'Downton Abbey' replicated for Los Altos fundraiser

Courtesy of Nomi Trapnell
Doris and Kristen Fuller, from left, flank Lord Grantham, who graces the 7-foot-by-30-foot backdrop featuring other “Downton Abbey” characters at the Los Altos History Museum fundraiser.

Fans of the PBS series “Downton Abbey” turned out by the dozens for the July 19 Los Altos History Museum fundraiser held at the home of Nomi and Fritz Trapnell.

“We had about 80 people, almost all in costume,” said Nomi, president of the museum’s board of directors. “They really got into the history and had fun with it.”


Byrne Brigade clears the way for native plants

Members of the Byrne Brigade have gathered weekly since the end of June to clear non-native plants and excess brush from the Los Altos Hills preserve. Acterra, which has a contract with the town to rid the area of invasive plant species, coordinates the volunteers. Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier

The proliferation of mustard weeds and star thistles in local open spaces may soon be on the decline, thanks in part to the efforts of Acterra and the Byrne Brigade.

Since the end of June, the group of local volunteers has gathered weekly at Los Altos Hills’ Byrne Preserve to clear non-native plants and excess brush.


Battery recycling program lives on with new volunteers

Grant and Elvin Chen

Two new volunteers have stepped up to recharge the local battery recycling program.

In the June 25 Town Crier, Los Altos brothers Matthew and Peter Farmer issued a plea for a successor to oversee the program. Local residents drop off their used batteries at the Los Altos Library, and volunteers collect and sort them weekly and drop them off at the Sunnyvale Recycling Center monthly.


Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'

Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.” ELIZA RIDGEWAY/ TOWN CRIER

A massive troupe of young people and grownups gathered in Los Altos this summer to stage the latest iteration of a childhood staple stretching back five generations – and they’ve broken precedent to do it.

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company partnered to stage the “The Wizard of the Oz” at Bus Barn Theater. Although they’ve shared the same performance space for nearly two decades, this is the first time the companies have collaborated. The show had its opening gala last weekend and runs through Aug. 3.


Startup culture takes center screen in locally produced Web series


An acting class bonded three friends, but it took a round of drinks to metabolize the trio’s vision into a unique Web series.

Tired of the stereotypical film roles for women – catty girlfriends and salacious secretaries who play second fiddle to a dominant male – Los Altos Hills resident Taylor Brock and her fellow co-producers Anne Hallinan and Lisa-Marie Newton are switching things up.


San Juan dancers attend national convention

Courtesy of Jordan Micek
Dancers from the San Juan School of Dance are all smiles as they pose with the trophies they won at the recent American Dance Awards National Convention in Boston.

Nearly two dozen girls from the San Juan School of Dance attended the American Dance Awards National Convention in Boston July 1-7, competing against dancers from across the United States, Canada, South Africa and Ecuador.

Among the San Juan dancers were three reigning solo titleholders from the California regional event: Nicole Carey, Young Dancer of the Year; Sarah Martinez, Junior Dancer of the Year; and Jolena Ma, Dancer of the Year. The girls competed for the national title in their respective groups.


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