Sun08022015

News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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50 years of community service: Federated Woman's Club of Los Altos - all about camaraderie and

Generations of Scouts and other youth groups that have held meetings, activities and dances at the Los Altos Youth Center owe a big thanks to the Federated Woman's Club of Los Altos.

The popular "LAYC dances," as we know them, would not exist were it not for the initiative of club members five decades ago who raised more than $60,000 for the construction of the youth center.

More than 70 club members and friends recognized this and other achievements during a Sept. 5 luncheon that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the club's formation. Helen Foerster of Los Altos, the last of the founding members, led the festivities. She had a major hand in organizing the program for last week's event, held at the Los Altos Golf & Country Club.

The beginning

Foerster, still quite active in the club as program chairwoman, recalled the conversation she had with her neighbor Margaret Reimer that got it all started. "In 1957, the only women's organizations in town were the garden club and a junior woman's club," Foerster said. "She (Reimer) felt the town needed a well-organized club for women. ... She said we need a federated women's club. If you belong (to the General Federation of Women's Club, International), you would belong to a club with 11 million members in 58 countries all over the world. … We thought, 'OK, let's get going.'"

They sent out invitations and attracted 33 members for the first meeting, a fashion show fundraiser held Sept. 4, 1957. That first meeting also took place at the country club. Their number grew to approximately 150 the first year, then peaked at more than 200 members in the early 1960s. The Los Altos club currently has 54 members.

The climate was right for such a club. Those were days, Foerster recalled, when husbands went to work and wives were homemakers. Some of those housewives - ambitious, talented and energetic by nature - wanted to make a difference in the community beyond cleaning house.

The club proved a perfect vehicle. With its motto, "Nothing is impossible to a willing heart," group members plunged into community service, finding needs and helping in a variety of ways.

Funds raised from the local federated women have paid for furniture in the pediatric ward at El Camino Hospital, 23 benches in downtown Los Altos and glass cases and reference books for the Los Altos main library.

Donations have benefited the 4-H riding program for disabled youth and the Los Altos police K-9 program, among others. But the club's crowning achievement remains the youth center. Drive for the youth center "There was nothing here for the youth of the community," Foerster recalled. "The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts met in an old building (that the city condemned in the late 1950s)."

In a little more than a year, club members raised the necessary funds, recorded as $61,404 (although some claim the club raised more than $70,000) for the center, built on the city's civic center property located next to city hall. The most notable contributor was legendary singer-actor Bing Crosby, reputedly a friend of club member Anne Cullenward. Crosby pledged $10,000 of his own money, in addition to $5,000 donated through his Crosby Golf Tournament Foundation. Another $5,000 contribution came from C.E. Dawson, a former General Motors vice president, who headed the fundraising campaign.

Crosby was impressed by the fundraising effort and community support. He missed the April 30, 1960, groundbreaking ceremony only because of a prior commitment to his golf tournament. However, he sent a telegram congratulating residents on "a job well done." He reportedly sent the city of Los Altos a Christmas card every year until his death in 1977.

The youth center was completed in September 1960 and dedicated in January 1961. "I wish now they would start a senior center," Foerster quipped, to the agreeable laughter of fellow members at last week's event.

Shirley Welch, who has been with the club 49 years, remembers raising money for the youth center. "I had to organize a crew and go door to door," she said.

Federated women not only provided the spark and the fundraising, but they also proved tenacious in seeing their vision through. When the Los Altos City Council initially balked at the idea of building a new center, club members threatened to erect a Quonset hut at the Lincoln Avenue site currently occupied by the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce.

"Then they knew we meant business!" one member remarked at the time.

The youth center project involved virtually everyone in the Los Altos community before it was finished. Said member Fran Weiler some years later: "Nothing like it had ever happened before and has not happened since."

Red Garter Revue Club members proved resourceful in the range of fundraisers. These included bridge tournaments, fashion shows and house tours. Perhaps members' most memorable vehicle was something called "The Red Garter Revue," an entertainment extravaganza filled with members' singing and dancing.

Foerster smiled as she recently perused early-1960s photographs of club dancers doing the cancan.

"That was the show to end all shows," remarked Dale Briggs, who acted as master of ceremonies for those revues and told jokes between acts. He reprised his role at last week's event. He asked for a show of hands, and eight to 10 members acknowledged participation in those long-ago revues. Briggs' late wife, Audrey, was a club member.

Its obvious camaraderie, along with its community service, continues to be a big factor in club participation. Last week's golden anniversary affair was filled with smiles and laughter among longtime friends.

"You can tell right off we're a very sharing club," said club co-president Lillian Slavin. "Not my husband," shot back club member June Hansen. Guffaws filled the room.

Welch, who had moved up from Southern California, said she joined the club because "I didn't know anybody to go to lunch with. I have made all of my good friends there."

Club recognition

The veteran members agree that the club as it is now could benefit from younger membership.

"Most young girls have to work now," Welch said.

Last week's event featured congratulatory proclamations from Los Altos Mayor Curtis Cole, who was in attendance, and state Assemblyman Ira Ruskin, who was not. Cole, who said he has been to the youth center for numerous events, thanked the club "on behalf of the many generations" benefiting from the center.

Also on hand was a representative of the Loma Prieta district of the California Federation of Women's Clubs that includes the Los Altos club, who presented a 50-year pin to the members.

"It's been a fun 50 years," said Foerster, a resident of Los Altos since 1954. "I hope we go another 50 years."

The Federated Woman's Club of Los Altos meets the first Wednesday of each month, September through June, at Michaels at Shoreline restaurant in Mountain View. Meetings include lunch and a program. For more information or to join, call Foerster at 948-3553.

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