Los Altos native promoted to commander of U.S. Second Fleet

Mass Communication Specialist First Class Gary Prill/U.S. Navy
Vice Admiral Andrew “Woody” Lewis, center, departs through the U.S. Navy’s ceremonial red carpet bullets and sideboys after recently assuming command of the U.S. Second Fleet aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush.

Unlike other students in his class, Andrew “Woody” Lewis did not participate in the Oath of Office ceremony held during Induction Day at the U.S. Naval Academy. Instead, he was talking to his mother on the phone with the intention of quitting. She convinced him to stay, and the Los Altos native took the oath alone.

Thirty-three years later, Lewis is a vice admiral. In August, he was promoted to commander of the U.S. Second Fleet aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush. The command is responsible for naval forces that deploy from the East Coast to the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. He credits the Navy’s team mentality for motivating him to continue serving.

Nonprofit Project Happiness addressing mental wellness issues

Courtesy of Julie Arnheim
Project Happiness’ current focus, the Virtual Race for Wellness, enables the organization’s significant social media following to participate in an event regardless of location.

Unlike most organizations, Project Happiness aims to put itself out of business. Those behind the mental health-focused nonprofit organization look forward to a day when they are so successful that no one will need their services.

“We hope to put ourselves out of business, so people have the tools to address (mental wellness), but until then we want to provide the programs and tools to keep chipping away at it,” said Los Altos Hills resident Julie Arnheim, director of development for Project Happiness.

Short film by Mtn. View High graduate debuts online

Courtesy of Eric Cook
Actress Nichole Bloom stars as “Ella.”

“Ella,” a new short film produced by Mountain View native Eric Cook, tries to answer the question: When do we come of age? According to the recently released film, it’s the first time you hurt someone you love.

“Ella” centers on two Asian-American youth finding their places together in their small Midwest community. The film explores the quintessential themes of identity, peer pressure and heartbreak. Screened at the Kansas City Film Festival and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival earlier this year, “Ella” premiered Aug. 27 on the online platform Short of the Week.

Santa Clara Valley Lives: Thomas Foon Chew: The man who made a difference

Courtesy of Historic Bay Area Visionaries 
Cannery magnate Thomas Foon Chew is second from right in this 1916 photo. His wife is at far left and his mother at center.

There are mysteries in the life of Thomas Foon Chew.

At the Library: Week of Oct. 10

The following free events are scheduled at the Los Altos main library, 13 S. San Antonio Road. Events are held in the Orchard Room unless otherwise noted.

• 7 p.m. Monday: Photographer and musician David Couzens is set to present photographs from his book “Images of the Caucasus.”

LA History Museum exhibition tells story of Juana Briones


Juana Briones’ story feels modern, but she was born in 1802, when California was a colony of Spain.

The survivor of spousal abuse and the death of her four children in epidemics, the resourceful Briones was a successful entrepreneur who purchased a ranch in what became parts of Los Altos Hills and Palo Alto. Yet as a healer and advocate, she always took time to help others in need.

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