05282017Sun
Last updateTue, 30 May 2017 5pm

News

Do you know the way? New wayfinding signs help navigate Los Altos

Do you know the way? New wayfinding signs help navigate Los Altos


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
New green wayfinding signs seek to provide a uniform guide to accessing Los Altos’ commercial districts.

What if all of Los Altos spoke with one voice, from Highway 85 to Adobe Creek?

Los Altos residents can begin to...

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Schools

MVLA community to weigh in on facilities at meeting today

Parents, students and teachers in the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District can weigh in on the district’s still-developing Facilities Master Plan at a public meeting scheduled 3:30 p.m. today at Los Altos High School, Room 507, 20...

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Community

Los Altos Community Foundation gives more than $60K to nonprofits

Los Altos Community Foundation recently awarded more than $60,000 through its Community Grants program to 14 local nonprofit organizations that help seniors, youth, vulnerable populations, the environment and the arts.

The grants support activities ...

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Sports

Eagles soar into semis

Eagles soar into semis


Town Crier file photo
Los Altos High’s Alex Reelfs earned the win in Saturday’s CCS Division I quarterfinal game against rival Mountain View.

With Saturday’s Central Coast Section Division I baseball quarterfinal game tied at 2 in ...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Plant-based diet key to saving planet

In his May 3 letter to the Town Crier, Jagjit Singh writes about eating a plant-based diet to save the planet (“Switch to plant-based diet to protect Earth”).

Well, he’s right!

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Special Sections

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food


Courtesy of Community Services Organization
CSA staff load groceries to take to Castro Elementary School as part of a new outreach program for children and families enrolled in the free and reduced lunch programs at Castro and Mistral schools.

Maure...

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Business

A familiar face takes the

A familiar face takes the "Post" at Main Street bar


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
After a renovation, the Copeland Building at 397 Main St. will reopen as The Post in the fall. Owner Vickie Breslin will run the bar and restaurant, the former home of First & Main Sports Lounge.

Vickie Breslin ha...

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People

SHIRLEY HEMPHILL MAGARIAN

SHIRLEY HEMPHILL MAGARIAN

3/30/31 - 5/17/17

Shirley Hemphill Magarian, age 86, passed away in Pasadena, California.

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News

Do you know the way? New wayfinding signs help navigate Los Altos

Do you know the way? New wayfinding signs help navigate Los Altos

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
New green wayfinding signs seek to provide a uniform guide to accessing Los Altos’ commercial districts.

What if all of Los Altos spoke with one voice, from Highway 85 to Adobe Creek?

Los Altos residents can begin to see that vision with a new wayfinding program the...

Readmore

Business

A familiar face takes the "Post" at Main Street bar

A familiar face takes the

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
After a renovation, the Copeland Building at 397 Main St. will reopen as The Post in the fall. Owner Vickie Breslin will run the bar and restaurant, the former home of First & Main Sports Lounge.

Vickie Breslin had the option of leaving Los Altos when First &...

Readmore

Sports

Eagles soar into semis

Eagles soar into semis

Town Crier file photo
Los Altos High’s Alex Reelfs earned the win in Saturday’s CCS Division I quarterfinal game against rival Mountain View.

With Saturday’s Central Coast Section Division I baseball quarterfinal game tied at 2 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Los Altos High ma...

Readmore

Community

Los Altos Community Foundation gives more than $60K to nonprofits

Los Altos Community Foundation recently awarded more than $60,000 through its Community Grants program to 14 local nonprofit organizations that help seniors, youth, vulnerable populations, the environment and the arts.

The grants support activities such as the Center for Age-Friendly ExcellenceR...

Readmore

Comment

Letters to the Editor

Plant-based diet key to saving planet

In his May 3 letter to the Town Crier, Jagjit Singh writes about eating a plant-based diet to save the planet (“Switch to plant-based diet to protect Earth”).

Well, he’s right!

Readmore

Spiritual Life

Christ Episcopal Church welcomes new pastor Dietrich Ranna

Christ Episcopal Church welcomes new pastor Dietrich Ranna

Courtesy of Sara Boadwee
The Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna began her ministry at Christ Episcopal Church of Los Altos in February.

Christ Episcopal Church of Los Altos enters a new era with the calling of the Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna, who serves as the ninth rector of the church.

Ranna began her mi...

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Schools

MVLA community to weigh in on facilities at meeting today

Parents, students and teachers in the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District can weigh in on the district’s still-developing Facilities Master Plan at a public meeting scheduled 3:30 p.m. today at Los Altos High School, Room 507, 201 Almond Ave.

A second meeting is slated 3 p.m. ...

Readmore

Special Sections

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food

Courtesy of Community Services Organization
CSA staff load groceries to take to Castro Elementary School as part of a new outreach program for children and families enrolled in the free and reduced lunch programs at Castro and Mistral schools.

Maureen Wadiak has worked in the Silicon Valley communi...

Readmore

Stepping Out

LA Stage Co.'s 'Razzle-Dazzle' salutes talent in community

LA Stage Co.'s 'Razzle-Dazzle' salutes talent in community

Photos Courtesy of Eileen Eng
Blachappella, above, is set to perform at “Arts Razzle-Dazzle.”

Los Altos Stage Company will highlight performing arts in the community with its “Arts Razzle-Dazzle” event, slated 6 p.m. Tuesday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

Proceeds will support youth edu...

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Magazine

Senior team targets keys for a satisfying life: Socializing, exercising mind & body top goals

Senior team targets keys for a satisfying life: Socializing, exercising mind & body top goals

Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
Seniors sing carols at the Grant Park holiday party. The Senior Commission aims to expand such programming.

 

Gary Anderson is a former member of the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills Senior Commission. Following is his update on local senior services a...

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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

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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