10172017Tue
Last updateMon, 16 Oct 2017 11am
Developer cancels First Street Green project

Developer cancels First Street Green project


Renderings of Los Altos Community Investment’s F...
LAH archer competes in world championships with Team USA

LAH archer competes in world championships with Team USA


Courtesy of Erik Schwartz
Los Altos Hills reside...
Eagles edged by Mustangs

Eagles edged by Mustangs


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High’...
Peninsula Youth Theatre gets 'Creepy'

Peninsula Youth Theatre gets 'Creepy'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Mo...
LAPD gains new officers, promotes others

LAPD gains new officers, promotes others


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier

The Los Altos Po...

Los Altos converting streetlights to LEDs

Streetlights in Los Altos are undergoing an upgrad...

News

Developer cancels First Street Green project

Developer cancels First Street Green project


Renderings of Los Altos Community Investment’s First Street Green project show a three-story office building next to a public village square above underground parking.

The local development company planning an office redevelopment and public par...

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Schools

Study session examines MV-LASD partnership as school-site search continues

Representatives from the Los Altos School District and the Mountain View City Council last week participated in a study session that explored using a zoning strategy to facilitate acquiring land in the San Antonio shopping center area for a 10th scho...

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Community

Community Briefs

French Fair benefits Mentor Tutor Connection

The 12th annual French Fair, an event devoted to French culture, food and fashion, is scheduled 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Lucie Stern Community Center, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.

This year...

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Sports

Eagles edged by Mustangs

Eagles edged by Mustangs


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Ben Parker races to the end zone in Friday’s game at Homestead. The junior scored a pair of touchdowns.

The Los Altos High football team’s execution may still be lacking at times, but it...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Use native plants to replace stinkwort

As a professional, I have been converting weedy hillsides in Los Altos Hills back to native grasslands and wildflower fields. During that time, a new noxious weed, stinkwort, started growing along Interstate 28...

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Special Sections

RWC's Freewheel Brewing pours British-style cask ales and more

RWC's Freewheel Brewing pours British-style cask ales and more


Courtesy of Devin Roberts
Freewheel Brewing Co.’s head brewer Alisha Blue trained in Germany and worked in the United Kingdom before brewing in the Bay Area.

Founded in 2012 as the only brewery making traditional cask-conditioned British-style a...

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Business

LARC prepares Matrix launch

LARC prepares Matrix launch


Elizabeth Barcelos/Town Crier
Los Altos Research Center plans to open its doors next month to introduce the Matrix, a new data-sharing program that seeks to take on and eventually replace the internet.

While Peet’s Coffee & Tea on State Stre...

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People

WILLIAM NORTH WELCH

May 13, 1955-September 24, 2017

Longtime Los Altos resident William (Bill) Welch passed away and joined his beloved mother in heaven. He was a loyal friend with a great sense of humor.

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News

Developer cancels First Street Green project

Developer cancels First Street Green project

Renderings of Los Altos Community Investment’s First Street Green project show a three-story office building next to a public village square above underground parking.

The local development company planning an office redevelopment and public park in downtown Los Altos has cancelled its plans fo...

Readmore

Business

LARC prepares Matrix launch

LARC prepares Matrix launch

Elizabeth Barcelos/Town Crier
Los Altos Research Center plans to open its doors next month to introduce the Matrix, a new data-sharing program that seeks to take on and eventually replace the internet.

While Peet’s Coffee & Tea on State Street bustles with customers, things are much quieter...

Readmore

Sports

Eagles edged by Mustangs

Eagles edged by Mustangs

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Ben Parker races to the end zone in Friday’s game at Homestead. The junior scored a pair of touchdowns.

The Los Altos High football team’s execution may still be lacking at times, but it’s hard to find fault with the Eagles’...

Readmore

Community

Community Briefs

French Fair benefits Mentor Tutor Connection

The 12th annual French Fair, an event devoted to French culture, food and fashion, is scheduled 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Lucie Stern Community Center, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.

This year’s fair will feature more than 60 exhibitors and s...

Readmore

Comment

Letters to the Editor

Use native plants to replace stinkwort

As a professional, I have been converting weedy hillsides in Los Altos Hills back to native grasslands and wildflower fields. During that time, a new noxious weed, stinkwort, started growing along Interstate 280, then its seeds spread off the freeway onto town...

Readmore

Spiritual Life

New LAUMC pastor inspires with belief in the power of good

New LAUMC pastor inspires with belief in the power of good

McShane

Kathi McShane greets with an assuring smile. The new senior pastor of Los Altos United Methodist Church exudes positive energy and inspiration.

A belief in good strikes at her core – it’s a belief that provides strength as she leads the large church and its congregation into the future...

Readmore

People

WILLIAM NORTH WELCH

May 13, 1955-September 24, 2017

Longtime Los Altos resident William (Bill) Welch passed away and joined his beloved mother in heaven. He was a loyal friend with a great sense of humor.

Readmore

Schools

Study session examines MV-LASD partnership as school-site search continues

Representatives from the Los Altos School District and the Mountain View City Council last week participated in a study session that explored using a zoning strategy to facilitate acquiring land in the San Antonio shopping center area for a 10th school site.

A transfer of development rights (TDR) i...

Readmore

Special Sections

RWC's Freewheel Brewing pours British-style cask ales and more

RWC's Freewheel Brewing pours British-style cask ales and more

Courtesy of Devin Roberts
Freewheel Brewing Co.’s head brewer Alisha Blue trained in Germany and worked in the United Kingdom before brewing in the Bay Area.

Founded in 2012 as the only brewery making traditional cask-conditioned British-style ales on the Peninsula or in the South Bay, Freewhee...

Readmore

Stepping Out

TheatreWorks production of 'Prince' enters 2nd week

TheatreWorks production of 'Prince' enters 2nd week

Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Members of the ensemble create the sacred burning bush in TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s world premiere of “The Prince of Egypt,” a new musical by Stephen Schwartz (music/lyrics) and Philip LaZebnik (book). The production runs through Nov. 5.

TheatreWorks Si...

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Obituaries

WILLIAM NORTH WELCH

May 13, 1955-September 24, 2017

Longtime Los Altos resident William (Bill) Welch passed away and joined his beloved mother in heaven. He was a loyal friend with a great sense of humor.

Readmore

Magazine

'All are welcome' moms group celebrates families helping families

'All are welcome' moms group celebrates families helping families

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Stephanie Braun, from left, Adam Braun and Marty Braun of Mountain View and Michelle Evans, Chloe Knapp and Kevin Knapp of Sunnyvale swing at a recent Las Madres gathering at Marymeade Park in Los Altos.

A parent is born at the same time as her first child, and remad...

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'Natural' not always nice: Deciphering deception in organic labeling

Photo Elliott Burr/Town Crier Hidden Villa's Community Supported Agriculture farm manager Jason McKenney, right, loads organic produce into baskets with the help of Max Bryer. Produce can lose its organic label if one uses fertilizers or if a product doesn't contain at least 70 percent organic ingredients.

 

The trend for gardening at home continues to grow – and people are taking a particular interest in raising flowers and vegetables organically. With such prominent figures as First Lady Michelle Obama promoting organic gardening in the White House yard, products that cater to this trend are increasingly available.

Unfortunately, the increased interest in organic gardening has led to some confusion – and some deception – about what it means for a product to be organic. Product labels and their meanings have become a minefield for consumers interested in eco-friendly agriculture. It can be difficult to know exactly what products labeled natural, plant-based or organic signify.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designates the official organic labeling. The agency’s seal comes in several forms that denote whether a product is 100 percent organic, organic or made with organic ingredients. But anecdotal evidence suggests this multitiered labeling system is contributing to consumer confusion.

For example, if a product is labeled 100 percent organic, everything in it must be certified organic. If a product is labeled organic, that means it must contain 95 percent certified-organic ingredients. If a product contains 70 percent organic ingredients, it can be labeled as made with organic ingredients. Any product with less than 70 percent organic ingredients cannot carry the USDA seal.

Another tip is that a product labeled natural is not organic. While there might be some natural ingredients in the product, that doesn’t mean that it’s safe or Earth-friendly – not to mention organic.

The USDA directs consumers to other organizations that can help them determine whether the products they purchase are 100 percent organic. The Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) is a non-profit, independent organization that reviews products and their rank on the USDA’s national organic standards list.

The institute provides a comprehensive list of products that pass the test for concerned consumers.

“OMRI’s list is an invaluable tool for gardeners who want to keep their plots organic,” said Claude Boisvert, president of Tree World Plant Care Products. “It makes it easier than ever to find gardening supplements that are not harmful to the environment.”

If a main concern in planting an organic garden is providing your family with safe-to-eat, healthful food from the backyard, you’ll want to ensure you’re using truly organic gardening products. At the same time, you want the garden to look great and produce well.

One of the biggest challenges in organic gardening is controlling pests in a way that is humane and safe – for people and the environment. For smaller pests, it is increasingly easy to find organic insecticidal soaps that are safe, unlike some traditional pesticides. Larger plant browsers can wreak havoc unless a rabbit or deer repellent is used. Several eco-conscious repellants are on the market, but if they’re not shelved at your store, it’s important to remember that consumers have the power to influence the products that are available.

If keeping an organic garden truly organic is important to you, discuss your concerns with local retailers. By asking them to stock products that are subject to rigorous standards, everyone in the community can have access to verified organic materials.

 

-ARAContent

Reader Comments

The Town Crier presents:
The 129th Rescue Wing Aids in Hurricane Harvey Rescue

Read the full story about the rescue here.
 

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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