Morning Forum speaker explores challenges of U.S.-Russia relations


Stanford University professor Michael McFaul drew on his experiences as former U.S. ambassador to Russia and special assistant to President Barack Obama on the National Security Council to analyze the “Causes and Consequences of Our Conflict with Russia” for a Morning Forum of Los Altos audience Feb. 3.

Compared with the Gorbachev era of cooperation with the U.S., McFaul explained that today’s relations with Russia represent a serious moment of confrontation. The Russians have intervened in neighboring territories, annexed Crimea and invaded Eastern Ukraine, he said, all while portraying the U.S. as the enemy. The West’s response has been to impose sanctions, expel Russia from the G8 and view Russia as a threat.


Celebrity Forum speaker Anderson Cooper reports on life and death

Courtesy of Laura Woodward
Greg Winters and Paulette Henning, nephew and wife, respectively, of Celebrity Forum founder Dick Henning, flank Anderson Cooper at one of his appearances last week.

Local residents didn’t have to turn on CNN last month to see journalist and news anchor Anderson Cooper report on the news of the day. Instead, they could see Cooper in person at Flint Center in Cupertino during his three-night Celebrity Forum Speaker Series engagement.

Wearing a dark-blue suit, black tie and glasses at his Jan. 23 talk, Cooper looked more like a businessman than the cable-news star who has filed major stories from all parts of the world.


Rotary speaker untangles web of human DNA and therapeutic approaches

Randy Gard/Rotary Club of Los Altos
Robert Booth, president and CEO of Virobay Inc., offers members of the Rotary Club of Los Altos a rundown on DNA and tapping into its potential to cure diseases.

A noted pharmacologist offered members of the Rotary Club of Los Altos a crash course on human DNA and the discovery of new therapeutic approaches at their Jan. 21 meeting.

Robert Booth, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Menlo Park-based Virobay Inc., described DNA as a staircaselike structure comprising four basic chemicals – adenine, thymine, guanine and cytosine – arranged in particular sequences that produce proteins through the intermediary of RNA in all plants and animals.


Princess Project offers prom dresses for girls low on cash

Courtesy of Apala Egan
As a member of the local National Charity League chapter, Jenny Carmel helped less-fortunate peers secure prom dresses through the nonprofit organization The Princess Project.

As a member of the Stanford Hills Chapter of the National Charity League, which includes Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View, Jenny Carmel volunteered at a number of philanthropies, but the one that gave her the deepest satisfaction was The Princess Project.

The Princess Project is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “promote self-confidence and individual beauty by providing free prom dresses and accessories to high school girls who cannot otherwise afford them.” Carmel and her friend Lindsey volunteered with the group for two years.


Museum explores Stanford, Valley connection

Courtesy of Julie Rose
The Los Altos History Museum’s “Symbiotic Superstars” event drew a crowd including, from left, “The Lure & the Legends” creator Nan Geschke, Stanford President John L. Hennessy, historian Leslie Berlin and Adobe Systems co-founder Chuck Geschke.

Stanford University played a vital role in the development of Silicon Valley, according to speakers at a Jan. 21 Los Altos History Museum program, “Symbiotic Superstars: The Stanford-Silicon Valley Connection.”

The program is one of several designed to complement the ongoing museum exhibition “Silicon Valley: The Lure & the Legends,” scheduled to run through April 19.


Morning Forum speaker aims to combat human trafficking


The Morning Forum of Los Altos delved into a heavy topic Jan. 20 when Danielle Parish, ambassador for the Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition, discussed the campaign for a slave-free Bay Area.

In her speaking engagements, Parish emphasizes community-based strategies to fight human trafficking and educates the public on related global issues.


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