Lockheed Martin engineer inspires local AAUW scholars

Courtesy of Allyson Johnson
The American Association of University Women’s Tech Trek Scholars include, from left, Aliyah Ambrosio and Malia Chan from Crittenden Middle School; Sara Simpson from Blach Intermediate School; Burla Solmaz from Crittenden; and Audrey Tsai, Catherine Yao and Sabrina Yen-Ko from Egan Junior High. Not pictured: Paulina Vvendenskaya from Blach.

Annette Bianco, retired chief systems engineer at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co., shared her journey from earning an Associate of Arts degree from the College of San Mateo to a leading role in developing the International Space Station with an overflow audience of girls and their families at an American Association of University Women meeting May 5.

Bianco was the featured speaker at a luncheon honoring the girls selected from Los Altos, Mountain View and Palo Alto middle schools, who will attend the Grace Hopper Tech Trek Science Camp at Stanford University in the summer. Camp scholarships are funded by local branches of the AAUW and the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs.

Rotary speaker describes panic in 1975 Vietnam,'Operation Babylift'


In 1975, frantic residents of South Vietnam sought to flee their country, under imminent takeover by North Vietnam. Thousands rushed to escape on boats, airplanes and helicopters. U.S. President Gerald Ford activated “Operation Babylift” to save as many orphaned South Vietnamese infants as possible.

In his historical novel “Struggle to Survive,” U.S. Marine Capt. William T. Yaley chronicles the panic that ensued as the South Vietnamese attempted to save themselves from capture and probable death. He described the scene to members of the Rotary Club of Los Altos at their April 25 meeting.

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.”

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