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News

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers

Campaign finance reports show lots of loans, few outliers


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Campaign yard signs are just one expenditure for candidates during election season.

Election finance filings are in, and Los Altos appears to be hosting a few financially lopsided races.

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Schools

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation

Three Los Altos schools earn National Blue Ribbon designation


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Bullis Charter School students wear their school spirit clothing to greet their mascot Oct. 3 in celebration of being named a National Blue Ribbon School.

Blach Intermediate, Egan Junior High and Bullis Charter schools ea...

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Community

Sports

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles

Spartans run wild(cat) on Eagles


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High running back Austin Johnson goes for a big gain after evading Los Altos High defensive tackle Phil Alameda in Friday’s game. Johnson scored two touchdowns for the Spartans.

After unveiling its wildc...

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Comment

Logan, McClatchie, Peruri for LASD board: Editorial

This is a crucial time for the Los Altos School District. Its leadership faces the challenge of balancing enrollment growth versus maintaining the small, neighborhood schools that make it a very popular district to attend. The district must also adap...

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Special Sections

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern

City's minimum-wage hike earns mixed reviews: Raise to $10.30 an hour meets with approval – and concern


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Tandava Waldon, left, manager of East West Bookstore on Castro Street in Mountain View, works with a customer. Waldon said the recently approved minimum-wage hike will have little impact on his business. “It’s not such a...

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Business

Delay Social Security? An easy way to decide

One of the most heatedly debated questions regarding Social Security is when to start.

You have the option of initiating benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the larger the monthly payment you will receive over your...

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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

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

SUZANNE MONICA DIMM SPECHT

Suzanne Monica Dimm Specht passed Tuesday, Sept. 9th at the age of 84. Sue was born on April 21, 1930 in Portland, Oregon. After graduating from the University of Oregon in with a degree in Music, Sue taught in a little town called Clatskanie, Oreg...

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Travel

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening

Los Altos resident's visit to North Korea proves enlightening


Courtesy of Sally Brew
North Korea is home to many monuments honoring its “Dear Leaders,” left.

In August, I traveled for 11 days with MIR Corp. to North Korea, a fascinating country that is almost completely cut off from the rest of the world. ...

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Stepping Out

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto

'Trovatore' takes the stage in Palo Alto


Courtesy of José Luis Moscovich
West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” is slated to open Friday night in Palo Alto and run through Oct. 26.

West Bay Opera’s production of “Il Trovatore” (“The Troubadour”) is scheduled to open this weekend...

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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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