Tidying up the trails: Local couple volunteers to keep Rancho San Antonio beautiful

Photos by Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Richard and Esther Blanchard, top and above, regularly devote their time to beautify Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve.

Mora Drive residents Richard and Esther Blanchard enter Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve armed with tools and trash bags. Volunteering their energies for the past three years, hardly a day goes by that they don’t do something to improve the park.

Their initial goal was to remove thistles from the Mora Drive trail.

Los Altos man helped Apollo 11 speed safely to Moon

Robin Chapman/Special to the Town Crier
Henry A. “Hank” Cole, left, in the office of his Los Altos home with his dog, Mimmi, worked on NASA’s space program in its early days. As NASA celebrates the 50th anniverary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, the retiree finds himself in demand.

Los Altos resident Henry A. “Hank” Cole is having a busy summer. He has been preparing for a speech he’ll give in Oakland this week. And because he was on the team at NASA that worked on the space program, he has also spent many hours helping them with research for the 50th anniversary celebration of the Apollo 11 Moon landing.

LACF director plans to retire after board finds successor


Joe Eyre, executive director of Los Altos Community Foundation, plans to retire after leading the organization for six years. He will remain in the role until the foundation’s board of directors conducts a search and selects a successor.

“It has been a great privilege to serve in this role at LACF, and I’m humbled by the local commitment to building a strong community,” Eyre said. “I’ve enjoyed connecting donors, fund owners, volunteers, nonprofits and other organizations to creatively address the issues in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View.”

Los Altos Library spotlights summer reading

Marie Godderis/Town Crier Intern
Ron McGee of Python Ron’s Reptile Kingdom, left, entertains an enthralled crowd July 3 at the Los Altos main library, including a brave young volunteer, right. The event was part of the library’s summer reading program.

Through its summer reading program, “It’s Showtime at Your Library!” the Santa Clara County Library District aims to put books in the spotlight and encourage more people to read.

“Whether it’s a good book or an engaging activity, kids and teens can go to the library to learn and have fun,” said Mike Wasserman, chairman of the district’s Joint Powers Authority Board. “Adults can also enjoy all the books, music, DVDs, programs and other services the library has to offer.”

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.

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