07292016Fri
Last updateWed, 27 Jul 2016 10am

Appropriate name change for plaza

The Los Altos City Council did the right thing, albeit with a 3-2 vote, in electing to add the word “Veterans” to the downtown Community Plaza at Main and State streets.

The July 12 action caps a successful campaign, led by the Rotary Club of Los Altos, to rename the small plaza in honor of local veterans who served through the generations, from World War II to Afghanistan. Some died protecting our freedoms. Those who remain will surely feel appreciation for the citywide recognition.


Pay now or pay later: Editorial

As we head into the 2016-2017 fiscal year, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View are reflecting the current healthy economy with healthy budgets.

An increase in property taxes, which account for much of the local budgets, has Los Altos filling positions left vacant since the 2008 recession. Mountain View is hiring an additional 24 staffers to handle the deluge of projects accompanying the city’s phenomenal growth.

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Downtown Los Altos Farmers’ Market is slated to open 4 p.m. Thursday along State Street. It runs every Thursday through September. It’s an opportunity to shop for fresh produce and meet friends.

Land purchase the best LASD solution: Editorial

Los Altos School District trustees were expected Monday night to sign off on the purchase of a property at 5150 El Camino Real in Los Altos. The 4-acre site is being eyed as the new location for Bullis Charter School and its 900 students.

The action caps a frustrating 18-month search by district officials to find suitable property in one of the most expensive regions in the country. The high cost of land limits the district to purchasing one site when two would be ideal, despite access to $150 million under the Measure N bond, approved by voters in 2014.

Los Altos at a leadership crossroads: Editorial

Don’t look now, but there could be some major changes ahead regarding how the Los Altos city government is run.

The current city council has the opportunity to hire a new city manager in the wake of Marcia Somers’ recent resignation. Furthermore, three open seats on the five-seat council are up for grabs in the Nov. 8 General Election. Voters can opt for a new council majority that may translate to new leadership and direction at city hall.

Oh, behave!: Editorial

It’s a good thing the young historical essay contest winners and Girl Scouts recognized at the beginning of the May 10 Los Altos City Council meeting didn’t stay for the duration. They would have witnessed a poor example of civic engagement at a meeting marred by needless drama and dysfunctional leadership.

First, the approval of a resolution disbanding the city’s downtown parking committee over Brown Act (the state’s open meetings law) violations drew protests from both committee members and their opponents, chiefly two former Los Altos mayors, Ron Packard and David Casas. Their group, Friends of Los Altos, raised the Brown Act violations and triggered a third-party investigation. The arbiter agreed that there were violations and recommended disbanding the committee. However, the arbiter also ruled that the city could use the information the committee gathered as part of the public process for creating a downtown parking plan. That didn’t sit well with Casas and Packard, both of whom issued threatening responses (Casas: “Tonight is not the end of this saga – this is not going to go away.” And Packard: “We did not threaten to sue the city, although tonight we’re coming close to it.”). View the webcast at losaltosca.gov to see for yourself.

Spring has sprung – (mostly) thumbs-up!: Editorial

Spring is here, and so are some Town Crier takes on recent local happenings.

Thumbs-up (?): To local elected officials partnering with U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo to apply pressure on the Federal Aviation Administration to reroute flights that travel directly over Los Altos. It’s unclear how much influence Santa County Supervisor Joe Simitian, Los Altos Hills City Councilman Gary Waldeck and Los Altos City Councilman Jean Mordo will have in the effort to thwart flight patterns. But their involvement, along with the congresswoman’s, acknowledges that they are taking the thousands of noise complaints from residents seriously. We, like they, anxiously anticipate an acceptable FAA response to the matter.


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