Fri10242014

News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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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

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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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

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

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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