Mon09152014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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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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