Los Altos main library offers U.S. passport services

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Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The shelves for library “holds” at the Los Altos main library, above, have been relocated to the old checkout kiosk location to accommodate the new passport services. The kiosks, in turn, are now in the center of the hall.

The Los Altos main library now offers U.S. passport services, one of three Santa Clara County Library District branches to do so.

The expansion to Los Altos comes more than a year after the library district made the services available at the Milpitas and Cupertino libraries. District officials said the program has been “well-received.”

Grant funds give local teens ability to take on environmental challenges

Above photo courtesy of Los Altos History Museum; right Photo courtesy of David Klein
Organizers and participants involved in the Los Altos Environmental Commission’s EnviroThon Challenge gather at the Los Altos History Museum June 30.

Four teams of local high school students recently received seed money after winning the Los Altos Environmental Commission’s EnviroThon Challenge to pilot programs aimed at helping the city become more environmentally friendly.

The top team, Stand Up Fight Back, plans to launch a campaign to convince residents and the city council to create an incentive program encouraging clean energy choices in area homes and businesses. Two other teams, Field Trippers and Next Generation, which tied for second place, will work with local schools to further integrate environmental education into elementary school classrooms. The third-place team, Vroom Vroom, wants to spur increased electric bus ridership by making the service more visible to the public.

Los Altos Stage Company celebrates milestone with its biggest hit ever

Richard Mayer/Los Altos Stage Company
Michael Champlin, from left, Quincy Shaindlin and Kristin Walter star in “Admissions,” the critically acclaimed production opening the Los Altos Stage Company’s 25th season. “Admissions” is the best-selling play in the theater company’s history.

The audience sat transfixed as a small group of convincing actors portrayed the characters in “Admissions,” Joshua Harmon’s often-intense drama about elite schools and white privilege. It seemed appropriate that one of the most critically acclaimed and popular productions in the history of the Los Altos Stage Company served to open its 25th anniversary season last month.

Bus Barn Theater, the theater company’s venue at the Hillview Civic Center, housed buses for the local school district decades ago. For more than 40 years, it has served as an intimate setting for performances that feel as if they’re being given in one’s living room.

AAUW launches new season with talk on negotiating skills

Courtesy of Allyson Johnson
Tech Trek scholars from Crittenden, Blach and Egan middle schools attend the American Association of University Women’s Sept. 29 meeting. Andrea Freund from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business served as keynote speaker.

The American Association of University Women kicked off its membership year Sept. 29 at the Los Altos main library.

Andrea Freund, a doctoral candidate at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, served as keynote speaker, addressing the topic “Getting More of What You Want.” She told the audience of mostly middle-school girls and their parents that women historically start off at a disadvantage in negotiation in the workplace because they tend to see the process as a battle, and are afraid of seeming greedy or “not nice.” In salary negotiation, Freund said, nearly 60% of men negotiated their starting salary, while less than 10% of women asked for more than what was initially offered.

YMCA, Mtn. View police join forces for swim safety program

Courtesy of El Camino YMCA
Participants in the Mountain View Police Department’s Dreams & Futures program receive lessons on water safety and basic swimming skills in collaboration with El Camino YMCA’s Safety Around Water program.

The El Camino YMCA in Mountain View recently collaborated with the Mountain View Police Department’s Dreams & Futures program to host a free Safety Around Water program for 100 at-risk students.

Fifty fourth- and fifth-graders and 50 sixth- and seventh-graders received swim lessons from officers and volunteers twice a week over the summer, according to a local YMCA representative. The kids learned basic water skills, what to do when stuck in the water unexpectedly, how to find a safe place to swim, and more.

Santa Clara Valley Lives: Moffett Federal Airfield stays busy over years

Courtesy of Robin Chapman
Journalist Robin Chapman and her father, William Ashley Chapman, pose at Moffett Field with his Cessna 152, March 25, 1987, the day they took their only flight together.

The recent visit of the president of the United States – also known as POTUS – to our region brought Air Force One to Moffett Federal Airfield, a facility known to pilots by the code initials NUQ. In recent years, U.S. presidents often have used NUQ, as it is the closest runway to Silicon Valley.

Moffett has played host to a range of important aircraft since it was completed in 1933 – from the Navy dirigible USS Akron to the Blue Angels and today’s Google fleet. Actor James Stewart earned his Air Corps wings there in 1941. During the Cold War, Moffett was home to the Navy’s P-3 Orions, whose squadrons hunted Russian submarines in the Pacific. As tensions eased in the 1980s, NUQ also hosted a civil aviation flying club for veterans like my father.

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