Mon10202014

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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Hidden Villa delivers local harvest to downtown Los Altos Farmers Market


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier A Hidden Villa farm worker tills the soil last week. The 600-acre organic farm offers produce from its gardens at the downtown Los Altos Farmers’ Market.

Although residential development replaced most local farm plots and apricot groves decades ago, in one corner of Los Altos Hills, the art of farming persists.

At Hidden Villa, the 600-acre organic farm and nature preserve on Moody Road, farmers and volunteers are not only cultivating crops, but also sustaining a model agricultural community.

“We have a long, rich history in the organic movement,” said agricultural manager Jason Mc- Kenney of Hidden Villa’s roots in community-supported agriculture, established in 1994 when it was certified as Santa Clara County’s fourth organic farm. “We’re one of the most local sources (of farm crops).”

As many businesses and farms strive to expand, Hidden Villa maintains a local focus and invests in the community via donations and educational programs. All of its produce is picked up at the farm or delivered within 10 miles of the site, with 25 percent of the harvest donated to the Community Services Agency in Mountain View for distribution to local residents who may not otherwise be able to afford organic, farm-fresh foods.

Among Hidden Villa’s signature farm initiatives is its community-supported agriculture program, which has grown over the past 20 years. From mid-May to Thanksgiving, 130 members purchase shares of fresh vegetables and fruit delivered in round bushel baskets.

Hidden Villa’s program is unique in that everything found in the baskets is grown in Los Altos Hills. According to McKenney, the content of members’ baskets reflects the “seasonality of our microclimate” and provides a colorful “snapshot of the season.”

Just as the farm has grown to include more than 50 types of crops over the years, so has the popularity of Hidden Villa’s community-supported agriculture program. Only 17 shares remain available for 2013.

In addition to distributing its harvest to community-supported agriculture program members, the farm team hosts a booth at the Los Altos Farmers’ Market, scheduled 4-8 p.m. Thursdays through September on State Street in downtown Los Altos. Hidden Villa will sell salad greens, radishes, herbs, fresh eggs and pork at Thursday’s Farmers’ Market opening.

McKenney noted that Hidden Villa’s booth is easy to spot because of the long line of customers who queue early to ensure that they don’t miss out on the limited supply of fresh eggs and meat from the farm’s pasture-raised pigs and goats.

“It’s good stuff for the grill,” said Blair Thompson, animal husbandry manager, of the pork chops, cowboy steaks and breakfast sausage available for purchase. “It’s high-quality, healthful meat that has a lot of flavor.”

The Hidden Villa team said they anticipate a bountiful season, even if the dry winter presents challenges.

The farm team plans to offer locally adaptable and organic vegetable starts, flower starts and perennials at a plant sale 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at their greenhouse, located at 26870 Moody Road in Los Altos Hills. Members of the California Native Plant Society will be on hand selling plants.

For more information on Hidden Villa’s sustainable agriculture program, visit hiddenvilla.org/programs/sustainable-agriculture or stop by the Farmers’ Market booth.

For more photos of Hidden Villa, click here.

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