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.


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.”


Letters to the Editor

Coyote preservation called into question

A recent article in the Town Crier alluded to increased coyote activity in the Los Altos Hills area (“Drought may cause increased coyote activity,” July 2). It also cites an increase in the number of domestic pets likely killed by coyotes. Then it describes how the town of Los Altos Hills has installed “Coyote Advisory – No Dogs Allowed” signs in Byrne Preserve to allow the coyotes to nurture their cubs in peace.

It would seem that the town is trying to assist the successful propagation of more coyotes at Byrne Preserve, which in effect will result in the death of more house pets on adjacent properties. This sounds similar to the “do-gooders” who successfully reintroduced wolves into Yellowstone Park and then showed surprise when the elk and cattle herds nearby were decimated.


Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place to live and there is much to offer, but we are feeling like we need a little more breathing room.

I will miss the shops in town where the owners are hardworking people who truly care about their customers, regardless of the contents of their wallets – shops like Present on Main Street and Cranberry Scoop on State Street. I will miss the family-run restaurants where the owners are there to show appreciation to their patrons, many of whom they know by name. And I don’t know who I will trust to work on my car like I trust Jeff and Eric at Reitmeir’s on First Street.


Pools should be included: Editorial

Los Altos residents should be receiving calls this week from city representatives conducting a survey to determine priorities for a revamped Hillview Community Center.

Notice that we did not say “civic center” – chastened by a lack of public support, the city abandoned its original plans for overhauling the entire 18-acre site. Still, the “change area” under discussion does include the soccer and baseball fields, the youth center and the police station, in addition to the community center buildings.


Build new schools in Mtn. View: Other Voices

It is clear that we need some major real estate decisions regarding Los Altos School District schools so that they can support our community’s increasing enrollment.


Guest workers: No Shoes, Please

Last month, I hired a housecleaner for the first time in my entire life, and a good friend of mine exclaimed to me, “Oh, Gracie, you’re going to LOVE it!”

Truth be told, I really don’t. But that isn’t to suggest that this new relationship is anything to complain about. Margit, who cleans my home twice a month, is efficient, attentive and cooperative. She comes with high-quality, eco-friendly cleaning products. She arrives on time, does a good job and leaves in a friendly manner. Basically, she’s a good egg.


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