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Food & Wine

Humble shortbread cookie appears around the world, but with local twists

Humble shortbread cookie appears around the world, but with local twists


Blanche Shaheen/Special to the Town Crier
Ghraybeh shortbread cookies use sweet-tasting ghee in lieu of butter.

 

When Americans think of the shortbread cookie, they often imagine the traditional Scottish cookies, shaped like oblong rectangles and ...

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Your Health

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...

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Your Home

Healing art: Restoration 'doctor' preserves damaged objects

Healing art: Restoration 'doctor' preserves damaged objects


Photos by Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Art restorer Rho Brown performs delicate preservation work in her Los Altos studio, above. Once fully restored, below left, it’s difficult to tell which cherub was previously missing its head. Brown’s studio conta...

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On The Road

American muscle in the modern age: Bolting to Blackhawk in the Chrysler 300S

American muscle in the modern age: Bolting to Blackhawk in the Chrysler 300S


Photo by Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier; Bottom Right Photo courtesy of Chrysler
The Andersons recently drove the new Chrysler 300S to Danville’s Blackhawk Museum, where they saw “The Spirit of the Old West” exhibition.

 

When you have a p...

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Senior Lifestyles

Local pianist performs, volunteers and finds 'keys' to a good life

Local pianist performs, volunteers and finds 'keys' to a good life


RAMYA KRISHNA/TOWN CRIER
Doreta Strotman performs the classics with her signature jazz-style improvisations at Los Altos Grill Sunday evenings. The Mountain View resident has been playing since the age of 4.

Sunday evenings, Doreta Strotman’s job is to...

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Wedding To Remember

Ring options on Main Street range from traditional to unorthodox

Ring options on Main Street range from traditional to unorthodox


 

With nine fine-jewelry retailers concentrated along the Main Street corridor, downtown Los Altos offers a wealth of options for engagement and wedding ring shoppers. From one end of Main to the other, the choices range from the traditional to t...

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Your Kids

Living Classroom grows lessons for next-gen science standards

Living Classroom grows lessons for next-gen science standards


 

Providing local students with a tangible outdoor learning experience, the Living Classroom program aims to support a new generation of students who are excited about the environment.

The Living Classroom serves 9,000 students locally in the Los ...

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Back to School

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Seeing green advances around the Bay Area

With all the talk about "going green" and sustainability, sometimes it helps to see "green" in person for a real and tangible experience. One of the best ways to research green features up close is to visit eco-friendly buildings. The Bay Area has a fairly large selection. Tours are offered at some of these buildings, while others have handouts so visitors can view the specific features at their leisure.

Touring green buildings can make associated terms - sustainable architecture, rapidly renewable resources, living roofs, daylighting, photovoltaic solar power - more understandable.

Green building includes the design and construction of buildings that are energy efficient and resource frugal. New construction or remodeling can incorporate recycled materials such as blue jeans for insulation or rapidly renewable resources - fast-growing natural products - such as straw bale, bamboo, rye grass or sunflower seeds. Purchasing materials locally is an important aspect of eco-friendliness, because less gasoline is required for shipment.

South Bay Area buildings with tours include:

• Hidden Villa, 26870 Moody Road, Los Altos Hills. Hidden Villa is home to three of the earliest green buildings in the area. Built in 2000 and 2001, the structures include a rammed earth wall, a ground source heat pump for radiant heating and solar power. Call 949-9704 for tour information.

• Adobe Systems, 345 Park Ave., San Jose. The first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certified buildings in Santa Clara County, the three Adobe Towers were retrofitted to conform to green standards. The buildings include energy-efficient improvements such as motion detectors in all offices, automated touch-free bathrooms and programmable timers for various building systems. Call (408) 536-6000 for tour information.

• Presentation Retreat & Conference Center, 19480 Bear Creek Road, Los Gatos. Built in 2005, the Welcoming Center at this non-profit retreat features straw bale walls, three types of solar power and a 3,400-square-foot living roof. It was the first LEED Gold Certified building in Santa Clara County. Call (408) 354-2346 or visit www.presentationcenter.org to schedule a tour.

• Santa Clara University/The Commons on Kennedy Mall, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara. Completed in 2005, the Commons features straw bale walls, a solar chimney and creative use of bamboo. Tours are offered by appointment. Call the sustainability coordinator at (408) 554-2369 or visit www.scu.edu.

Other local "green" buildings include the West Valley Branch Library and the Camden Community Center in San Jose, the City of San Mateo Public Library, the Hewlett Foundation in Menlo Park and the Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies at De Anza College in Cupertino.

Cindy Blain is marketing director and eco-tour guide at Presentation Retreat & Conference Center in Los Gatos.

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