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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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GreenTown on the go: Environmental volunteers focus on year ahead

GreenTown members thought they needed executive leadership with administrative capabilities in a new director and invited Turner on board, according to Margie Suozzo, GreenTown chairwoman for the leadership team. Turner’s tenure ended five months later in April.

“The fit just wasn’t right,” she said.

But all of that’s in the past now, said Suozzo, who has assumed an overseer’s role – unpaid – to help the group focus on its four primary programs and promote environmental education for all.

Coming off Los Altos’ recent success among other cities participating in the Drive Less Challenge – “We (came in) fourth on a list of nine communities,” Suozzo said – a new challenge arises with the upcoming school year in promoting green transportation.

Once again, GreenTown is encouraging elementary- and middle-school students to bike or walk to school by subsidizing incentives and the Zap-machine software that records students’ green miles from tracking devices on bike helmets or backpacks. Nationally known as Freiker or Boltage, GreenTown has its own name for the program – Walk or Wheel (WoW) – which includes using scooters, skates or carpooling.

Suozzo said a baseline would be established at participating WoW schools, and in coming weeks, GreenTown plans to promote the program, culminating in a celebratory kickoff Oct. 5, Walk-to-School Day.

“Our goal is to get 20 percent more than that baseline by the end of the school year,” she said.

GreenTown members also lead first-Saturday bike rides during spring and summer months to encourage adults and families to ride their bikes.

“We want to engage people to show them it’s not that hard to get from here to there,” said Mary Gospe, marketing and communications chairwoman. “And it’s fun.”

And anyone 8 to 80 is a target, she said.

GreenTown also sponsors a bike safety expo in March. Suozzo said the Los Altos School District didn’t use $30,000 last year earmarked for bike and bike-safety issues. She wants to ensure that doesn’t happen again.

Another important focus is GreenTown’s water stewardship and conservation program, which educates people on how water is used, how pollutants reach the watershed and how to conserve resources. Premiering in October, the Los Altos History Museum’s newest exhibition, “Shaped by Water: Past, Present and Future,” will further help inform the public, Suozzo said.

The group’s water-reduction chairman, Joe Eyre, is collaborating with California Water Service Company to crunch data on Los Altos residents’ water use, particularly outdoor watering, which accounts for approximately 50 percent of consumption in Los Altos and 80 percent in Los Altos Hills.

“Conserve outdoor water,” Suozzo said.

The education campaign will include information on harvesting greywater and rainwater. An added incentive for conservation – Suozzo said the first 25 residents who sign up for a free Santa Clara Valley waterwise audit by Sept. 30 will be entered in a drawing for a $100 gift certificate for native plants.

And GreenTown’s water-stewardship program includes at least two creek cleanups each year.

GreenTown members are participating in downtown development meetings to promote bike and walking paths, underground parking, parks and high-density building structures for sustainable land use.

“We’ll weigh in on these issues, but we’re doing a little less lobbying,” Suozzo said.

Other programs include the business co-op, which advocates that schools and restaurants switch from Styrofoam to compostable food containers.

Upcoming activities include showcasing energy efficiency and renewable energy at house parties in leading-edge homes. One such event is scheduled 4-6 p.m. Sept. 18 at the residence of Waidy Lee in Los Altos.

“Her home is completely carbon neutral,” Suozzo said.

For more information, visit www.greentownlosaltos.org.

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