Morning Forum of Los Altos: Travel writer encourages adventure, offers tips

Kathryn Tomaino/
Special to the Town Crier Rudy Maza addresses the Morning Forum of Los Altos Jan. 16.

Travel writer Rudy Maxa regaled the Morning Forum of Los Altos audience with a whirlwind tour of travel stories and advice in his Jan. 16 presentation “The Transformational Power of Travel.”

Maxa began his travel adventures as an army brat. His father’s military career meant Rudy lived “everywhere and nowhere,” he said. That experience made him multilingual, a fluent German speaker, and bitten with the travel bug. He launched his career as a reporter and had the opportunity to start a modest program on public radio’s new Marketplace series. From a brief occasional piece, his repertoire grew and soon became a regular feature known as “The Savvy Traveler.” Currently, his programs “SmartTravels” and “Rudy Maxa’s World” are broadcast on numerous PBS stations.

Santa Clara Valley Lives: Moffett museum showcases sweetheart jewelry

Robin Chapman/Special to the Town Crier
Some items in Diana Parsons’ collection of military sweetheart jewelry date back to World War I, including the silver bracelet at the bottom of the photo, which lists the names of that war’s battlefields. The first pin she acquired – a tiny spoon with the “USN” emblem – is at far left.


Diana Parsons, secretary of the Moffett Field Historical Society Museum, can remember exactly when she saw her first piece of military sweetheart jewelry.

Mtn. View resident uses science, economics to write 'Artemis'

Aubrie Pick/ Special to the Town Crier
Andy Weir

Following the success of the best-selling “The Martian” and its story of survival, Mountain View resident Andy Weir has written another science-fiction novel – a crime caper set on the moon.

“Artemis” chronicles the adventures of Jasmine “Jazz” Bashara, a Saudi Arabian woman who delivers goods and smuggles to afford the high cost of living in Artemis, the first city on the moon. When Jasmine is offered a large sum of money to assist in a heist, her involvement has unintended consequences and she gets caught up in a conspiracy to take over the city.

Los Altos donor's gift can be measured in gallons

Courtesy of Joe Grippo
Joe Grippo netted a t-shirt when he was celebrated at Stanford Blood Center earlier this month for donating his 200th pint of blood.

Los Altos resident Joe Grippo first gave blood when someone he knew was in need. A co-worker scheduled for heart surgery spurred a donation drive when Grippo was a young professional still finishing his MBA by night classes.

As he learned the process and discovered that he had a rare blood type in particularly high demand, Grippo was hooked. A few decades later, he has reached the milestone of donating 25 gallons of blood in total.

New ID sends residents back to the DMV

Real ID
Megan V. Winslow / Los Altos Town Crier
California’s DMV started accepting applications for REAL ID driver’s licenses and ID cards last week.

A new federal requirement invalidating many state driver’s licenses at the airport has put local travelers on a timeline: head to the Department of Motor Vehicles sometime in the next two years for a new kind of license, or get used to carrying a passport on even domestic trips.

California’s DMV started accepting applications for REAL ID driver’s licenses and ID cards last week. The new licenses meet updated federal security standards by requiring applicants to appear, in person, bearing three different pieces of evidence regarding their identity, residency and citizenship.

MTC volunteer inspires students to see possibilities and 'don't settle'


Mentor Tutor Connection helps underserved children and teens reach their potential by providing tutors and mentors in Mountain View and Los Altos schools.

The nonprofit organization, a Town Crier Holiday fund recipient, offers academic tutoring for elementary and middle school students. At the high school level, the program phases in a mentoring component.

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