It took 40 years, but Hillview School teacher publishes sci-fi novel

Mary Starner's “Anna” tells a science-fiction tale rooted in the Los Altos area.

The crumbling classrooms at Hillview Community Center – formerly Hillview Elementary School – host city functions and senior programming these days. Little do their inhabitants know that Room 18 once traveled through space.

Years before Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen and Percy Jackson led young adult literature into the world of science fiction and serious book business, a Los Altos School District teacher was leading her students on a literary romp. Her stories finally reached bookshelves late last year.

Brothers come to firefighters' aid with toy donations

Courtesy of the Suppiah family
Brothers Alex and Nico Suppiah deliver toys over the holidays.

After organizing Toys for Tots drives and volunteering at the Kiwanis Christmas Tree Lot in previous years, brothers Alex and Nico Suppiah wanted to do even more to help people over the 2016 holidays.

The two Boy Scouts did some research and discovered that the local fire departments were sponsoring a toy drive. The Suppiahs wanted to join the cause.

These Los Altos Library Reading Buddies are all ears

Courtesy of the Los Altos Library
Reading Buddies therapy dogs help children build their confidence in a special program at the Los Altos main library.

Carter’s preferred snack is freeze-dried liver, “Clifford the Big Red Dog” is his favorite book and eating is featured prominently on his list of daily activities. Torrey likes bananas, “Henry and Mudge” stories and dressing up. Desi’s jam is bacon, “Madeline Finn and the Library Dog” and napping in the sunshine.

As profiled on their respective promotional bookmarks, each four-legged Reading Buddies participant boasts a distinct personality. But it’s the canines’ ability to listen without interrupting that consistently attracts the program’s two-legged participants – struggling readers who gain confidence by reading aloud to therapy animals. Saturday marked the post-holiday return of the free monthly drop-in sessions at the Los Altos main library.

Assistance League seeks volunteers

The Assistance League of Los Altos seeks new members and volunteers to help at the Costume Bank, its nonprofit shop at 169 State St.

The Costume Bank, run by volunteers since 1964, is the fundraising arm of the Assistance League of Los Altos. Last year 93 percent of the shop’s proceeds supported the league’s philanthropic activities and community services, including the HOME apartments at Stanford Hospital, low-cost, temporary housing for outpatients needing to stay near Stanford during treatment; and Baby Bundles, which donates portable bassinets filled with diapers, clothes, toys and blankets to low-income mothers.

MVLA players 'kickstart' family's recovery in wake of devastating fire

Courtesy of Angie Petrella
Members and supporters of the Mountain View Los Altos Soccer Club – from left, Jessica Anderson, Braden Greene, coach Ali Hall, Claire Greene, Sasha Anderson and Alyse Graham- Martinez – sort items they later donated to a Menlo Park family of 10 that lost its home in a fire.

When members of the Mountain View Los Altos Soccer Club’s Kickstart program learned that a family of 10’s home burned down a few weeks before Christmas, an MVLA team sprang into action.

MVLA Roma White, a team of 10-year-old girls, pulled together to collect clothes and shoes to help the Menlo Park family.

Chaperone facilitates parent carpools to ease traffic at school drop-off times

Photo Courtesy of Shrikant Nasikkar
Los Altos resident Shrikant Nasikkar developed the Chaperone app to facilitate the process of establishing carpool rides to and from school. He said carpools are not only environmentally beneficial, but they also facilitate friendships by bringing people together. Nasikkar is promoting the concept through school PTAs.

A few years back, Los Altos resident Shrikant Nasikkar received a call all parents dread.

“Your son’s been in an accident,” Nasikkar remembers hearing.

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