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Last updateWed, 30 Nov 2016 4pm

Food & Wine

Chocolaty character of stout beers blends spicy, sweet ingredients

Chocolaty character of stout beers blends spicy, sweet ingredients


photo Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
Aged coffee beans join beer in Modern Times’ bourbon barrel stout.

Dark beers like stout highlight flavors reminiscent of coffee and chocolate, resulting in a great canvas for brewers to blend nontraditional in...

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Your Health

El Camino Hospital expands mental health treatment options

El Camino Hospital expands mental health treatment options


Asher Kohn/Town Crier
Shovels in hand, Dr. Peter Fung, from left, El Camino Healthcare District board chairman; Russ Satake, El Camino Hospital Foundation board chairman; donors Donna and John Shoemaker; State Sen. Jerry Hill; and Assemblyman Rich ...

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Your Home

Holidays by design: Los Altos company provides  seasonal decorating service

Holidays by design: Los Altos company provides seasonal decorating service


Megan V. Winslow/ Town Crier
Amy Fischer of Spectrum Interior Design decorated Los Altos resident Katie Beers’ living room for the holidays last week.

Don’t worry if you have no time to shop for unique holiday decor, decorate Christma...

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On The Road

The Yellowstone experience

The Yellowstone experience


Photos by Gary Anderson/special to the Town Crier
The Andersons’ recent bus tour included stops at Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful Geyser.

With winter approaching, it’s a good time to start planning next summer’s fa...

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Senior Lifestyles

Making beautiful music together: Foothill Symphonic Winds inspires members of all ages

Making beautiful music together: Foothill Symphonic Winds inspires members of all ages


Photos by Megan V. Winslow/ Town Crier
Members of the ensemble rehearse at Blach Intermediate School.

Something special happens Wednesday nights at Blach Intermediate School. Seventy or so people ranging in age from 18 to 85, of varied backgroun...

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Wedding To Remember

Got a wedding singer? Musicians and engaged couples work in tandem to orchestrate perfect night

Got a wedding singer? Musicians and engaged couples work in tandem to orchestrate perfect night


Courtesy of Dick Bright
Dick Bright, a veteran Bay Area musician, manages local bands such as the Dick Bright Orchestra, Club 90 and Encore. His bands ramp up the energy at weddings.

A wedding soundtrack draws nearly everyone to the dance floor....

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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 accuratel...

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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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