ECH's Behavioral Health Services receives $1 million from Los Altos couple

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Donna and John Shoemaker are all smiles as they announce their $1 million donation to El Camino Hospital’s Behavioral Health Services.

It didn’t take a direct personal connection to a serious behavioral-health-related matter to inspire a Los Altos couple to invest in local families.

“When you see a child take their life, it’s your child. Or when you see a senior who has lost their spouse and is depressed, it’s our parent,” said Donna Shoemaker of why she and her husband, John, recently donated $1 million to boost Behavioral Health Services at El Camino Hospital. “This hospital is a place where we feel safe and where we want other people to come and feel safe.”


Community Briefs

Block Action Team training continues

A Block Action Team (BAT) training session is scheduled 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in the El Camino Hospital Conference Rooms, 2500 Grant Road, Mountain View.

The mission of BAT, a program of the Los Altos Community Foundation, is to help Los Altos residents organize their neighborhoods to respond in the event of an emergency or natural disaster, band together to prevent crime, assist seniors, organize a neighborhood watch and promote social interaction through block parties.


Morning Forum speaker puts teacher tenure on trial to 'fix' public education

Kathryn Tomaino/Special to the Town Crier
Students Matter founder David Welch addresses the Morning Forum of Los Altos Oct. 21.

Students Matter founder David Welch, Ph.D., has spent the past three years using his time and money to change an education system that he claims “doesn’t prioritize the interests of its students and ... denies them access to quality teaching.”

In his Oct. 21 Morning Forum of Los Altos presentation, “Vergara v. California: For a Basically Equal Opportunity to a Quality Education,” Welch, a fiber-optics engineer, inventor and co-founder and president of Infinera Corp., said his work with the nonprofit Students Matter centers on the premises that “it’s never acceptable to place an ineffective teacher in the classroom” and that effective teachers are the key to helping low-income students succeed.


Al Galedrige: World War II veteran remembers 'Price of Glory'

Photos Courtesy of Al Galedrige
Al Galedrige of Los Altos fought at Iwo Jima in 1945.

Editor’s note: Al Galedrige, perhaps better known as “Al the Barber,” achieved legendary status in downtown Los Altos after more than seven decades of cutting hair – and telling jokes – at Al’s Barber Shop. Perhaps less known is Galedrige’s contributions to World War II as a member of what broadcaster and author Tom Brokaw deemed “The Greatest Generation.” With Veterans Day Tuesday, Galedrige was inspired to tell his story to the Town Crier.


Garden Club of Los Altos celebrates 85 years planting seeds of friendship

ing Garden Club of Los Altos members share memories at last week’s anniversary party. Pictured are, from left, Joan Tankersley (40 years), Jean Gillette (46 years), Helen Sherwood (41 years) and Marguerite Appling (44 years).

Several hundred women in wide-brimmed hats and flower-patterned dresses sat at circular tables for an Oct. 28 buffet-style lunch at Los Altos Lutheran Church, gathering to celebrate the Garden Club of Los Altos’ 85th anniversary.

In a tradition that’s flourished since 1929, the convivial group of mostly female green thumbs congregates monthly to share gardening know-how and flower-arranging advice.


The Mexican 'Nightingale' reborn : Local resident writes Angela Peralta opera for Mazatlan stage

Courtesy of Roger Bourland
The opera composed by Los Altos resident Roger Bourland is scheduled to premiere Nov. 14 and 15 in Mazatlan, Mexico.

Thanks to Los Altos resident and composer Roger Bourland, the renowned 19th-century Mexican opera singer Angela Peralta will finally star at her eponymous theater in Mazatlan, Mexico, an opportunity she missed more than 130 years ago when she died of yellow fever.

An ensemble is scheduled to perform Bourland’s first grand opera, “The Dove and the Nightingale,” Nov. 14 and 15.


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