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?


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.


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.


The elephant on the pathway: Other Voices

Pathways in Los Altos Hills are great. I love hiking on them, and I love seeing horses on them. They allow me to exercise and get around, and the mysterious ones that teleport me from neighborhood to neighborhood by walking between homeowners’ backyards seem magical. So what’s the controversy?

We moved to Los Altos Hills 16 years ago, the last time the Pathways system was a big issue. At the time, I hadn’t had the fun of hiking the pathways that I’ve since had. In that time, though, I’ve encountered another side of the experience that was eye-opening, which was when we remodeled to add a family room and a garage. During that project, the only objectionable step was when members of the Pathways Committee hiked through our backyard to determine whether we’d have to provide an easement for a proposed future pathway, provide the easement and construct the pathway, or pay an $8,000 in-lieu fee for doing neither. It felt a little like extortion – all we wanted was a garage and a family room.


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.


Bob Grimm: The definition of love: Other Voices

Courtesy of Art Carmichael
Bob Grimm, left, and Art Carmichael, both former Los Altos councilmembers and longtime friends, flank a friend in Tanzania. Bob was injured the day after this photo was taken and died March 21.

I have been part of the Grimm family – I was adopted – for 55 years of my life. I am currently 62.

My half-brother Terry and I came to California to stay with Bob and Marion Grimm for a short period of time with the intent of giving our biological mother time to get her feet under her. This was the second time the Grimms had offered to help. During this second visit, my brother and I were playing in the neighbor’s garage and ate some poison that was used in the garden. It scared Bob and Marion to the core! This event brought deep concern for our safety, but it also brought to the attention of all involved that there are legal ramifications to administering medical help to those outside your immediate family.


Schools »

Read More

Sports »

Read More

People »

Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

Browse and buy photos