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Last updateThu, 21 Jul 2016 12pm

Food & Wine

Citrus-y beers celebrate summer

Citrus-y beers celebrate summer


Derek Wolfgram/Special to the Town Crier
Session beers offer an alcohol content low enough to sustain sipping through a long, lazy picnic. Local breweries are celebrating the citrus hop style now in vogue with other fruit-forward influences.

With the h...

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Your Health

Reading in sign,  ink and song

Reading in sign, ink and song


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A baby girl learns sign language during a program offered Wednesdays at the Los Altos Library.

Visit Los Altos Library’s community room on a Wednesday afternoon and you’ll see its plain gray expanse descend into ...

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Your Home

From derelict to desirable: House flipper transforms old properties into showstoppers

From derelict to desirable: House flipper transforms old properties into showstoppers


Megan V. WInslow/Town Crier
Amy Randazzo purchases older homes in Mountain View to “flip” after they undergo a makeover. Her transformed houses feature open floor plans and she searches for properties with “good bones.”

Amy Randazzo is improving neighb...

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On The Road

A different kind  of driving school

A different kind of driving school


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The Andersons observe Bixby Bridge – located on Highway 1 near Big Sur – from a dirt road during their recent Land Rover Experience Driving School lesson.

It is always exciting to do something youR...

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Senior Lifestyles

Monkey business: Senior Program volunteers lift spirits of sick kids

Monkey business: Senior Program volunteers lift spirits of sick kids


Photo Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos Senior Program volunteers – affectionately known as The Monkey Toy Ladies – make sock monkeys to comfort sick children.

Last year, nearly 400 children at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital received a special ...

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Wedding To Remember

The Veils of Time

The Veils of Time


Courtesy of Los Altos History Museum

For a new spin on the Town Crier’s “Peek into the Past,” the Los Altos History Museum has been gathering historical local wedding photos and the stories behind them.

Frances Elizabeth Shoup, second...

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Your Kids

Back to School

Is Early Decision the right choice for your student?

Is Early Decision the right choice for your student?


Courtesy of Hollis Bischoff
This chart compares the rate of Early Decision acceptances with the overall acceptance rate at various colleges.

As students apply to an ever-increasing list of schools, colleges are challenged to predict accurately whether ...

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California mandates higher standards for renewable energy sources

The governor’s signing is a coup for State Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), who authored both bills. The 33 percent mandate applies to all electricity retailers in California – investor-owned utilities, municipal utilities and independent sellers – and puts the state at the forefront of the nation’s quest for clean energy.

“This bill establishes California as the national leader in the use and development of renewable energy,” Simitian said.

The bill aims to offer more benefits than a decreasing reliance on finite energy sources. Simitian said the mandate would bring investment dollars, tax revenues and jobs to California while addressing climate-change issues and improving air quality.

As executive director of the Independent Energy Producers Association, Jan Smutyny-Jones confirmed the potential for investment dollars flowing to the state.

“My members are creating jobs here in California today,” he said. “We have billions of dollars invested throughout California in biomass, in solar, in wind, in geothermal, and we’re looking to bring more of them here.”

And fresh air is always welcome, according to Peter Miller, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“With Senate Bill 2X, California is committed to build a diverse and resilient energy resource base that takes the threat of climate change seriously and brings the state closer to meeting its air pollution goals,” he said.

Moreover, Simitian said the bill protects consumers from the types of market manipulation and price-spikes that occurred in 2001 by diversifying energy sources.

“Fossil-fuel prices are going to keep heading up,” he said. “Renewable prices are headed down. I’m gratified that the governor has confirmed California’s long-term commitment to clean, green energy.”

The Public Utilities Commission must approve renewable energy contracts and utilities may be granted exemptions if the price of energy or the difficulty of moving it into the state’s grid make the cost excessive. For these reasons, the PUC’s Division of Ratepayer Advocates and consumer watchdog TURN (The Utility Reform Network) endorsed the bill.

Brown signed Simitian’s bill April 12 at SunPower Corp. and Flextronics International solar manufacturing plant in Milpitas. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu joined Brown and Simitian for the signing ceremony and dedication of SunPower’s new plant.

“This bill will ensure that California maintains its long-standing leadership in renewables and clean energy,” Brown said.

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