Wed11262014

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City kicks off road resurfacing project


Town Crier file photo
The Public Arts Commission has proposed moving the bust of Walter Singer from Community Plaza to another site in the city.

Los Altos’ annual street resurfacing and asphalt repair project is scheduled to kick off Monday.

Los Altos Public Works Director Jim Gustafson told the Town Crier that the multiphase annual project – at a cost of approximately $768,000 – is expected to be completed by December. He noted that the project is slightly more robust compared with past years, when economic uncertainty at the state government level forced city officials to take a more conservative approach to maintenance expenses.

Work will require some temporary street closures and parking restrictions on affected streets between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. Work on streets with schools will be limited to between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Residents in the area will receive 48-hour advance notice of any planned work.

According to a city staff report, several residential road segments are slated for the repair and sealing process. The work, Gustafson said, includes removal and replacement of 4-inch-deep pavement, followed by separate applications of rubberized asphalt chip and slurry seals.

Street segments slated to receive the three-phase work include two segments of Fallen Leaf Lane (between Jones Lane and Fremont Avenue, and a portion between Havenhurst and Ravenswood drives); Holt and Middleton avenues (ending at Austin Avenue); Morton Avenue (to Newcastle Drive); Truman Avenue (between Oak and Fremont avenues); Altamead Drive (between Carmel Terrace and Grant Road); Gordon Avenue (between Hillview and Hawthorne avenues); and Higgins Avenue (between Almond and El Monte avenues).

Gustafson added that a handful of other residential street segments are earmarked for single-phase repair work – the removal and replacement of 4-inch-deep asphalt. Those street segments include Miramonte Avenue (from Eastwood Drive to the city’s boundary with Mountain View near Alegre Avenue); Cuesta Drive (between San Antonio Road and El Monte Avenue); and El Monte Avenue (from the city’s boundary with Mountain View near El Camino Real to the Springer Road/El Monte intersection).

For more information, visit losaltosca.gov.

Commissions discuss relocating Singer bust

A Los Altos commission is floating the idea of relocating the Walter Singer bust – currently in Community Plaza – to another site in the city.

Public Arts Commission Chairwoman Maddy McBirney said her city-appointed group is exploring the possibility of eventually relocating the bust to make the plaza – at the intersection of Main and State streets – a more open and accessible space that could include interactive public art. Since-deceased artist Ingrid Jackson McDonald donated the Singer bust to the city.

“It’s more of a discussion at this point than anything,” said McBirney, who plans to present the idea to the Los Altos City Council in the near future.

Singer was a Los Altos Rotarian and downtown business owner who revealed in 1989 that he contracted HIV from a tainted blood transfusion during surgery. Singer’s announcement came mere months after then-Rotary President Dushan “Dude” Angius shared his son’s struggles with AIDS. Known as “Mr. Los Altos” in some circles, Singer died in 1992. The revelations by Angius and Singer fueled the club’s establishment of the Los Altos Rotary AIDS Project – a bid to promote awareness of the disease through education.

McBirney last week presented to the Los Altos Parks and Recreation Commission the idea of moving the bust, and its members voted 5-0 in support of her recommendation. During the meeting, longtime Los Altos Rotarian Sam Harding said he didn’t believe the service club would object to the bust’s relocation.

“There are no objections to moving it,” he said.

McBirney noted that moving the bust isn’t a new concept. She said the 2012 Los Altos Parks Plan includes a recommendation to move the bust to “expand the openness” of the plaza, last reconfigured more than 20 years ago. The plan also calls for the eventual reconfiguration of the plaza itself.

“This is about place-making and public art,” she said of her approach.

McBirney cautioned that talks are merely in the “idea stage,” adding that any final decision is at the will of the Los Altos City Council. She added that while her commission has discussed a potential new location for the bust, none has been finalized.

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