Los Altos brothers help Camp Fire victims

Courtesy of the Suppiah family
Alex and Nico Suppiah of Los Altos, pictured at left and right, have collected nearly 500 toys and books that they donated to fire victims in Paradise in December.

Collecting toys for children in need over the holidays has become a tradition for brothers Alex and Nico Suppiah of Los Altos. The teens gathered 100 toys in 2016 and 280 the next year.

In 2018, the Suppiahs outdid themselves, collecting nearly 500 toys and books they donated to victims of the Camp Fire in Paradise in December.

Los Altos poet entertains local SIR members


The leadership of Sons In Retirement Branch 35 played it for laughs when selecting their first speaker of 2019. One of their own, Bob Simon, offered a program of light verse at their monthly luncheon meeting Jan. 16.

Simon, known to fellow members for his penchant for poetry, has been in SIR for 20 years, is an active community volunteer – chiefly for the Los Altos Library – and writes the “Rhyme on My Hands” column for the Town Crier.

Santa Clara Valley Lives: Let preservation ring: California bells mark El Camino Real history

Robin Chapman/Special to the Town Crier
This Mission Bell Marker, nestled beneath a redwood, can be spotted when driving south on El Camino Real at El Monte Avenue in Mountain View.

Longtime Santa Clara Valley resident John Kolstad is a man on a mission. He has spent the past 19 years working to preserve the familiar Mission Bell Markers that have graced California’s historical El Camino Real for the last century.

The original ones were designed by Mrs. A.S.C. Forbes in the early 20th century, to mark the 700-mile route traveled by the first Spanish-speaking immigrants to California. The poles recall the shape of the shepherd’s crooks used by some of the wayfarers, with each pole topped by an 85-pound cast-iron bell – evocative of the California missions.

LAUMC artist who lost home in Napa blaze aiding wildfire victims

Courtesy of Bobby Jo Valentine
Singer-songwriter Bobby Jo Valentine is helping fire victims through benefit concerts.

Musician Bobby Jo Valentine can relate to those who lost their homes in last fall’s Camp Fire in Butte County. The singer-songwriter lost his own home in the North Bay wildfires the year before.

That led Valentine, an artist-in-residence at Los Altos United Methodist Church, to perform a series of benefit concerts for Camp Fire victims.

Los Altos Community Foundation opens grant cycle

Los Altos Community Foundation’s Community Grants Program is accepting grant applications for its spring grants cycle through Feb. 12.

The program supports nonprofit organizations and activities that serve Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View.

Los Altos offers emergency preparedness grants

The city of Los Altos recently launched a program that allocates $20,000 in grants to encourage emergency preparedness, build community and strengthen neighborhood ties.

The Community & Emergency Preparedness Grant Program will fund as many projects as possible, from as many neighborhoods as possible. Projects must support the program’s goals to enhance community resiliency, proactively prepare for emergencies and strengthen the community’s ability to respond to and recover from emergencies, disasters or crime.

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