What's driving resistance to Stevens Creek Trail?: Editor's Notebook

I love the southernmost part of Los Altos near the Sunnyvale border. I’m talking about driving along Fremont Avenue past the Highway 85 intersection into Los Altos.

While not as stark a contrast as the views along University Avenue from East Palo Alto into Palo Alto, you clearly know that you’ve crossed over into a different world as the concrete sidewalks, wide streets and Highway 85 noise from the Sunnyvale side transition to picturesque, tree-lined scenery that welcomes you to Los Altos. Trees are everywhere, overhanging from both sides of the roadway as well as towering in the medians. Small, inconspicuous wooden signs mark the connecting streets like Fallen Leaf Lane, Truman Avenue and Newcastle Drive.


Departing MVLA schools chief offers thanks: Other Voices

At the end of June, I will be retiring after nine years as superintendent of the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District. These have been the best nine years of my 37-year public education career – in part because of the incredible support from the Los Altos, Mountain View and Los Altos Hills communities.


Input informs school enrollment-growth decisions: Other Voices

As the Los Altos School District has made clear, existing district facilities are not sufficient to address future enrollment. If the district is to preserve the small-school model that resulted in all local schools being ranked in the top 1 percent of California public schools, a solution is needed. Voters approved Measure N in November for just this reason, but Measure N can only be successful if our community drives the solution.

To ensure that no stone is left unturned and that all ideas are considered, the district continues to engage and collaborate with the community in innovative ways. Most recently, the district hosted a community forum April 22 at the Los Altos Youth Center. More than 100 attendees – parents, staff and other community members – participated in a process using design-thinking concepts to collect input on existing ideas and generate new ideas to address enrollment growth.


Rancho San Antonio threatened, but who cares?: Other Voices

People who enjoy Rancho San Antonio County Park better start paying attention, because the Santa Clara Valley Water District is preparing to clear-cut 100 trees and dig a useless flood basin there. This project is a colossal fraud. That it has progressed to this stage, in this educated community, is a sad commentary on our ability to hold our government agencies in check. Not every person can analyze every controversy, but our community organizations should report on important topics of interest to their members.

Neither the Committee for Green Foothills nor GreenTown Los Altos has voiced objections to the Rancho San Antonio project. I think their members should be told why. A Green Foothills spokesman stated that the organization does not concern itself with how the park will be altered as long as it remains open space. Does this reflect the view of the membership or just one official?


Hungry? Just text us: Editor's Notebook

I’ll have to admit, I found the Second Harvest Food Bank’s recent announcement of a texting option for the hungry a bit strange.

The food bank, which serves Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, launched the texting program April 15 – in English, Spanish and Vietnamese – to connect hungry families with the underused (according to the agency) CalFresh food assistance program. By texting a keyword to “97779,” families can be prescreened to begin the process of participating in the CalFresh program.


Two quiet men: From the Mayor's Desk

This month marks the fourth anniversary of the passing of my dad, Al Pepper, May 28, 2011. He was a quiet man who didn’t waste words. So when Dad spoke, we all listened. He was full of humility and integrity, super proud of his children and grandchildren, and fortunate to have a loving marriage with my mom for 62 years. He was part of the Greatest Generation that fought in World War II, came back heroes and then focused on the present and the future.


Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in the center of Redwood Grove Nature Preserve along Adobe Creek, the one-story, stucco-clad Spanish Eclectic-style house – constructed in 1923 for Theodore Vail and Emma Wright Halsey, an early Los Altos-area family – has a U-shaped plan, oak floors, hipped roofs with Spanish clay tile and sets of French doors opening onto the interior courtyard as well as the front concrete patio.


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