Wed03042015

News

Council considers freezing First St. development

Council considers freezing First St. development


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A pedestrian walks along First Street in downtown Los Altos last week. Future construction on the street could soon be barred by an emergency moratorium on development.

Further construction along First Street could be t...

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Schools

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Former NFL tight end Eason Ramson visited with Blach Intermediate School students, Feb. 13 to share the perils of drug use. Now a motivational speaker, Ramson works with at-risk teens in San Francisco.

Although former ...

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Community

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts


Palmer

When the thriving Music for Minors began to outgrow its capacity, the local nonprofit organization made new friends.

Beginning in late February, Music for Minors – a Town Crier Holiday Fund recipient – partnered with Harvard Business Sch...

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Comment

Dangerous streets: A Piece of My Mind

I’m driving along El Monte Avenue between Foothill Expressway and Springer Road at approximately 6 p.m. on a midwinter evening. In keeping with the “village feeling” of our town, there are no sidewalks and no streetlights.

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Special Sections

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March


Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Oven fries, a slice of feta cheese and the bite of harissa mayonnaise make for a late-winter, early-spring dinner perfectly paired with Cabernet Franc.

I can’t help but wonder whether March will come in ...

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Business

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year


Above Photo by Alicia Castro/Town Crier; Below Rendering Courtesy of SST inc.
Robert Showen, above, the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Lawyers Association’s Inventor of the Year, began researching his ShotSpotter technology in his Los A...

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Books

French novel

French novel "Hunting and Gathering" offers character-driven suspense


Anna Gavalda is a well-known author in her native France, where she has published six books, most of which have met with considerable praise and commercial success. Her fourth novel, “Hunting and Gathering” (Riverhead Books, 2007), is filled ...

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People

HELEN KNOFLOCH

HELEN KNOFLOCH

Aug. 14, 1920 – Feb.12, 2015

Resident of Cupertino

Helen Knofloch, 94, loving wife and devoted mother passed away on Feb. 12th. She was born in Vienna, Austria and moved to Los Altos in 1949, where she met Andy, the love of her life. They resided...

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Travel

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon public recreation space, above, features an elevated pedestrian bridge.

Seoul, South Korea, is a study in contrasts. Having grown quickly, the city is a mix of old and new.

Using...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’


Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Jason Bowen, from left, Adam Poss and Nilanjana Bose star in “The Lake Effect,” opening this weekend at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto and running through March 29.

The TheatreWorks production ...

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Spiritual Life

Is your thought life sabotaging your spiritual journey?

My computer started having problems – there seemed to be some sort of malware running in the background. At first it was just annoying, then it began to slow down my computer, interfering with its basic operations. What is it doing? Why can...

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Magazine

Local events serve up family fun

Local events serve up family fun


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Pecos Bill: A Tall Tale” is slated to open March 20 in Mountain View.

For families seeking a break from the daily routine, events abound this month and next in Los Alto...

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LETTERS OF JULY 23, 2003

LA council should help stop reservoir plans

Following up on John Rossi's recent letter to the editor, we want to express our frustration over the Los Altos City Council's total lack of opposition regarding Mountain View's proposed water reservoir project to be built in our Los Altos neighborhood.

In addition to expanding the existing 1-million-gallon underground reservoir to 2 million gallons, they want to build a new 3-million-gallon, above-ground reservoir 50 feet away from our property line.

Our main concerns are:

1. The safety issue of having a total of 5 million gallons of water next to our homes in earthquake country.

2. The significant loss of our property values. Who will buy a home next to such a hazardous project?

3.The pollution, noise, traffic problems and other disturbances during the expected two-year construction period.

Since the city of Mountain View owns the 5-acre reservoir site located in Los Altos, officials feel they can do as they please with their property without regard for the Los Altos neighbors.

To our disappointment, our own city council has not given us any support in our opposition of the project. We wonder if they would feel differently if they were our next-door neighbors.

Susan and Les Besser

Los Altos

Rosita pool facts skewed

As the truth about the Rosita Pool situation is becoming distorted, there are several things the residents of Los Altos should know. The Rosita Neighborhood Coalition is an organization consisting of about 100 separate properties near Rosita Park. Many of the members have lived in the neighborhood for 30 years or more.

The Coalition met with every councilmember to convince them to conduct an appropriate environmental study prior to their decision to proceed with the aquatic complex. When the city council elected to adopt a mitigated negative declaration, the coalition was reluctantly left with no other option than to seek legal action to force the city to conduct an appropriate environmental study. The Coalition used the Citizen's Guide to the California Environmental Quality Act as the basis for their action and made this information available to the council prior to their decision.

The coalition is well aware of the impact of a self-supporting swimming facility upon a neighborhood. When the city operated the old Covington pool as a true community pool, the impact upon the neighborhood was negligible. When Los Altos Masters took over self-sustaining operation of the pool, the associated increase in noise, traffic, lighting and in some cases, parking generated a significant impact upon the neighborhood.

Knowing full well the potential impact of a single pool at Rosita Park, the coalition twice offered to accept a single pool. Prior to the court hearing, the coalition offered a single pool option to the city council. The council summarily rejected the single pool offer and opted to proceed with the lawsuit rather than discuss operating parameters of a single pool, which would be much closer to several residences than the old Covington pool. After the court decision, the city council and the coalition once again tried to reach a settlement.

The coalition offered the single pool option, but the council rejected that offer without discussing operating parameters and proceeded with their appeal of the court decision.

The coalition has been accused of wasting taxpayers' dollars to prepare a full environmental impact report. On June 13, 2000, the same city council as we now have voted to accept a proposal wherein SPLASH would pay for the design and construction of a swimming pool facility. Recently, the council voted to fund the cost of an environmental impact report using taxpayer funds. Since, as Councilman Becker noted, according to prior agreements, SPLASH should pay for the preparation of the report, the council is responsible for wasting taxpayer dollars and not the coalition.

The coalition strongly supports swimming in Los Altos and recognizes the importance of teaching children to swim, providing adult swimming activities, and availing the residents with the option of drop-in, open swimming during the summer months.

The coalition stands ready to accept a single pool at Rosita Park that is operated such that it will have an acceptable impact upon the neighborhood.

Roy Presley

Los Altos

Rosita tax income

lost with pool use

It takes a lot of chutzpah for the present city council to complain that litigation by the Rosita Neighborhood Coalition is costing the taxpayers money.

This is the city council that overturned that action of the previous council which would have permitted the building of 24 homes on the property now known as Rosita Park. These homes would have provided tax income for the city for years to come.

Instead this present council has spent over half a million dollars to acquire the acreage and an unknown sum of several thousand more to turn it into a sports complex. If the commercial plans for an aquatic development do not over time prove to be self supporting, Los Altos taxpayers will be saddled with the pool complex's upkeep and maintenance for years to come.

This is a big switch from income to the taxpayers to an ongoing cost of thousands for the acquisition, development and upkeep of Rosita "Park."

As I say, it takes a lot of chutzpah.

S.J. Devine

Los Altos

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