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Last updateWed, 24 May 2017 1am

News

The home stretch

Despite the fervent wish of Mayor Mary Prochnow and a May 9 meeting that lasted more than five hours, the city of Los Altos has not adopted any new ordinances to support affordable housing.

Councilmembers offered feedback on reports identifying affo...

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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

History essay winners present

History essay winners present


Winners display their prizes from the 33rd annual Margaret Thompson Historical Essay Contest during a May 9 reception at the Los Altos History Museum. Students were asked to write on Native American foods, reflecting a recent museum exhibition. Pic...

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Sports

Spartans sunk by Palo Alto in league finals

Spartans sunk by Palo Alto in league finals


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Bryan Rau pitches against Palo Alto Thursday afternoon.

Mountain View High still had hope in the last inning of Thursday’s baseball game against top seed Palo Alto, but the third-seeded Sp...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Tom’s Depot decries ‘defamatory’ comments

As the owner of Tom’s Depot, I take issue with the article on the Loyola Corners study session with the Los Altos City Council and the Planning and Transportation Commission (“Changes at Loyola Corners scrap...

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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

New Green Bakery hopes to fit Rancho to a 'tea'

New Green Bakery hopes to fit Rancho to a 'tea'


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Owner Jade Luong, center, with Green Bakery employees inside the cafe.

Green Bakery & Cafe, the new cafe at the south end of Rancho Shopping Center, might only have opened its doors April 29, but the sweet endeavo...

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People

MARIE MADELEINE DUNN

MARIE MADELEINE DUNN

2/15/1931 – 4/22/2017

Madeleine Dunn, age 86, passed away on April 22nd at Villa Siena Senior Living Community. She will join her husband of 33 years, Robert J. Dunn, who passed in 2007.

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News

The home stretch

Despite the fervent wish of Mayor Mary Prochnow and a May 9 meeting that lasted more than five hours, the city of Los Altos has not adopted any new ordinances to support affordable housing.

Councilmembers offered feedback on reports identifying affordable housing opportunities and a development lin...

Readmore

Business

New Green Bakery hopes to fit Rancho to a 'tea'

New Green Bakery hopes to fit Rancho to a 'tea'

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Owner Jade Luong stands with her assistant, Vince Le, inside Green Bakery.

Green Bakery & Cafe, the new cafe at the south end of Rancho Shopping Center, might only have opened its doors April 29, but the sweet endeavor was years in the making. Jade Luong owns it ...

Readmore

Sports

Spartans sunk by Palo Alto in league finals

Spartans sunk by Palo Alto in league finals

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Bryan Rau pitches against Palo Alto Thursday afternoon.

Mountain View High still had hope in the last inning of Thursday’s baseball game against top seed Palo Alto, but the third-seeded Spartans’ rally came up short and the Vikings ...

Readmore

Community

History essay winners present

History essay winners present

Winners display their prizes from the 33rd annual Margaret Thompson Historical Essay Contest during a May 9 reception at the Los Altos History Museum. Students were asked to write on Native American foods, reflecting a recent museum exhibition. Pictured, from left, front row: Josephine Dunne, Aver...

Readmore

Comment

Letters to the Editor

Tom’s Depot decries ‘defamatory’ comments

As the owner of Tom’s Depot, I take issue with the article on the Loyola Corners study session with the Los Altos City Council and the Planning and Transportation Commission (“Changes at Loyola Corners scrapped,” April 26).

I was most disturbed by the repo...

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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People

MARIE MADELEINE DUNN

MARIE MADELEINE DUNN

2/15/1931 – 4/22/2017

Madeleine Dunn, age 86, passed away on April 22nd at Villa Siena Senior Living Community. She will join her husband of 33 years, Robert J. Dunn, who passed in 2007.

Readmore

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

West Bay sets the stage for 'Salome'

West Bay sets the stage for 'Salome'

Otak Jump/Special to the Town Crier
Heather Green and Isaiah Musik-Ayala star in “Salome.”

West Bay Opera is scheduled to perform Richard Strauss’ “Salome” 8 p.m. May 26 and June 3, and 2 p.m. May 28 and June 4 at the Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.

A piano preview is sl...

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Obituaries

MARIE MADELEINE DUNN

MARIE MADELEINE DUNN

2/15/1931 – 4/22/2017

Madeleine Dunn, age 86, passed away on April 22nd at Villa Siena Senior Living Community. She will join her husband of 33 years, Robert J. Dunn, who passed in 2007.

Readmore

Magazine

Conserving water, drought or not: Tips for saving water – and money – in the garden

Conserving water, drought or not: Tips for saving water – and money – in the garden

Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Creating a permeable path enables stormwater to recharge the water table rather than running down sidewalks and streets into the bay. Above, several inches of mulch, though packed down, allow water to infiltrate. The mulched path flows nicely into planted are...

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NASA incorporates space technology in new energy-efficient buildings

Photo Courtesy Of Nasa Ames An artist's rendering depicts NASA's Sustainability Base, the nearly completed state-of-the-art office building at Moffett Field that fuses space technology with architectural design to maximize energy efficiency and reduce water consumption.

With just a month to go before construction ends on NASA’s Sustainability Base, workers are testing the state-of-the-art technology systems that last year earned the project the U.S. General Services Administration’s Real Property Award in the green innovation category.

Designed by William McDonough + Partners and currently under construction at NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in Mountain View, the 50,000-square-foot office building features energy-producing and energy-efficient systems that comply with President Barack Obama’s executive order for zero-net energy consumption in federal buildings by 2030.

The GSA’s innovation award recognizes ideas that have potential to transform the federal community’s overall energy and environmental performance,

The new building, part of NASA’s Renovation by Replacement program, will provide office space for approximately 225 civil servants, according to Steve Zornetzer, NASA Ames associate director. The project replaces 75,000 square feet of antiquated office space in several small buildings and the wind tunnel, which have been demolished.

From the cement and steel exterior to the indoor carpeting, all construction components used for the Sustainability Base are recyclable and nontoxic.

“This is very important to us – everything in this building is recyclable,” Zornetzer said.

Technology systems include photovoltaic roofs for power generation, geothermal wells for cooling and heating, optimized natural lighting and operable glazed floor-to-ceiling windows.

The two-story, two-winged building’s curved design conforms to the research park’s circular perimeter.

“The design and position of the building allows maximum exposure of the roof to the sun to optimize sunlight,” Zornetzer said. “The electric (systems) will produce more energy than the building consumes.”

Not only is the building designed to consume less energy, but the roof’s solar system will provide 30-40 percent of what the building needs, and a second generation of solid-oxide-hydrogen fuel cells called Bloom Boxes, produced by Sunnyvale-based Bloom Energy, will be site tested. Zornetzer said he expects the cells to put Ames’ power grid over the top.

“They produce much higher energy and they’re more compact,” he said. “That fuel cell will produce twice as much energy as the building needs.”

But from NASA’s space technology itself comes the systems that will purify greywater and the software components and modules that control Sustainability Base’s intelligent adaptive control system, which senses all workers’ needs, including cooling, lighting and heat for maximum efficiency.

“It responds to individual occupants,” Zornetzer said of the system’s intelligence. “It learns from its performance and it learns to improve its decision-making.”

Not only can the system predict tomorrow’s weather and adjust the building’s temperature controls that include remotely operated window shades, but the system can also regulate a room’s temperature knowing that 15 people are scheduled there for a conference at 10 a.m., Zornetzer said.

In addition to a 6,000-gallon underground tank that will collect rainwater for irrigation, Sustainability Base will have a water-purifying system originally developed for the International Space Station. Zornetzer said the expanded system diverts shower and sink runoff from entering the Bay to use for outside irrigation.

“We’ve planted native plants that don’t require a lot of watering,” he said. “But when we do need to irrigate, we will be using the greywater rather than wasting drinking and potable water.”

Sustainability Base is also a candidate for platinum-certified status from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, but the project could have gone in an entirely different direction when NASA initially approved a different building design.

“Once we started (working) with the design, I decided the original design was not what we should be doing,” Zornetzer said.

Zornetzer contacted William McDonough, who authored Cradle to Cradle guidelines, a multiattribute eco-label that assesses a product’s safety to humans and the environment and design for future life cycles.

“He’s a tremendous champion of sustainable design,” Zornetzer said.

And with workers set to occupy Sustainable Base in September and a dedication ceremony tentatively scheduled for November, all systems are a go for testing.

“So far, so good,” Zornetzer said.

For more information, visit www.arc.nasa.gov.

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. 

Reader Comments

  • It's a shame that LuLu is gone. She was such a fixture in that store. She enjoyed her visitors. I'm ...
  • Keep ownership of the units for the citizens of Los Altos forever!

    So... we don't need any more high...
  • So if is OK for the State and local governments to ignore federal immigration and drug (marijuana) ...

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