Rotary marks 25th anniversary of AIDS project

John Hammerschmidt/Special to the Town Crier
Celebrating the anniversary of the Los Altos Rotary AIDS Project are, from left, front row: Greg Hoblit, Dude Angius, Mary Prochnow and Robin Young. Back: Greg Betts, Joe Renati, Roy Lave, Bob Berka, Dick Hasenpflug, Jean Newton, Dick Henning and Wyatt Allen.

Many local residents remember the time when people shunned those they suspected suffered from AIDS or HIV.

That was 25 years ago. Attitudes about the disease have changed from fear and ignorance to empathy and new hope for victims, thanks to medical advances.


Retiring Los Altos dog trainer shaped the lives of many owners

Rosalie Alvarez, left, Los Altos Hills’ own dog whisperer, receives a thank-you kiss from Maria, center, and Jack Caffey’s West Highland White Terrier, Murphy. Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier

Rosalie Alvarez knew she had a special relationship with animals when she began training chickens, ducks and calves on her family’s ranch in Ukiah at the age of 5. By her early teens, Alvarez realized that communicating with animals was her calling in life.

Over the next nine decades, Alvarez not only bonded with hundreds of canines and other animals, but also fostered the attributes of good dog ownership in hundreds of people who approached her for help.


Neighbors lend hand with Nativity scene

Courtesy of Jerry Moison
The close-knit neighbors of Brentwood Street, Brentwood Court and Brentwood Place mobilized to help Jerry and Jean Jensen put up their Christmas decorations, including their Nativity scene.

For many years, Los Altos residents Jerry and Jean Jensen have shared the spirit of Christmas by setting up a Nativity scene in their Brentwood Street front yard.


Girl's donation to Town Crier Holiday Fund touches the heart

A young girl hopped up the stairs to the front desk of the Town Crier last week with an envelope. Inside was 20 quarters totaling $5 – her donation to the Town Crier Holiday Fund.

Seven-year-old Grace Bishara’s contribution wasn’t the largest, but it may have been the sweetest gift this season. Grace, who came up with the idea to give on her own, offers a reminder that the spirit of giving encompasses all ages. The Town Crier sends a special thank-you to Grace.


Former Los Altos restaurant singer to perform in Hanukkah musical

Betsy Kershner/MeshugaNutcracker!
Susan Gundunas of Los Altos, left, stars alongside Stephen Guggenheim in “The MeshugaNutcracker!” Gundunas plays Esther, the mayor’s wife, and Guggenheim portrays the mayor. The musical comedy runs Dec. 25-28 in Campbell. Below is a promotional illustration for the production.

Show business has deep ties to Susan Gundunas’ Los Altos upbringing.


HV volunteer receives his reward in hugs

Laurie Aubuchon/Hidden Villa
Bob McCowan, a retired local dentist, now sinks his teeth into volunteering at Hidden Villa environmental farm and open space preserve.

Bob McCowan, 75, a retired local dentist, has volunteered as a farm and nature guide at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills for 11 years.


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