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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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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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