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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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What's the deal with green coffee?


Photo By: Sarah Manning/Special to the Town Crier
Photo Sarah Manning/Special To The Town Crier Ready for a break from the bold flavor of roasted beans? Green coffee may be for you.

If you visit Starbucks, browse the supplement aisle of Whole Foods Market or read popular health blogs, you may have noticed a new trend waltzing its way into view. Green coffee and its extract have arrived on the food scene, trailing behind them claims of natural energy and weight loss. So what’s the deal with this beneficial beverage, and should you be drinking it?

All coffee starts as raw, unroasted green seeds. Found in pairs at the center of red, cherrylike fruits, their flavor and quality improve as the fruit ripens. Once farmers harvest the ripe coffee berries, processing happens in one of two ways. Water processing to remove the seeds is quicker but wastes water through contamination. Drying the fruit takes a bit longer but has less impact on the environment. Seeds removed from the fruit using one of these methods are then dried. The result is green coffee.

The raw beans (actually seeds), now a pale-green color, have very little taste. Most coffees you see on the shelf or buy in cafes have been roasted to varying degrees to bring out the bold flavors and dark colors. Some traditional Arabic coffees include green coffee beans to temper acidity. But the coffee you and I are probably used to has been toasted to aromatic perfection.

Recently, Starbucks introduced a “Refreshers” beverage with “natural energy from green coffee extract.” Prompting customers to rethink how they re-energize, the website says processors pull natural caffeine and “other good stuff” from the beans to make an extract. This concentrated green coffee elixir mixes with fruit juices to create drinks. I’m left wondering, what’s the other good stuff?

According to greencoffee.org, the good stuff is antioxidants and health-promoting properties. In a 2011 study by Joe Vinson, chemist at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, green coffee extract promoted weight loss and lowered blood pressure in 16 participants over 22 weeks. Vinson advises taking multiple capsules of green coffee extract daily (while maintaining a healthful diet and exercise) to mimic the results.

TV’s Dr. Oz also claims green coffee extract can aid weight loss. He and Vinson suspect that a chemical called chlorogenic acid speeds metabolism. Chlorogenic acid is found in high quantities only in green coffee beans – roasting removes most of it.

But don’t run out and buy yourself a bottle of green coffee extract just yet. A health reporter for ABC News recommended erring on the side of caution when interpreting Vinson’s study.

It’s important to note that the study was only conducted once, so results have not been repeated. And although participants did not experience side effects during the 22 weeks of experimentation, longer-term implications of green coffee supplementation remain unknown.

Plus, green coffee is still coffee. According to the Starbucks website, a Venti-sized drink with green coffee extract contains 60-85 mg of caffeine. Compared to a shot of espresso with 40-75 mg of caffeine and a cup of regular brewed coffee at approximately 100 mg, green coffee can still stir up your morning buzz. If you’re sensitive to the effects of caffeine, use caution when experimenting with green coffee extract.

Los Altos resident Sarah Manning blogs weekly about her culinary adventures. To read her food blog, visit www.thechocolatefigSF.com.

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