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News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Planting seeds of sustainability : Growing Earth-friendly vegetables

Courtesy of ARACONTENT

 

There was a time when it was the norm to go out in the yard and pull fresh vegetables from the soil. But through the years, we moved from the goodness of homegrown vegetables toward processed foods and microwave dinners.

Now consumers are becoming more aware of the financial value of growing their own vegetables, and how consuming fresh produce can bolster the health of their families – and the Earth’s.

Vegetable gardening might sound intimidating, but new technologies can make your thumb greener than ever. Combined with good old-fashioned growing techniques, your garden can be healthy and yield a bountiful crop with less effort than you’d imagine.

Here are some tips for a garden that is doubly green.

 

Water, water everywhere

But not too much. A balance needs to be struck when it comes to watering a vegetable garden, especially during drought conditions. Plants need adequate moisture, but overwatering can be bad for vegetation and wasteful.

Installing an irrigation system is a good way to keep water usage at ideal levels. Plus, you don’t have to plan a schedule around watering times. There are user-friendly, affordable solutions that connect to outdoor spigots and a good way to ensure that plants get the water they need without the waste.

Watering timers can make watering easier. Keep in mind that it’s best to water in the early morning, when the sun is lower in the sky, every other day for 30 to 60 minutes. More information about watering vegetable gardens is available at www.misterlandscaper.com.

One man’s garbage

In this case, garbage can be a fertilizer – a veritable treasure for gardeners. If you feel guilty about throwing out vegetable and fruit peelings, rinds or scraps, your intuition might be telling you that there’s a better way to handle leftovers. Composting is a great way to make use of organic matter that is otherwise thrown away.

Building a compost heap is relatively easy, and it will continue giving back to your garden and the environment. The four necessary ingredients for composting, according to California’s CalRecycle program, are nitrogen, from sources such as grass clippings or throwaway veggie scraps; carbon, from sawdust or twigs; water and air.

Once the compost is at an ideal level of decomposition – it will be uniformly dark brown and crumbly – spread it on your garden to give plants a nutrient boost.

 

Get growing – organically

From the moment you plant a garden, think organic. The most basic and fun choice of all is deciding which plants to grow. Choose organic seeds and starters so that you know you’re buying into an Earth-friendly business venture – there’s the added bonus of knowing that your plants won’t be tainted with harmful chemicals.

When it comes to maintaining your garden, you’ll probably require more than compost. Look for products recognized as organic by organizations such as the USDA or the Organic Materials Review Institute.

When you follow green-gardening principles, you are planting a seed of sustainability for the planet we inhabit.

-ARAContent

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