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.

Community Briefs - Week of Feb. 6

Follies retrospective DVD highlights 25 years

Los Altos Stage Company is scheduled to screen a retrospective DVD featuring highlights from 25 years of Follies productions 7-9 p.m. Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

Follies, a satirical revue of modern life and politics that began in 1992 and became a fundraiser for Los Altos Stage Company, celebrated its 25th anniversary and final performances to sold-out audiences last October.

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.

World Affairs talk spotlights wildlife threat

The Peninsula Chapter of World Affairs has scheduled the presentation “Global Threat to Wildlife: Consequences for Ecosystems and Humans” 7 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Los Altos Youth Center, 1 N. San Antonio Road.

Roldolfo Dirzo, Bing Professor in Environmental Science at Stanford University, will share his insights on the impacts of wildlife decline and discuss his current field work in Mexico and Kenya, as well as approaches to reversing wildlife loss through collaboration with indigenous communities.

Admission is free and open to the public. Doors will open at 7 p.m.

The program is co-sponsored by the Los Alto Library.

For more information, email Katie Zoglin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit worldaffairs.org/events/chapters/peninsula-chapter.

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