Fri05272016

News

FAA report

FAA report "a start" in allaying noise onslaught


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Anti-noise advocates exchange informational door hangers to give to neighbors.

A federal report released last week identifies possible solutions to the aircraft noise plaguing South Bay communities.

The Federal Aviation...

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Schools

Almond community packs meals for those in need

Almond community packs meals for those in need


Courtesy of Polly Liu
Almond School families worked together last month to package more than 15,000 meals for the Stop Hunger Now organization. Approximately 85 volunteers, including students in grades K-6, packaged meals of rice, soy, vitamins and...

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Community

Veteran Marie Houghton Mong: Mapping out a long life of doing

Veteran Marie Houghton Mong: Mapping out a long life of doing


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Marie Houghton Mong relaxes with one of her two 16-year-old cats at The Terraces at Los Altos retirement community.

On the average day, Marie Houghton Mong can be found in her attractive and comfortable apartment at T...

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Comment

Blame it on Rio: No Shoes, Please

In 2008, I wrote a column explaining why I thought Beijing was an inappropriate venue for that year’s Summer Olympic Games. I cited health risks: the city’s terrible pollution and the country’s corrupt food supply chain. I also note...

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Special Sections

Upscale modern: Los Altos Hills home honors DNA of originals

Upscale modern: Los Altos Hills home honors DNA of originals


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Melissa and Nick French, right with son Grayson, pooled their talents to design their dream home. Melissa designed the living room sofa and table.

Melissa and Nick French took “do it yourself” to a new dimens...

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Business

ATHENA awards recognize local leadership

ATHENA awards recognize local leadership


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Chamber of Commerce Mountain View presented this year’s ATHENA Leadership Award to Maria Marroquin, left, and Leane Reelfs, right. The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award went to Diana Bautista, center.

Chamber ...

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People

ERNEST TRAUGOTT

ERNEST TRAUGOTT

Resident of Los Altos 
August 18, 1920 - May 11, 2016 

Ernie died peacefully at his home, just a few months short of his 96th birthday. 

Ernie had an amazing life, born in Germany he and his family fled the Nazi's soon after Kristal...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company's 'Arts Razzle-Dazzle' showcases local talent

LA Stage Company's 'Arts Razzle-Dazzle' showcases local talent


Courtesy of Eileen Eng
Mountain View High junior Julia Rogers, 2015 South Bay Teen Idol winner, is slated to perform at Tuesday’s “Arts Razzle-Dazzle” at Bus Barn Theater.

Los Altos Stage Company shines a spotlight on the perfo...

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Spiritual Life

Former St. Nicholas pastor shares his story as exorcist

The Rev. Gary Thomas served the Los Altos faith community as pastor of St. Nicholas Catholic Parish for several years before he announced in 2005 that San Jose Bishop Patrick J. McGrath had assigned him to study in Rome, not unusual for U.S. priests...

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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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