In the latest Around Town column, news about a new Palo Alto group delivering personal protective equipment by air and a Gunn High student's online game that transports players around the world.
SOARING DEBUT ... On Sept. 19, the Palo Alto Disaster Airlift Response Team (DART) made its first flight at the city's airport since its formation this summer. The new group transported 100,000 KN95 masks plus wildland fire kits, trundle beds, shampoo, hair conditioner and other items from Santa Barbara to Eugene, Oregon to aid firefighters battling wildfire blazes. The all-day delivery mission was arranged with assistance from the larger CalDART team and in partnership with Angel Flight West, the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Air Squadron, the nonprofit Direct Relief (which provided the PPE) and Reach Out World Wide. A total of five Cessna planes were involved in the operation, according to Carol Munch, who helped form the Palo Alto group currently composed of 10 members, including representatives from the Palo Alto Airport and the city's Office of Emergency Services. "I thought this (DART) would involve both things that I'm interested in — flying and medicine," the retired physician said. I thought it was worthwhile. Somebody had to do it." Anyone interested in volunteering with the team donating PPE can contact Munch at [email protected]
NAME THAT CITY ... While the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented many people from planning a vacation to see attractions like Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty or other landmarks in and out of the U.S., a virtual game by a Gunn High School student could help people visit new places while staying at home. City Guesser, a creation by Paul McBurney Jr., 14, drops players into a video of a place and challenges them to guess the city by placing a marker on a map. "The game is pretty hard actually. You have to use the clues from the surroundings ... what language they're speaking, signs, flags, you have to utilize all those clues to figure out your location," he said. Inspired by the video game GeoGuessr, Paul started working on his own game in April, putting in an hour or two each day during his free time. The game launched in August and quickly grew popular through a post he published on Reddit that led to 16,415 unique page views. As of Sept. 29, that number grew to 92,919. To play City Guesser, visit virtualvacation.us/guess.
SPREAD POSITIVE VIBES ... As the coronavirus crisis continues to unfold at home and around the world, we want to share positive stories from our readers for upcoming Around Town columns. Have you witnessed a random act of kindness or watched the community form bonds while maintaining a safe social distance? Or have you seen a creative project come about as many stay at home? Send us your story in 250 words or fewer by email to [email protected] Photos are also welcome. We look forward to hearing your stories!