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Food & Wine

Manresa Bread rising: Tribute to grist & groat

Manresa Bread rising: Tribute to grist & groat

Above Photo by Rhonda Mak/Town Crier; Below Photo by Joyce Oudkerk Pool/Special to the Town Crier; Right Photo courtesy of Manresa Bread
Nabeela Aijaz, above left, retail manager at Manresa Bread’s Los Altos location, teams up with baker Avery R...

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Your Health

ECH's ASPIRE expands to empower struggling youth

ECH's ASPIRE expands to empower struggling youth


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town crier
El Camino Hospital’s mental health and addiction services leaders Michael Fitzgerald and Lauren Olaiz, above, review artwork, right, by participants in the After School Program Intervention and Resiliency Educa...

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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

Driving England's rural countryside from the left side of the road

Driving England's rural countryside from the left side of the road


We have always enjoyed our visits to England, but this year we did something different. Rather than visit the standard tourist destinations – London, the Cotswolds, Stratford-upon-Avon and so forth – we decided to explore new areas by car...

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Senior Lifestyles

Q&A: Director of senior programs looks to future with expanded facilities, activities

Q&A: Director of senior programs looks to future with expanded facilities, activities


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Recreation & Community Services Department Director Manny Hernandez praises Los Altos seniors.

 

Manny Hernandez joined the city of Los Altos staff last March as director of the Recreation & Community Services De...

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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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GreenTown on the go: Environmental volunteers focus on year ahead

GreenTown members thought they needed executive leadership with administrative capabilities in a new director and invited Turner on board, according to Margie Suozzo, GreenTown chairwoman for the leadership team. Turner’s tenure ended five months later in April.

“The fit just wasn’t right,” she said.

But all of that’s in the past now, said Suozzo, who has assumed an overseer’s role – unpaid – to help the group focus on its four primary programs and promote environmental education for all.

Coming off Los Altos’ recent success among other cities participating in the Drive Less Challenge – “We (came in) fourth on a list of nine communities,” Suozzo said – a new challenge arises with the upcoming school year in promoting green transportation.

Once again, GreenTown is encouraging elementary- and middle-school students to bike or walk to school by subsidizing incentives and the Zap-machine software that records students’ green miles from tracking devices on bike helmets or backpacks. Nationally known as Freiker or Boltage, GreenTown has its own name for the program – Walk or Wheel (WoW) – which includes using scooters, skates or carpooling.

Suozzo said a baseline would be established at participating WoW schools, and in coming weeks, GreenTown plans to promote the program, culminating in a celebratory kickoff Oct. 5, Walk-to-School Day.

“Our goal is to get 20 percent more than that baseline by the end of the school year,” she said.

GreenTown members also lead first-Saturday bike rides during spring and summer months to encourage adults and families to ride their bikes.

“We want to engage people to show them it’s not that hard to get from here to there,” said Mary Gospe, marketing and communications chairwoman. “And it’s fun.”

And anyone 8 to 80 is a target, she said.

GreenTown also sponsors a bike safety expo in March. Suozzo said the Los Altos School District didn’t use $30,000 last year earmarked for bike and bike-safety issues. She wants to ensure that doesn’t happen again.

Another important focus is GreenTown’s water stewardship and conservation program, which educates people on how water is used, how pollutants reach the watershed and how to conserve resources. Premiering in October, the Los Altos History Museum’s newest exhibition, “Shaped by Water: Past, Present and Future,” will further help inform the public, Suozzo said.

The group’s water-reduction chairman, Joe Eyre, is collaborating with California Water Service Company to crunch data on Los Altos residents’ water use, particularly outdoor watering, which accounts for approximately 50 percent of consumption in Los Altos and 80 percent in Los Altos Hills.

“Conserve outdoor water,” Suozzo said.

The education campaign will include information on harvesting greywater and rainwater. An added incentive for conservation – Suozzo said the first 25 residents who sign up for a free Santa Clara Valley waterwise audit by Sept. 30 will be entered in a drawing for a $100 gift certificate for native plants.

And GreenTown’s water-stewardship program includes at least two creek cleanups each year.

GreenTown members are participating in downtown development meetings to promote bike and walking paths, underground parking, parks and high-density building structures for sustainable land use.

“We’ll weigh in on these issues, but we’re doing a little less lobbying,” Suozzo said.

Other programs include the business co-op, which advocates that schools and restaurants switch from Styrofoam to compostable food containers.

Upcoming activities include showcasing energy efficiency and renewable energy at house parties in leading-edge homes. One such event is scheduled 4-6 p.m. Sept. 18 at the residence of Waidy Lee in Los Altos.

“Her home is completely carbon neutral,” Suozzo said.

For more information, visit www.greentownlosaltos.org.

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