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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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Grow your own "Eat me first" winter greens


Tanya Kucak/SPecial to the Town Crier
Viola flowers, above, are an ornamental and tasty addition to cool-season salads.

Winter greens are some of the most nutritious foods you can eat, and they are best fresh from the garden.

Jo Robinson, author of “Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health” (Little, Brown, 2013), said in an NPR interview that certain vegetables are “heavy breathers,” meaning that they use up their sugars and antioxidants quickly after being picked, so you should eat them within a day or two.

Robinson’s “Eat me first” list includes artichokes, arugula, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, lettuce, parsley, mushrooms and spinach. Other vegetables, such as roots, can be stored much longer without declining in nutritional value, she added.

Leafy greens and brassicas are good cool-season crops.

Parsley deserves to be eaten in salads for its own bright flavor, rather than being demoted to a garnish. In my gardens, it reseeds itself and comes back year after year. Rather than pulling it out when it flowers, I keep at least one plant to attract beneficial insects and to produce seed.

Arugula is another easy reseeder. As a member of the cabbage family, it has a more assertive flavor than most salad greens. I grew to like it when seeds blew into my garden from a neighboring plot this spring. For several weeks, I grazed on arugula and brought some home to eat in salads with whatever I’d picked from the garden, such as Mache, Redventure celery, beet tops, parsley, sunchokes, miner’s lettuce, viola flowers or kale. I often topped my spring salads with chunks of cooked butternut squash, marinated tofu or a ginger sauce.

I’ve given up on broccoli a few times because it’s an aphid magnet. But I have found one variety, Purple Peacock Broccoli, that seems less attractive to aphids, produces side shoots for months and has a lovely, sweet flavor. It’s a broccoli-kale cross, so its magenta-accented leaves are delicious as well.

Kales are my winter staple. Red Russian Kale and Dinosaur Kale (also known as Tuscan, Lacinato or Black Kale) are both choice varieties and easy from seed. All kales get sweeter after they’ve been touched by frost, so they’re an especially good winter crop. If you sow them directly, you can eat the thinnings as baby greens.

I like kales so much, in fact, that I rarely grow lettuce or spinach. The most versatile varieties are loose-leaf types, rather than head lettuces. You can pick exactly what you need, cutting the outer leaves first, and the plant will continue to grow. Choose red-tinged varieties to bump up the antioxidants.

Tanya Kucak gardens organically. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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