Show the write stuff: Margaret Thompson essay contest ramps up

The Los Altos Historical Commission and the Los Altos History Museum are co-sponsoring the 31st annual Margaret Thompson Historical Essay Contest, open to third- through sixth-graders who live in the area and/or attend local schools. Students who are home-schooled may also participate.

The theme of this year’s contest highlights the museum’s current exhibition, “Silicon Valley: The Lure & the Legends,” which explores the transition of the Valley of Heart’s Delight from orchards to oscillators and reveals the inventors and risk-takers behind the evolution.


No bones about it: Pets also can suffer from osteoarthritis

Inflammation within the joints, known as osteoarthritis, is common in older dogs and cats. It is a slowly evolving disease with development of joint pain, stiffness and limitation of motion.


SVCF grants fight predatory loans, boost immigrants, students

Silicon Valley Community Foundation awarded more than $2.3 million in grants to support organizations in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties that combat predatory lending practices, help immigrants learn English and improve disadvantaged students’ skills in mathematics.

Grant amounts range from $20,000 to $237,000 and are spread among three of the foundation’s grantmaking focus areas: economic security, immigration and education.


Nobel Prize-winning Stanford chemist brings small things into focus

L.A. CiCero/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and Stanford professor W.E. Moerner, pictured with wife Sharon and son Daniel, received the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his role in developing microscopy techniques to view molecular processes in real time.

The ability to dive deeper and visualize the inner workings of cells at a molecular level is central to modern research and medicine. Los Altos resident W.E. Moerner, Harry S. Mosher Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University, received the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his role in developing the microscopy techniques that make this possible. Moerner received his prize at the Dec. 10 Nobel ceremony in Stockholm.

Moerner shares the recognition, and the $1.1 million prize, with Eric Betzig of Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Stefan W. Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Germany.


Town Crier Holiday Fund experiences record year


There is still time to donate to this year’s Town Crier Holiday Fund. The campaign runs through the end of January.

The fund, which supports the work of 20 local nonprofit groups, has already raised more this year than any other year in its 15-year history.


Troop 103 Scouts mix service and seniors

Courtesy of Diane Endlich
Troop 103 Scouts, from left, Thomas Corrigan, Allen Dao and Luke Sherrill store seniors’ emergency contact information on USB cards at the Mountain View Center Senior Center.

Boy Scout Luke Sherrill of Troop 103 in Los Altos recently completed a project at the Mountain View Senior Center in pursuit of his Eagle Scout rank.

Sherrill, a freshman at Mountain View High School, mixed technology with seniors by storing seniors’ emergency contact information – names, addresses and phone numbers – on a USB card, which looks like a credit card. The cards were preloaded with the emergency contact form so that the Scouts simply typed in the information given to them by the seniors.


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