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Letters to the Editor

Complaints about changes unwarranted

I think that the constant complaining about the hard work, economic investment and growth in Los Altos is so unwarranted.

Having traveled across the western parts of our country this summer, I saw many towns that have not changed since the 1950s. They were sad places to be – stagnant, historical maybe, but with little benefit for their community.

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Really, why the, eh, consolidation?

The recent merger (consolidation?) of the newly formed Friends of Los Altos (FOLA) and the 14-year-old civic organization Los Altos Neighborhood Network (LANN) left us puzzled.

A July 28 press release, which did not state plainly that the merger folded LANN into FOLA, gave the vague reason that the deal was in the “best interests of the community.” In fact, the move appears to be in the best interests of three former Los Altos councilmen, David Casas, Ron Packard and Lou Becker. Members of both boards, the three essentially made the merger happen.

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Letters to the Editor

With more people come more changes

The July 15 Town Crier featured a letter (titled “Column on construction garners support”) bemoaning the tall, ugly buildings sitting too close to the sidewalks and the loss of village character in Los Altos and Palo Alto.

I, too, am unhappy to see this take place. But as one who grew up in Morgan Hill, Sausalito, Berkeley, Los Gatos and Los Altos Hills since 1947 (and with many years also in Massachusetts and Texas), I have seen vast changes, all predominantly the result of many, many more people – all needing a place to live and work.

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Urbanization of downtown Los Altos could be good

I was on a cycling tour of England with 25 Boy Scouts. We entered a charming town in the Cotswolds and parked our bikes in the small town center. I commented, “This sure is a nice little town.” A nearby lady responded, “And it used to be quiet.”

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What Los Altos needs – a good downhome diner: A Piece of My Mind

From what I saw on our recent back-roads trip across the country, the United States has not become one homogenized culture from East to West – it only looks that way from the interstates. And though California has harvested much of the best of the East in creating a mix of cuisines, traditions and cultures we call Californian, we did leave a few good things out. One of the missing pieces: the diner.

The classic diner was a castoff railroad diner car, clad in aluminum outside and featuring big windows so that you could monitor passersby, a tiny kitchen, red-vinyl upholstered booths and a red Formica counter trimmed in aluminum, with red-vinyl upholstered stools along the counter. To the joy of children everywhere, the stools could spin. Fortunately, the diner also had waitresses of a certain age, who might be named Edna or Mildred or Gertie, but who could be counted on to tell children (and their parents, too) to stop fooling around and eat their vegetables.

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You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone

For the past four years, I’ve returned to Los Altos for the summer. As a college student on the East Coast, I relished my annual escape from the heavy, humid weather of New England and looked forward to returning to my hometown. Yet these homecomings have never quite been a return to the normal, and they have certainly never been a return to the past.

In some ways, this is due to the fact that I myself am changing. Distance always provides perspective, and my time away from home has certainly done that. In other ways, it’s due to the fact that Los Altos itself has changed. The revitalization of the downtown area that has occurred since I left in 2010 has been noticeable, and it’s exciting to see a bit of the change that in my childhood was only the subject of parental sideline conversations at Hillview soccer games.

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Letters to the Editor

Resident offers wish list for Los Altos

I have a wish. Before the Los Altos City Council crowns any more Tech Royalty with permits to transform downtown Los Altos, I wish that our council would cast its attention to the outlying business areas in our small city.

For example, over the years, Loyola Corners and Woodland Acres have been promised changes in traffic flow, master plans, bridge repairs and business-friendly assistance. None of these needs or plans has been addressed. Instead, we are encouraged to travel downtown to struggle to find a place to park and admire some newcomer’s idea of living in “The Village.”

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