Sun02142016

News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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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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