Los Altos resident honored as 'hero' for her commitment to foster kids

Karen Scussel” width=
Courtesy of Child Advocates of Silicon Valley
Karen Scussel, left, reunites with her first foster child, Deborah Rutledge, who now serves in the U.S. Air Force.

Karen Scussel doesn’t have children of her own, but the unassuming business executive is a “mom” in the eyes of her foster kids.

Offering an empathetic and nonjudgmental approach, the Los Altos resident has forged strong relationships with 17 Santa Clara County foster children over her 18 years as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) under the nonprofit Child Advocates of Silicon Valley. With Scussel as the organization’s executive director the past seven years, Child Advocates has grown and connected more CASAs with kids in need of an adult friend.

Santa Clara Valley Lives: Fire at Notre-Dame recalls blaze at Mission Santa Clara

Courtesy of Department of Archives & Special Collections, Santa Clara University
A fire at Mission Santa Clara in October 1926 destroyed most of the 19th-century structure. It was rebuilt on its present site, a project completed in 1929. Mission Santa Clara was moved three times and rebuilt at least five times during its years as a colonial outpost. 


There aren’t a lot of really old buildings in California. This can make it a challenge for local residents to take in the impact of the fire that came close to burning down the iconic Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, which has been part of French life for nearly 900 years.

Los Altos Friends of Library's Books for Schools fund supports underserved

Books for Schools is a designated fund established by the Friends of the Library of Los Altos to pay for the books teachers purchase for their classrooms at its used-book sales.

The fund enables Friends of the Library to invite teachers from public K-8 schools to attend the sales and purchase books without having to pay for them out of their own pockets.

Hysteria about immigration unfounded, professor tells Morning Forum


Professor Tomas Jimenez used historical data, poll results and crime statistics to show that current hysteria about immigrants threatening the U.S. is unfounded, shining a spotlight on the issue in his April 16 presentation to the Morning Forum of Los Altos, “Making Sense of Immigration Hysteria in the Nation of Immigrants.”

Jimenez, associate professor of sociology and comparative studies in race and ethnicity at Stanford University, is the author of “The Other Side of Assimilation: How Immigrants Are Changing American Life.”

Members of MV church help 'economic orphans' in Honduras

Courtesy of Greg Corsetto
Children at a day orphanage in Honduras participate in a robotics camp hosted by members of Mountain View’s Highway Community church.

As it has done every other year since 2011, The Highway Community church in Mountain View sent a team to Santa Bárbara, Honduras, in February to work at a day orphanage run by Bay Area organization Footsteps Missions.

“It is very poor there,” said Mountain View resident Daryl Smithgall, director of Footsteps Missions, of the Central American country. “Jobs are scarce and training is hard to find, so we are helping the children with the least opportunity to have the possibility of education that will help them to learn new skills, prepare for jobs, learn how to be people of character and integrity and how to become leaders for the future (through the day orphanage).”

Local Arts Roundup: May gallery exhibitions in Los Altos feature diverse array of artists

Courtesy of Viewpoints Gallery
Viewpoints Gallery will feature Vered Binyamini’s work, above, in May.

Gallery 9

An exhibition of photography artist Bill Scull’s work, “Reflections: Reality Abstracted,” is on display this month at Gallery 9. The show runs through June 2.

An artist’s reception is scheduled 5-8 p.m. Friday at the gallery.

Schools »

Read More

Sports »

Read More

People »

Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

Browse and buy photos