12072016Wed
Last updateWed, 07 Dec 2016 3pm

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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Drive Less Challenge set to begin Sunday

GreenTown Los Altos’ Karen Janowski launched the challenge in Los Altos and Los Altos Hills in 2011.

“Last year, our GreenTown Los Altos community collectively logged a total of 8,837 green miles, saved more than 5,400 pounds of CO2 (carbon dioxide) and placed fifth out of nine participating communities,” she said. “Our goal this year is to double our miles – and our carbon savings.”

Drive Less Challenge participants can win prizes donated by local shops and services. Grand prizes are awarded for best performance in several categories. Prizes will be presented at GreenTown’s Bike, Walk, Win! Party, scheduled 6-8 p.m. May 10 – Bike to Work Day – at 359 State Street, the pop-up bicycle shop in downtown Los Altos.

Motivation not a problem

Previous winner Dr. John McBirney recently explained his motivation for participating.

“I challenged myself to give up selfish habits,” said McBirney, a Los Altos dentist. “Instead of thinking of all the reasons not to ride my bike to the office, I asked myself, what are the reasons to ride?”

He said he found plenty.

“Riding increases vitality and clears your head. It allows you to engage with people and with your environment,” said McBirney, one of 900 Peninsula residents who took part in last year’s program. “Plus, you save energy and money.”

Chris Hlavka, another 2011 winner and a member of the Los Altos Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, said she participated last year to increase awareness of alternative modes of transportation.

“Strong participation in the Challenge encourages cities like Los Altos to improve facilities for pedestrians and cyclists,” Hlavka said.

Tom Fenstermacher, GreenTown’s overall winner a year ago, added, “The Drive Less Challenge provided the motivation I needed to change my San Francisco commute routine. I started taking Caltrain and biking to and from the station. I got 5 miles of exercise, left work at a consistent time, caught up on email and arrived home in time for family dinner. Thanks to the Challenge, I was happier and healthier.”

Children can enter the challenge, too.

Last year Dylan Weitz, then a first-grader at Gardner Bullis School in Los Altos Hills, traveled by bike to school with his dad, Marvin, every day of the Bike Less Challenge and won in the student category for Most Miles Biked.

Los Altos Mayor Val Carpenter is taking the challenge this year and plans to walk to work downtown, rather than drive.

“Walking is a great way to get to know your neighborhood,” she said. “We live in a beautiful area with fantastic weather – get out and enjoy it.”

Los Altos Hills Mayor Rich Larsen said he believes in the health and environmental benefits of biking and is challenging himself to ride to at least one meeting per week.

Challenge benefits all

Joe Eyre, a member of the Los Altos Environmental Commission, said he plans to participate again this year.

“It makes you think about what you are doing for yourself and your community, every time you head out the door,” he said.

According to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, motor vehicles are a major source of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay Area.

The Drive Less Challenge started in Menlo Park in 2009 to promote health and quality of life and to reduce solo trips in gas-powered vehicles. Each year, the program has spread to additional Peninsula communities.

To sign up for the Drive Less Challenge, visit drivelesschallenge.com.

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