Sat09202014

Summer thumbs for your consideration

Summer is here, and we’re all thumbs:

Thumbs-up: To members of the Peninsula Symphony, who persevered through a rocky season marked by the apparent betrayal of their trusted executive director, Stephen Carlton. Carlton is currently in custody, charged with embezzling nearly all of the symphony’s savings. But symphony supporters held true to the old adage that the show must go on. They pitched in and managed to perform all of their scheduled concerts this season, including the free concert last Saturday in Los Altos. It’s good to know that the 65-year-old Peninsula Symphony is still going strong.

Thumbs-down: To the closure of one of Los Altos’ favorite hangouts, The Boardwalk. For 38 years, the restaurant and sports bar was the perfect meeting place for local youth teams celebrating after a game and sports fans cheering on their teams. Its shuttering reminds some that the Los Altos of old is fading away – a Los Altos that was more down to earth and less gentrified, less pretentious and more informal – like the atmosphere at Tthe Boardwalk. It’s an atmosphere that will be missed.

Thumbs-down: To this month’s discussion among members of the Los Altos Hills City Council about cutting the town’s community service grants program. The council allocated approximately $30,000 this year – less than 1 percent of its budget, and $21,000 less than last year – to nonprofit organizations like Hidden Villa, Friends of Deer Hollow Farm and the Community Services Agency. Councilwoman Courtenay C. Corrigan raises a valid philosophical point about the town “giving away taxpayer money.” But cities are about providing services for their residents, even services provided indirectly through a nonprofit agency. True, a minority of town residents benefit from Deer Hollow Farm, but a minority of residents use the Little League fields, too. Is that a reason to discontinue funding? We see the program as a good investment in building a healthy overall community. Los Altos Hills does not operate in isolation.

Thumbs-up: To the dynamic duo of the Rev. Mark Bollwinkel and his wife, Bonnie. After serving Los Altos United Methodist Church and the community at large for 15 years, the Bollwinkels are relocating to Carmel next month. We think it’s safe to say that you could not meet two nicer, more caring people than Mark and Bonnie. We wish them the best going forward.

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