Wed12172014

News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Rotary marks 25th anniversary of AIDS project

Rotary marks 25th anniversary of AIDS project


John Hammerschmidt/Special to the Town Crier
Celebrating the anniversary of the Los Altos Rotary AIDS Project are, from left, front row: Greg Hoblit, Dude Angius, Mary Prochnow and Robin Young. Back: Greg Betts, Joe Renati, Roy Lave, Bob Berka, Dic...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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Roy and Penny Lave reminisce about 50 years in Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Penny and Roy Lave share a laugh recently outside the Los Altos Community Foundation’s office on Hillview Avenue.

By Paul Nyberg

Town Crier Publisher


Roy and Penny Lave, Los Altos residents since 1964, have the rare distinction of both serving as mayors of the city. Roy’s recent retirement from the Los Altos Community Foundation, which he co-founded in 1991, and the couple’s nearly half-century of service prompted the following “e-terview,” the first in a series.

    TC: In the early 1990s, Roy, you teamed up with some others in town to form Los Altos Tomorrow, the upstart of what later became the Los Altos Community Foundation. What was the mission of the organization?
    Roy:The mission of the Los Altos Community Foundation has been all these years to build community in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and the surrounding areas. Because the term “building community” is not obvious on its face, we adopted the writings of Dr. John W. Gardner as our guide. Gardner participated in several of our events and became an honorary founder.
    Four activities support the community-building mission: sponsorship of public benefit programs; grant making to local nonprofits and scholarships to college-bound, first-in-family-to-attend-college teens; management of philanthropic funds for individuals, families and organizations; and convening the community to address opportunities and issues.
    TC: What is the foundation’s proudest achievement these past 20 years? Biggest disappointment?
    Roy: I think survival for 22 years – made possible by many regular supporters, hundreds of volunteers and talented staff members – is the proudest achievement. Many of our programs have made a difference, but maybe my favorite is E3 Youth Philanthropy, which gives teenagers training and experience in philanthropy. The most visible accomplishment is the two houses saved – the Community House and Neutra House.
    I am disappointed that I have been able to convince only approximately 600 families that the Los Altos Community Foundation is an essential ingredient in the community. I’d like it to be 6,000.

    (Note: Joe Eyre has succeeded Roy as executive director of the Los Altos Community Foundation, an appointment that meets with Roy’s hearty endorsement. Look for further comment on the transition in next week’s issue.)
    TC: You both got your start in life in the Midwest. What brought you to California, and when did you arrive?
    Penny: I grew up in Lansing, Mich., where my mother’s family lived for many generations. I attended public schools and went to Wellesley College near Boston for my freshman year, then transferred to the University of Michigan and graduated from there in 1959. I met Roy at a Big Ten student conference in Ann Arbor my junior year.
    Roy: I grew up in Homewood, Ill., a small Chicago suburb of 5,000, and attended high school five miles away in another suburb. I thought high school was terrific. When thinking about college began, my dad told me that I was getting an engineering degree followed by a master’s in business. And I did. I picked Michigan because it was close, inexpensive and had a combined engineering and business program.
    Penny: Stanford University offered Roy a fellowship for graduate work. He was still in Ann Arbor and I was living with my parents in East Lansing. Sounded good to me. We were married in June, spent our entire $6,000 of savings on a honeymoon trip and a Porsche, which we drove for 10,000 miles through Europe. We returned to the Midwest and drove an old station wagon to California in September for the start of the school year.
    Roy: California held a fascination for as long as I can remember. My mother had told me that perhaps I could go to college there. That did happen finally, thanks to Stanford and a willing spouse.
    TC: Roy, you have always been rather modest about having a doctorate from Stanford University. Why is that?
    Roy: A Ph.D. has been called the credential for teaching and research at the university level. When I was teaching and later doing contract research, the credential was relevant. It isn’t relevant for community work. I do, however, insist that my daughter and son address me as Dr. Dad.
    TC: Meanwhile, Penny was raising your two children and keeping busy in city activities. Which years did you each serve on the city council and as mayor?
    Roy: My council term was 1974 to 1982, and I served as mayor for two terms from 1976 to 1978, the last mayor before the adoption of, and perhaps the cause of, the annual rotation policy.
    Penny: I was on the city council 1985 through 1993. I served as mayor in 1989 and 1993. After both our children were in school all day, I joined the Palo Alto Junior League and became more involved. The year of the Bicentennial, Roy was the Los Altos mayor and I was Junior League president. It was a hectic but fun year.
    While the children cycled through Ford Country Day School, Covington, Egan Junior High and Los Altos High, I volunteered for school activities like the PTA. My favorite high school activity was always Grad Night, which I chaired in 1984. The children graduated in 1982 and 1984, and we found ourselves empty-nesters.
    I always enjoyed Roy’s work with the city vicariously, and after he finished his second term, I applied for the Planning Commission. I was appointed, but after several years, some folks recruited me to run for the city council and I did in 1985.
    TC: What motivated you to run for city council, Roy?
    Roy: I held elected offices in high school and at Michigan, but I had no aspirations for council membership.
    In the early 1970s, our neighborhood was activated by a proposal for development for much of the Jesuit retreat lands, and we fought the proposed development. The eventual development of townhouses rather the single-family houses was ultimately approved with the permanent dedication of a good deal of open space. A number of environmentalists then recruited me to run for the council.

    Look for part 2 of the Town Crier’s e-terview with the Laves next week, focusing on the recent changes in downtown Los Altos.


Roy and Penny Lave

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