On 9/11 anniversary, cyber-security expert warns LAH community of new threats

James McFarlin
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Former Air Force officer, tech CEO and author James McFarlin describes past and current cyber-security threats during a Sept. 11 Los Altos Hills Club luncheon at Fremont Hills Country Club.

If James McFarlin’s Sept. 11 presentation to the Los Altos Hills Club resonated with his audience, its members have already commenced freezing credit reports, setting up two-factor authentication and updating account passwords from the shockingly ubiquitous choice “password.”

Seventeen years after the “greatest intelligence failure in the history of our country,” America is just as vulnerable to foreign threats, and new attacks are and will be of a cyber nature, the former Air Force officer, tech CEO and author told 57 people gathered for a Fremont Hills Country Club luncheon last week. That’s why individuals, private businesses and government agencies should take steps now to protect themselves from catastrophic information security breaches.

Awaiting approval of permits, Waymo holds forum in Los Altos Hills

Waymo
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Attendees of a Sept. 5 Waymo community forum at Los Altos Hills Town Hall marvel at one of the company’s hybrid Chrysler Pacifica vehicles, above. Allison Tran, 6, of Milpitas watches a Waymo autonomous vehicle simulation with a virtual-reality viewer during the forum. Another forum is scheduled Oct. 17 in Los Altos.

After 9 million miles traversed across 25 cities, self-driving car company Waymo is working to bring fully autonomous vehicle testing to Silicon Valley streets.

Shooting for a Strawless September: Mtn. View woman aims to reduce plastic waste

Although Bobbi Wilmoth never considered herself an activist, the Mountain View resident is on a one-woman mission to rid her city of plastic straws – one restaurant at a time.

Her Strawless September campaign is just the beginning, said Wilmoth, who is undeterred by critics who question how much of an impact the elimination of straws would have on the amount of plastic contaminating the oceans. She tells naysayers that at least it’s somewhere to start.

Stopping the stink: Los Altos Hills launches annual assault on stinkwort weed


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A cyclist pedals past stinkwort growing along Natoma Road in Los Altos Hills last week. The town has hired a pest control company to spray the invasive weed with an herbicide. The application is scheduled to start Monday and last for a few days.

Kit Gordon wrapped plastic around her prop at last month’s Los Altos Hills City Council meeting.

“If anyone wants to have a closer look – anyone in the audience – of what stinkwort is,” said Gordon, raising the bundle of spindly green vegetation Aug. 16. “I don’t know if you want to pass it around.”

Local libraries encourage residents to check out new electric bookmobile

Go Go Biblio
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Members of the Los Altos Library Endowment Board of Directors, including Bob Simon, left, examine the Go Go Biblio, a new electric-powered bookmobile Aug. 21. The $61,000 vehicle was purchased with funds from LALE.

A new bright blue and green bookmobile will soon be hitting local streets – powered by electricity. Thanks to funds from the Los Altos Library Endowment, the main and Woodland Branch libraries have one of four new electric bookmobiles in the county.

PA City Council approves $3.4M for animal shelter shared by LA, LAH

Pets In Need sign
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A sign created by Pets In Need supporters rests on a Palo Alto City Council chambers bench Aug. 27. The council last week signed off on contractual terms between the city and Pets In Need, the Redwood City-based nonprofit poised to assume operations of the struggling Palo Alto Animal Services shelter.

The audience assembled for the Aug. 27 Palo Alto City Council meeting included a crate of tiny black kittens. Asleep for most of the proceedings, the cats perked up when speaker Winter Dellenbach delivered a warning to council members.


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