NCL chapter helps autism center blossom

Thanks to the girls and mothers of the National Charity League’s (NCL) Orchard Valley Chapter, based in Los Altos, families of those affected by autism are enjoying a blooming vertical garden, pictured above, at the Autism Diagnostics & Consulting Center in Los Altos. The teens of NCL’s Class of 2018 built the garden for their senior project. The garden is the culmination of the girls’ six years in the organization, which encourages volunteer work and fosters leadership development. NCL members Margo Thornton and Kristina Claras each devoted approximately 50 hours of work in planning, designing, coordinating and building. Each of the 20 girls in the Class of 2018 worked an additional 10-15 hours to complete the garden. The girls had raised funds for the project by hosting a pancake breakfast earlier in the year. For more information, visit

Comey, Cleese among speakers scheduled for 51st Foothill College Celebrity Forum


The 51st season of the Foothill College Celebrity Forum Speaker Series – launching in the fall – will feature authors, actors and the former FBI director best known for being fired by President Donald Trump.

The Foothill-De Anza Community College District sponsors the series, and founder Dick Henning serves as moderator.

Morning Forum: Pundit contends U.S. presidency has been diminished


Political expert Larry Gerston highlighted the shortcomings of the Trump administration in his May 1 Morning Forum of Los Altos presentation, “The Trump Election in Perspective: A Turning Point in American Politics.”

Gerston is professor emeritus of political science at San Jose State University, political analyst for NBC Bay Area and author of 12 academic books and 150 op-ed articles. He is often quoted and interviewed by national news agencies.

Which LA native nabbed 2nd place on 'Jeopardy!'?

Courtesy of Jason Scott
William Scott of Los Altos represents his college, Tufts University, on “Jeopardy!” The freshman finished second in the game show’s College Championships, winning $50,000.

One could say that William Scott was born to be on “Jeopardy!”

“In terms of knowing things, I’ve been doing that my whole life,” the Los Altos native said, “so I thought I would just keep on going – keep paying attention to things and learning new bits of trivia.”

MVLA Challenge Team participants learn new meaning of word 'Homie'


For the 31st year, local city and schools leaders, law enforcement representatives and advocates for at-risk students gathered for the MVLA Challenge Team’s Champions for Youth breakfast May 2 at Michaels at Shoreline restaurant in Mountain View.

Serving up this year’s inspiring talk was keynote speaker Alejandro Vilchez. A sought-after consultant in youth relations and long-recognized leader in gang violence prevention, Vilchez often used humor and personal experience in his talk “Be a Homie.”

SLAC physicist encourages local AAUW scholarship winners

Courtesy of Allyson Johnson
The American Association of University Women’s recent luncheon included, from left, Tech Trek scholarship winners Kate Stone, Grace Cai, Alexandra Segubiensese, Souf Rivkin, Madison Chin and Taylor Ewan; and AAUW Executive Director Vicki Reeder. Not pictured is scholarship winner Astra Tulac.

Stanford University physicist Jana Thayer served as featured speaker at a luncheon last week honoring middle-school girls from Los Altos, Mountain View and Palo Alto who will attend the Grace Hopper Tech Trek Science Camp at Stanford in the summer.

The luncheon, co-hosted April 28 by the Los Altos/Mountain View and Palo Alto branches of the American Association of University Women, encouraged the girls – recipients of camp scholarships provided by the branches – to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

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