Those lazy, crazy thumbs of summer: Editorial

We just passed the longest day of the year (we know this because the Los Altos Community Foundation held its Summer Solstice party last week), but many long, hot, lazy summer days lie ahead. There’s also plenty to look back on. So, using our thumbs, we offer yet another review of recent local happenings.

Thumbs-up – and -down: To the city of Los Altos, for its handling of the current phase of the First Street construction project. On the one hand, we praise the city for its swift response in addressing merchants’ concerns about the lack of access caused by trenches between business frontages and the street. Following a letter of complaint from a business owner, city officials immediately directed the contractor to fill in the sidewalk and driveway access in front of the Silicon Valley Mediation Group and California Automotive. On the other hand, the lack of direction to the contractor on how to prioritize the work is what left these businesses frustrated in the first place.

Thumbs-up: To the city of Los Altos, for sponsoring its highly entertaining Summer Concert Series. Thumbs-up also to the Peninsula Symphony, whose administrative offices are in Los Altos, for its rousing June 15 concert at Hillview Soccer Field and for continuing to participate in the series each year. The city offers additional concerts free, folks, so grab a lawn chair and head out to Hillview or Grant Park Thursday evenings through early August.

Thumbs-up: To organizers of and participants in the 10th annual Relay For Life of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, held June 15-16 at Egan Junior High School. While this year’s attendance and fundraising total for the American Cancer Society topped last year’s, they were nowhere near the $600,000 raised at the event’s peak in 2007 – right before the economy tanked. We would love to see the event return to its former glory, because cancer remains a major threat.

Fond farewells: To our old Safeway supermarket on First Street – a crew demolished the structure, built circa 1967, last week to make way for a new market twice its size; to Roy Lave, who officially leaves his longtime post as executive director of the Los Altos Community Foundation July 4; and to plastic grocery bags, which are prohibited when the city’s reusable bag ordinance takes effect July 4.

Finally, a wish, to all residents of this enriched sector of Silicon Valley, for a safe summer, if traveling, and for many kick-back days on the beach, at Lake Tahoe or in your own back yard.

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