6th-grader becomes published author

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Marie Godderis/Town Crier
Caitlyn Zhu, 11, displays the front cover of her new book, “The Helper,” featuring a sled dog named Padfoot as the main character.

Eleven-year-old Caitlyn Zhu uses her commute to and from school with her mom as a way to voice her opinions on animal rights, environmental issues and an array of other topics.

“I feel strongly about peace and that animal abuse should end,” the Los Altos resident said. “When I felt really passionate about it, I would talk really loudly in the car about it – and no one would really listen.”

Forum speaker says billionaires changing space program


The future of space is commercial, according to Bruce Pittman of NASA Ames Research Center, who outlined new plans for the space program in his presentation “How Billionaires Are Changing the Space Program” at the Morning Forum of Los Altos Feb. 4.

Pittman, director of commercial space development at NASA Ames and professor at Santa Clara University, described the exploration achievements of NASA, offering a historical perspective on space travel from its inception to the present day. Beginning more than 200 years ago with the first Industrial Revolution, he discussed the long but steady march of discovery.

Local AAUW branch awards fellowships

Allyson Johnson/Special to the Town Crier
Honu Nichols, left, and Tiffany Nguyen received fellowships to attend the AAUW-sponsored National Conference for College Women Student Leaders. 

The Los Altos-Mountain View branch of the American Association of University Women recently awarded three fellowships to local students to attend the AAUW-sponsored National Conference for College Women Student Leaders.

Tiffany Nguyen and Shauna “Honu” Nichols, both students at Foothill College, and Genevieve Kolar, a De Anza College student, will participate in the conference, scheduled May 27-30 at the University of Maryland.

City of Los Altos receives award for excellence in budgeting


The city of Los Altos recently received the Excellence in Operating Budget award from the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers.

Historical essay contest launches, open to elementary schoolers

The Los Altos Historical Commission and the Los Altos History Museum are accepting entries for the 36th annual Margaret Thompson Historical Essay Contest from local students in grades 3-6.

This year’s theme is “Peek into Your Past.”

Giants' Dravecky describes cancer battle for Rotarians

During a Rotary Club of Los Altos meeting Jan. 23, former San Francisco Giants pitcher Dave Dravecky recalled how his bout with cancer ended his Major League Baseball career and cost him his left arm.

Dravecky said he was “on top of the world” until 1988, when he felt a lump in his pitching arm. He needed surgery to remove a tumor in his deltoid muscle, and doctors warned he would never pitch again.

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