LAH officials remain vigilant a year after Byrne Preserve fire

Mountain Fire
Sarah Robustelli/Special to the Town Crier
Smoke billows into the air from a July 20, 2017, brush fire in Los Altos Hills’ Byrne Preserve. The 5-acre fire, ignited by a lawnmower that struck a rock, is known as the Mountain Fire. Sarah Robustelli took this photo from Westwind Community Barn.

Among the flurry of Mountain Fire updates Sarah Robustelli received en route to the July 20, 2017, blaze was a FaceTime session revealing the problem at hand as a mere cloud of smoke.

“It was incredible because it seemed like nothing at the time, but I knew due to the conditions, ‘nothing’ can be serious quite quickly,” said Robustelli, Los Altos Hills community services supervisor.

Vintage album discovered at LAH Town Hall finds a home

Deborah Padovan Jitze Couperus Maria Murtagh
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos Hills City Clerk Deborah Padovan, above, from left, and town History Committee member Jitze Couperus reunite Daly City resident Maria Murtagh with a vintage photo album once owned by her grandfather, Augusto Leonida Galdieri.

Maria Galdieri Murtagh thought the letter was a scam.

“To Whom It May Concern: We are looking for any descendants of (Augusto) Galdieri, who apparently owned a Pharmacy in San Francisco in the early 1900’s or any of his three children.”

But then Murtagh noticed her own face staring back at her among the envelope’s contents.

“I was shocked to turn the page over and see my high school graduation picture,” she said.

Clyde Noel: Fun-loving 'man on the street' was avid local volunteer

Clyde Noel loved telling a good story and sharing a conspiratorial laugh. The retired sporting-goods salesman had a passion for people, a devotion he parlayed into a second career as a volunteer, full-time roving reporter for the Town Crier.

Mr. Noel, an energetic, colorful personality who donated his time and money to numerous local nonprofit groups, died June 21 after a short illness. He was 96.

Summer blood need runs high at Stanford

A spate of heart operations and an organ transplant at Stanford Hospital prompted the university’s blood center to issue an urgent call for O+ donors last week.

donating blood
Howard Bischoff/Town Crier
Stanford Blood Center called for O+ donors last week after a series of operations and a transplant depleted its blood center’s supply.

The crisis passed as donors heeded the call in a matter of days, but the “heat map” of most-needed blood types continued to show shifting shortages that can track with individual patients.

'Cradle of Liberty' inspires gratitude, call to action

Cradle of Liberty ceremony
Ishaan Parmar/Special to the Town Crier
Former Los Altos Mayor Frank Verlot, standing, master of ceremonies for the July 4 “Cradle of Liberty” statute anniversary event, speaks to the crowd gathered at Shoup Park in Los Altos.

The solemn statue of a soldier with a baby, nestled under a canopy of trees at Shoup Park, served as inspiration for a special July 4 program celebrating America’s freedoms and gratitude for veterans.

Lots of Love drives MV's efforts to curb homelessness

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The city of Mountain View is experiencing an uptick in RVs parked along main roads, such as Shoreline Boulevard, above. Police spokeswoman Katie Nelson said she “definitely noticed” more long-term parkers and noted that officers had received complaints from cyclists whose lanes were blocked by RVs.

Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Joe Simitian has a big dream: developing long-term, systemic solutions to end homelessness in the county.

He knows that realistically, results are going to come slowly, with collaboration, but his fellow supervisors and other community leaders are making his vision a reality, one project at a time.

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