Thu04242014

The mysterious force in Los Altos: The Rockey Road

Shh ... it’s a secret. No it isn’t! I recently read a story in another paper asking if Google cash were behind the Los Altos downtown makeover and why. My first thought was, “Who cares?” We are an intelligent group in a small town where it is very difficult to keep secrets, and we can do the math.But is it necessary? Don’t we have other things to do?

If someone wants to bring vibrancy to our sleepy town, anonymously, then let them and stop talking about it. I’m tired of reading about this, yet here I am writing about it, but only to point out the ridiculousness of it all. Not long ago, before Passerelle Investment Co. blew into town, residents were complaining because downtown was drab and shutting down before sunset. Our storefronts were dated and we had too few restaurants from which to choose. Lease rates were so high that it was next to impossible for small businesses to pop up a shop and find out if we wanted what they had to offer. Now, it’s difficult to find parking because things are beginning to bustle, and that’s a good thing, as Martha Stewart would say.

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Let's reflect innovative spirit in community spaces: Other Voices

Following is an open letter to the Los Altos City Council.

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Downtown success comes with growing pains: Editor's Notebook

An ideal downtown achieves great balance through destination stores, no-hassle parking, special events and open space. It offers something for the young, the old and the in-between. Achieving that balance is difficult as downtown Los Altos grows and changes. There’s been a recent uptick in interest and business with the improving economy. But efforts leading to that uptick bother some of the old-timers who remember the downtown as a quaint little “village.”

The sounds of construction and the resulting steel framework serve notice that First Street between Main Street and Edith Avenue will never be the same. The new construction is good news, in one respect. People have an interest in investing downtown, which means the downtown is popular again. The downside is that Los Altos is becoming less and less a village. The smallness and quaintness of the area brought with it a sense of security, community and convenience. Visitors could usually park right in front of their favorite stores.

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Letters to the Editor

What would improve quality of life?

We ask fellow Los Altos residents: What would most increase your quality of life in Los Altos? A community swimming pool? An upgraded theater? A state-of-the-art senior center? Quality child care? Something else?

Now is the time to make your priorities known to the Los Altos City Council, which is holding public meetings to solicit input on the design for a new community center. The features of the new center are yet to be determined, but it is already clear that the council will have tough choices to make about what is included and what is left out. Your opinions can only be considered if you participate in the process.

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Letters to the Editor

Enforce pedestrian violations

Kurt Ayers made excellent points in his March 19 letter (“Address Main & Second before it’s too late”). I totally agree and support his position.

He accurately describes a “pedestrian blatantly in the center of a crosswalk” and other offenses relating to “Driving While Stupid” (DWS), and space likely limited his including jaywalking (JWS?), stop-sign crashes by cyclists, skateboarding – and the list goes on.

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Excavating a life: A Piece of My Mind

My husband’s mother, known to friends and family as “Dimi,” died at age 102. I went with my husband to help arrange funeral services and reacquaint ourselves with family. We stayed in his boyhood bedroom in his mother’s abandoned house in Pennsylvania.

The house had been rented for a year to a family connection, who had used the first floor. Nearly all Dimi’s belongings had been moved to the second floor. They included a couple of bedrooms’ worth of furniture, a couple of closets full of her clothes, plus boxes and baskets of documents, oddments, gewgaw and bric-a-brac.

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Birthday greetings

In the third grade, kids called me the “Earth Trumbler.” “Trumbler” is a combination of the words “tremble” and “rumble,” and the claim was that I was so fat, the ground did both when I walked. Although several classmates used the term, the boy who coined it, David, addressed me that way more often and with relish.

That particular year, I was sick on my birthday. However, my mother had already baked cupcakes the night before, so she sent them to school anyway via my older sister.

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