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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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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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