Local residents scrambled to area streets as drivers queued up in long lines behind police barricades while President Barack Obama’s motorcade traveled through Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View last week.
The President’s multiday trip to the Bay Area began with a fundraising stop at the Los Altos Hills’ home of Anne Wojcicki Thursday afternoon. In addition to an unusual flock of media stationed along Fremont Ave. garnering information on the donors in attendance at the high-dollar fundraiser at Wojcicki’s home, armed secret service members could be seen atop Gardner Bullis School according to local residents.
Prior to the president’s arrival at Moffett Field in Mountain View Thursday afternoon, police and secret service scoured the route scheduled through the Bay Area for potential threats. Approximately 20 members of the Los Altos Police Department were on duty to provide security and cordon off the President’s route from Interstate 280 to El Monte Ave., to Foothill Expressway and then Fremont Ave., for potential threats.
By 4 p.m., a cluster of approximately 100 people were gathered along the curb at the intersection of Foothill and Fremont with cellphones in hand ready to record the President’s motorcade. The five-vehicle caravan, led by police escorts, safely passed through en route to Walmart in Mountain View.
Sustainable energy practices, not shopping, focus of Walmart speech
President Obama addressed a crowd of several hundred Walmart employees, VIP guests and an almost equal number of media at the Walmart store in Mountain View Friday. He touted the new private and public sector initiatives employed to expand the use of alternative energy at Walmart. The speech referred to the Climate Assessment Report issued by the White House May 6 that stressed the growing ramifications of climate change.
Although not a single heckler or negative sign was inside the store – no item priced at more than $16 was found behind the President’s podium – the scene wasn’t quite as friendly outside the yellow tape. Signs in hand, some activists questioned the President's selection of a WalMart store to host a speech. The posters cited concerns about the hourly wages for Wal-Mart employees and asked for a wage increase for employees.
The hoopla that deterred many local residents from crossing through Los Altos and Mountain View last Thursday and Friday at regular speeds disappeared as quickly as it arrived. As of Monday morning, the normal deluge of long traffic lights and poor drivers caused the only traffic backups.
President Obama visits Mountain View Walmart store - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
President Obama's motorcade rolls through Los Altos - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier