Out of the fire, into the museum – couple's wedding saved

Courtesy of Alan Hsia
Alan Hsia and Celena Yu got married Oct. 14 on the grounds of the Los Altos History Museum.

Alan Hsia and Celena Yu were preparing for their wedding at St. Francis Solano Church in Sonoma that fateful second week in October, when the evacuation orders came.

In the wake of the devastating North Bay fires, “it was obvious we would have to cancel the Sonoma wedding,” Hsia said.

First woman MV mayor honored for leadership

Courtesy of Carol Fisher
Mountain View City Councilmembers offer Judith Moss, center, an honorary proclamation at their Nov. 7 meeting. Pictured, from left, are councilmembers Lisa Matichak, Chris Clark, Lenny Siegel, Mayor Ken Rosenberg, John McAlister, Margaret Abe-Koga and Pat Showalter.

The Mountain View City Council honored the city’s first woman mayor, Judith Moss, Nov. 7 with a proclamation of appreciation for serving eight years on the council and for challenging the status quo of gender roles through her education, career and community service.

Moss was sworn into office April 18, 1972, after a commanding victory in her third campaign for a seat on the council, a race with a record-setting 13 candidates. She served two terms on the council, with a stint as mayor in 1975-1976.

East Palo Alto Kids Foundation keeps teachers supplied

Town Crier File Photo
Children who attend East Palo Alto and Menlo Park schools benefit from the East Palo Alto Kids Foundation’s support of their teachers.

• Mission: The East Palo Alto Kids Foundation (EPAK) serves approximately 4,300 underserved children in East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park by providing “quick turnaround” $600 microgrants to Ravenswood City School District teachers who make specific requests to enrich their classrooms. Teachers use the money to purchase materials such as microscopes and software and to fund experiences like field trips that complement the curriculum.

• 2017 update: “We’ve had teachers say, ‘One of the reasons I stay in this district is because of EPAK,’” said Lee Dinneen, EPAK board president. “They make $35,000 less a year than the teachers in Palo Alto. They are obviously in a much more challenging social environment, and in a resource-constrained district, so what seems like such a small thing, $600 twice a year, is huge for them.”

Reach Potential Movement gives underserved youth a place to excel

Courtesy of Reach Potential Movement
Reach Potential Movement helps underserved youth develop academic, leadership and life skills, drawing in their families in the process.

• Mission: Reach Potential Movement (RPM) equips underserved youth and families with leadership, learning and life skills to reach their highest potential.

• 2017 update: RPM’s new teaching kitchen has become a place for children to study – literally – at the kitchen table on weekday afternoons with support from tutors, as well as hosting cooking-specific programming and community meals.

Downtown College Prep brings engineering to first-generation students

Courtesy of Downtown College Prep
Luis Ruelas brings his engineering expertise to a class of freshmen and sophomores at Downtown College Prep. DCP students use real-world tools to hone their engineering skills.

• Mission: Downtown College Prep prepares students who will be the first in their families to attend college and equips them to thrive at four-year universities.

The singular goal for all students is that graduates are accepted to and enroll in four-year colleges. The DCP community has created a learning environment that helps students and their families chart a course for college beginning in fifth grade.

Festival of Lights Parade marks 40 years

Town Crier File Photo
Santa Claus rides atop a float at last year’s Festival of Lights Parade.

The Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade is scheduled to celebrate its 40th anniversary 6 p.m. Nov. 26 along Main and State streets in downtown Los Altos.

Hope Higby, Marion Jackston and Jack Huston staged the first parade in 1977 as a goodwill gesture sponsored by downtown merchants. The parade expanded in subsequent years, with local residents and civic leaders Bob Grimm, Ed Hilton and Ted Johnston building floats and purchasing costumes.

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