Cal Water launches rewards program

California Water Service Co. is slated to launch a three-month rewards program aimed at recognizing customers who stay within their water budgets.

For the December, January and February billing cycles, 25 customers in each Cal Water service area who meet or are under their water budgets that month will be drawn at random to receive $50 gift cards. Customers’ water consumption for each bill includes the month prior to the billing date. Customers who qualify will be automatically entered into each drawing. Those meeting budgets at multiple premises can win only once per month.


Earthworks goes to the birds

An event to benefit Pandemonium Aviaries is scheduled 5:30-9 p.m. Dec. 4 at Earthworks in downtown Los Altos.

Michele Raffin, director of the Los Altos Hills-based bird sanctuary, is slated to sign copies of her book, “The Birds of Pandemonium: Life Among the Exotic & the Endangered” (Algonquin Books, 2014). Jewelry designer Gurhan is set to appear as well and showcase some of his work. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit Pandemonium.


LACF awards grants to local nonprofits

The Los Altos Community Foundation recently completed its second grant-making cycle this year, awarding nearly $40,000 to 10 nonprofit organizations that serve Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View.

The project and operational grants benefit the communities in areas such as youth, education, seniors, arts and culture, assisting vulnerable populations and community building.


Foothill veterans program supports students' college, career goals

Foothill College Veterans Resource Center student Daniel Muse, above, attends classes with his service dog, Princess.

• Mission: The Foothill College Veterans Resource Center seeks to help veterans achieve their educational and career goals in a supportive environment through academics, camaraderie and wellness. The center provides drop-in counseling, workshops, scholarships and a space for veterans to gather on campus. Carmela Xuereb, the school’s veterans program specialist, estimates that the program serves approximately 275 veterans.

• 2015 update: Through donations, the Veterans Resource Center this year purchased 40 laptops to loan to students. The Rotary Club of Los Altos, a dedicated supporter of the program, raised nearly $40,000 at its annual dinner event, funding scholarships and book vouchers.


Epicurean Group supports community service efforts

Epicurean Group, the Los Altos-based sustainable food-service management company, recently sponsored the second GreenTown Los Altos Farm-to-Table Dinner. The benefit raised nearly $30,000 for GreenTown, a nonprofit organization dedicated to environmental education.

Epicurean Group is an independent company that provides restaurant and catering services to corporations, campuses and fine-arts facilities throughout Northern California.


CSMA program sparks creativity in students with special needs

Megan V. WInslow/Town Crier
Students and assistants get crafty during a Community School of Music and Arts Artistic Excellence class.

• Mission: Mountain View’s Community School of Music and Arts (CSMA) promotes art and music education for people of all ages and abilities. Through the organization’s Artistic Excellence program, approximately 70 teens and adults from two Silicon Valley special-needs educational centers, AchieveKids and Morgan Autism Center, participate in music, art and dance classes at CSMA. There are 12 Artistic Excellence classes in the fall and 12 in the spring. Art students recently collaborated on a collage created on a massive painting canvas.

“Each of the classes – the music, art and dance – are really amazingly a point of connection for the students with the community, with each other, with their own sense of creativity,” said Linda Covello, CSMA art school director. “It’s pretty great to watch.”


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