Santa Clara Valley Lives: An apricot orchard serves as a sign of the times

Robin Chapman/Special to the Town Crier
The Los Altos Heritage Orchard on San Antonio Road sports a new sign, erected at the end of June after a long, citizen-led effort. The Los Altos History Museum has scheduled a formal dedication ceremony at the end of July.


The Los Altos Heritage Orchard finally has its sign. The tale of how it happened has elements of a quest and a treasure hunt.

LAH resident heads committee honoring Japanese immigrants' arrival in U.S.

Courtesy of Nobuko Saito Cleary
Dr. Gary Cleary, from left, Nobuko Saito Cleary and Chikamori Matsudaira, who is wearing attire from 150 years ago, celebrate in Gold Hill the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants in the U.S.

The American River Conservancy last month honored the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants on U.S. soil, celebrating the U.S.-Japan relationship.

A group of colonists from Aizu-Wakamatsu, Japan, arrived in Gold Hill in California’s Nevada County June 8, 1869, to start a tea and silk farm.

TheatreWorks SV relishes a Tony Award win

Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tony Awards Productions
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley Chairwoman of the Board Judy Heyboer, from left, Founding Artistic Director Robert Kelley and Executive Director Phil Santora accept the Regional Theatre Tony Award during the 2019 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall June 9.

Thrilling. Overwhelming. Humbling.

That’s how Phil Santora described accepting TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s Regional Theatre Tony Award alongside Founding Artistic Director Robert Kelley and Chairwoman of the Board Judy Heyboer June 9 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Los Altos Hills Boy Scout receives $10,000 scholarship


Los Altos Hills resident Jay Bhateja, who recently graduated from BASIS Independent Silicon Valley, developed many interests during his high school career, including Boy Scouts and neuroscience.

As a result of his work with the Scouts and in science, Bhateja last month received $10,000 from the Frank Livermore Trust – a local college scholarship fund – toward his education at the University of Washington.

Love is love: With help from El Camino Hospital, Santa Clara dads bring home twins

Eric Davidove/Special to the Town Crier 
David and Matt Siegel give their twins, Gabby and Cece, a boost in one of the neonatal intensive care unit bays at El Camino Hospital June 20.

David and Matt Siegel traveled to Mexico City in 2017 for the birth of their twin girls via surrogate. Their medical journey was fraught, but 18 months later, they’re sharing their story – and El Camino Hospital’s part in it – to help others.

Their babies – Cecelia and Gabrielle, nicknamed Cece and Gabby – were born at 32 weeks, requiring a stay in the neonatal intensive care unit. Cece, who weighed 4 pounds, 3 ounces at birth, was discharged first, and Gabby, 3 pounds, 4 ounces, remained in the NICU. In the predominantly Catholic country, homosexuality is openly frowned on. Only one dad was allowed in the NICU with the recovering Gabby – Matt sat with the newborn while David cared for Cece, and vice versa.

Scoutmaster touts opportunities for girls

Photo courtesy of Stephen Wu/Troop 4201
Boys Scouts of America now offers programs for girls. Girls in Los Altos Scouts BSA Troop 4103, above, raft down the river during a camping trip in Fairfax.

Girls can now participate in programs sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America. Local Scoutmaster Stephen Wu outlined opportunities in the Los Altos area.

Thanks to a policy enacted in February, elementary-school-aged girls can join Cub Scouts in all-girl dens, and older girls can join all girl-troops in Scouts BSA, rebranded from the former Boy Scouts of America.

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