. They reduced the "boil your ...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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Epicurean's Mary Clark Bartlett: Serving sustainability


Courtesy of Michael McTighe
Mary Clark Bartlett is founder and CEO of Los Altos-based Epicurean Group.

Labels such as “healthy,” “organic” and “green” are rarely used to describe the meals served in most corporate cafes in Silicon Valley. But one Los Altos foodservice company under its pioneering leader, Mary Clark Bartlett, is out to change the way employees eat.

On a recent day, Maxim Integrated employees streamed into Cafe Rio, joining the fast-moving lines to order house-made sustainable albacore tuna niçoise, local organic brussels sprouts gratin and grass-fed roasted tri-tip with wild mushrooms.

Above the bountiful salad bar, a poster exhorted diners to “Go Greener!” Signs for “Recycling,” “Compost” and “Landfill” urged employees to dispose of their leftovers responsibly in the appropriate bins. Lunches were served on china plates and chefs filled to-go orders in compostable containers, including compostable utensils and recycled paper napkins.

Epicurean Group – a sustainable foodservice management company headquartered in Los Altos that serves corporations, universities and government and fine-arts facilities throughout the Bay Area – manages Cafe Rio and 39 other restaurants and cafes.

“Our goal is to improve the food system – and people’s lives – by changing one environment at a time,” said Bartlett, the company’s founder and CEO.

After founding the company on environmentally and socially responsible principles, Bartlett and her team have been turning principles into practices for more than a decade.

“We buy products that eliminate greenhouse gases and encourage the growth of organic farms and ranches, sustainable fisheries and artisan producers,” she said.

Going compostable

More than 125,000 pounds of waste annually has been diverted from landfills, largely thanks to a co-op that Bartlett established in 2010 for GreenTown Los Altos. The GreenTown Co-op supplies compostable takeout containers to Bay Area restaurants, cafes and schools from Napa to Monterey, participating in a larger statewide plan to achieve zero waste. Membership is free at greentownlosaltos.org/programs/business-co-op.

Because of the large volume that Epicurean Group purchases through the co-op, the compostable products are now available to co-op members at the same cost as inexpensive noncompostable materials like plastic and expanded polystyrene foam (EPS).

“The GreenTown Co-op is an important part of our mission to lower our community’s water and energy use and to reduce waste,” said Mike Barnes of GreenTown Los Altos. “When we started the co-op, our goal was to eliminate EPS take-out containers, which will be banned in Los Altos starting July 4 this year.”

Epicurean Group’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond compostable containers and extends to the food. Using local, in-season fruit and vegetables avoids the energy required for food transportation and storage. Serving grass-fed beef is not only more healthful, but also carries a lighter carbon footprint, because it doesn’t use fertilizers, pesticides and fossil fuels to produce and ship the grain used for feedlot cattle. Seafood is purchased following the guidelines established by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.

Bartlett said she is proud that Epicurean Group was among the first food-service companies to be certified as a Bay Area Green Business.

Educating eaters

Trained as a chef and recognized as a sustainable food-service thought leader, Bartlett recently received The Chef’s Association of the Pacific Coast’s Antonin Carême Medal for her environmental education and advocacy work. Former director of nutrition at the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, she is passionate about healthful, sustainable food and responsible environmental behavior.

Bartlett serves on the leadership team of the local chapter of the global Slow Food movement.

“I see Mary as a crusader, helping to educate the Bay Area about sustainable food and waste reduction,” said Margie Suozzo of GreenTown Los Altos. “She’s generous to a fault and has contributed so much to GreenTown Los Altos and to our community.”

Bartlett plans to continue to educate clients and the public about the value of local food and the importance of waste reduction, recycling and compostable takeout containers.

“I have a vision of a new, sustainable food system, one that provides food that’s good for our bodies and good for the environment,” she said.

Michael McTighe is chairman of GreenTown Los Altos. For more information, visit greentownlosaltos.org.

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