Realtors present scholarships to two local MVLA students

Zhang, left, and Bhattacharya

The Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation, the charitable arm of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, recently awarded $1,000 scholarships to 18 graduating seniors from public high schools in Silicon Valley, including two from the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District.

Los Altos High’s Jodie Bhattacharya and Mountain View High’s Cathy Xuan Zhang received scholarships. Both plan to attend Stanford University in the fall.

Food For Thought: Local business enterprises collaborate with Hidden Villa on homesteading

Photo courtesy of Hidden Villa
Businesses from around the Bay Area connected with local homesteading enthusiasts at Hidden Villa’s inaugural Homesteading Faire May 26. The event explored 19 different topics, ranging from food preservation to homemade winemaking, beekeeping and hide tanning.

In response to the groundswell of interest in regenerative agriculture and access to ethically produced food, Hidden Villa has launched the new Food For Thought initiative, specifically geared toward helping eaters better understand their food.

New programming under Food For Thought will create opportunities for Silicon Valley residents to learn about and connect with the progressive and inspired agricultural work being done by the farmers and ranchers who serve the local food system.

MV council advances controversial business-license tax hike

Data courtesy of City of Mountain View

Mountain View City Council members spent hours last week wrestling with a business-license fee increase meant to boost city revenues while being fair to businesses of all sizes.

When the dust settled, the council opted for a model that would generate appoximately $6.1 million annually – a considerable jump from the $260,000 per year the city currently collects. Los Altos, by contrast, collects approximately $453,000 in such fees annually.

Global shifts alter the business of what goes in your bin

Courtesy of Bill Watson
Karen Gissibl, Sunnyvale’s environmental program manager, provides perspective beside the plastics bales at the SMaRT Station serving Mountain View and Sunnyvale. The bales are sold for industrial reuse – when the market will buy.

It would be reasonable to assume that industrial innovation or chemical engineering limit what goes into local recycling bins and what gets consigned to the trash. But the contents of your bin respond to big business – the vast networks of scraps transported and repurposed across borders.

When China drastically changed its recyclables import policy this year, it caused a ripple effect across U.S. waste management, particularly on the West Coast. And the effects were felt in Los Altos and Mountain View.

Rummage sales benefit community at every stage of the resale business

Photo courtesy of LAUMC
Shoppers find treasures and oddities at the Los Altos United Methodist Church rummage sale.

Rummage sales have survived many of the disruptions reconfiguring retail – the spread of online networks may have only strengthened the tradition of assembling a mass of secondhand goods as a community fundraiser.

May represents a boom time in local rummage sales, with Los Altos United Methodist Church and Foothills Congregational Church holding decades-old efforts that draw shoppers from around the Bay Area and, in a few cases of nostalgia and longtime participation, even out of state. The city of Mountain View recently hosted a citywide garage sale, mapping out 175 participating homes and groups who opened their card tables of excess goods to the community. Other community sales dot the year’s calendar.

LA council hashes out next steps for retail sales of cannabis

Retail and delivery cannabis shops could soon be budding in Los Altos after the city council directed staff to conduct outreach and prepare an ordinance on taxing marijuana businesses.

After Proposition 64 legalized recreational cannabis in November 2016, the city adopted an urgency ordinance to temporarily prohibit medicinal and adult-use commercial cannabis sales within city limits. Since then, the council asked staff to research allowing cannabis businesses in Los Altos and imposing a local tax on them.

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