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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Celebrate Earth Day in the garden

April 22 marks the 37th Annual International Earth Day, a chance to reflect on and renew our earthly commitments. It's a perfect day to spend in the garden, preparing the beds and planting organic spring crops of crunchy carrots, buttery lettuces, spicy arugula and sweet sugar snap peas. It's a perfect day to take care of the earth around us by following the lessons nature offers.

Compost is nature's way of renewing the earth's fertility. The forest floor is covered with compost created by the natural decay of all the leaves, trees, insects and wildlife that have fallen there. The resulting humus nourishes the soil and enriches the living plants - a beautiful example of the life cycle and sustainability.

Making your own compost can be as simple or as complex as you wish to make it. The object simply is to rescue the organic waste that goes into the garbage. It is piled outdoors and left for Mother Nature to perform the miracle of transforming it into nourishing soil.

All dead organic matter - for example, banana peels, weeds, autumn leaves - eventually turns into soil, whether we do anything about it or not, so we might as well collect it in one spot and have our own supply of nature's best.

Home gardens flourish with compost. It is called "gold" in the garden because of the high quality of food, texture and life it gives the soil, and the strong, healthful, pest-free plants that grow. Compost feeds the soil and feeds the plants. It also builds the soil and makes it richer and healthier each year because it becomes lighter with humus and fuller with living organisms.

This is sustainable gardening - we sustain the soil for next year's crops and for future generations. This is the organic way. As environmentalist Lester Brown said, "We have not inherited the Earth from our fathers, we are borrowing it from our children."

Recipe for 'sweet' compost

A compost pile is a spot we select to toss and layer garden debris, kitchen scraps, manure, soil and leaves to decompose (rot) and make new soil. Like the sweet fragrance of the forest, so is the fragrance of rich, crumbly compost. Following is a good recipe for odorless and pest-free compost:

1/4 garden soil

1/4 grass clippings, straw, garden debris, autumn leaves

1/4 fresh manure (chicken, horse, etc.)

1/4 kitchen waste - fruit and vegetable peels, cores, tops and seeds, eggshells, coffee grounds, tea bags, fish and chicken bones (they break down quickly) and leftover leftovers.

As you go, layer 1 to 3 inches of ingredients to generate efficient heat and decomposition. Water the compost pile to keep it moist but not soggy. Earthworms will come, thrive and multiply. They will eat the kitchen scraps, generate earthworm castings, mix and aerate the soil and help break down the organic matter. It will take 3 to 6 months for the pile to decompose completely to rich, beautiful, "forest fragrant" soil. You will know when it's ready.

Compost tips

• In choosing a spot for the compost, make it as handy as possible - a short walk from the kitchen or a path that keeps your shoes from getting muddy in the winter. It is best if the compost is in the sun or partial sun for efficient decomposition, but not necessary.

• Keep a pile of organic matter next to the compost for ease in covering the kitchen waste. This can be soil, a bale of straw, grass clippings, leaves and even compost itself. In the winter and spring, weeds (seedless, runnerless) are usually sprouting and available to pull and pile easily on as a layer.

• Keep an old digging tool by the compost pile so the kitchen waste can be easily covered each time you take it out.

• Keep a small pail or old milk carton on top of or underneath your sink for all your organic waste. Take it out daily.

• Many materials are readily available around the house: fireplace ashes, hair, washing machine lint and vacuum cleaner dirt all go in.

• There are many sources for additional materials that are free for the asking. Produce departments, fish markets and barbershops will give away their trimmings. Stables will let you pick up manure that is often mixed with wood shavings. The liberal use of manure speeds up decomposition, but be sure it is pesticide free.

Jody Main is a professional organic garden consultant and teacher at Common Ground Organic Garden Supply and Education Center in Palo Alto. Her class, "Starting an Earth Day Herb Garden," is scheduled 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 21.

See "Earth Day salad" recipe on page 40

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.

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