City out to mitigate storm damage

The recent rains in Los Altos have not presented any major problems so far, city officials indicated, but public works crews have been working hard to limit damage.

"The maintenance crews have been on storm patrol since the rains started," said City Manager Marcia Somers.  "This includes doing rotational reviews throughout town checking any 'hotspots' that have caused problems in previous storms and generally keeping an eye on what’s happening throughout the city."  

Somers said crews did preparatory work making sure storm drains were clear prior to the start of the rainy weather which helps to keep the storm water flowing.  With the late leaf drop and recent higher winds, crews continue to work on clearing drain inlets.  "This activity will be conducted on an ongoing basis while the rains continue," Somers said.

The city of Los Altos provides a complimentary sandbag station to help residents protect property from flooding during the rainy season. The self-serve station is located in the parking lot of McKenzie Park. The station is accessible daily and will remain open through the end of the season.

Bags, sand and shovels are provided. For more information, call (650) 947-2785 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Local retailers see holiday sales surge along with staffing pressure

Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Shops like Cover Story received an early Christmas gift with the news that business is booming in downtown Los Altos.

The annual Holiday Stroll shopping event downtown Nov. 14 inspired unusually packed streets as local shoppers turned out in greater numbers than previous years, possibly spurred by the event falling later in the year this year, the mild weather and – some merchants hazarded – publicity in advance of the event.

“The only thing we did differently was a postcard,” said Ellen Biolsi, owner of Cranberry Scoop on State Street, of how organically the Los Altos Village Association-sponsored event has grown.


LA council approves installation of two new sculptures

Photos Courtesy of City of Los Altos
The Los Altos City Council approved the installation of “Dancing Moon Rollers,” left, at the corner of West Edith and Los Altos avenues. It also green-lighted the installation of “Jazzy” in front of 127 First St. Both sculptures are slated for installation in early 2015.

The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new sculptures in the downtown triangle.

The council voted 4-1 Nov. 25 for the installation of “Jazzy” by artist Marie-Pierre Philippe-Lohezic in front of 127 First St. As part of its vote, the council also approved the installation of “Dancing Moon Rollers” by artist Reven Marie Swanson at the northwest corner of Los Altos and West Edith avenues.


Council extends medical-office parking moratorium

Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week extended a moratorium on parking for new, relocating or expanding medical businesses, such as those on Altos Oaks Drive.

The Los Altos City Council Nov. 25 voted unanimously in favor of extending a parking moratorium on medical businesses in the city.

The vote came after the September approval of a 45-day freeze that would prohibit the relocation, expansion or development of new facilities while city staff reviewed the various parking demands by medical businesses. Existing facilities are not affected by the moratorium.


LA City Council Briefs

The Los Altos City Council took the following actions at its Nov. 25 meeting.

Council moves forward with downtown survey

The council unanimously approved conducting a new resident survey on downtown Los Altos.


Police Blotter

Los Altos man arrested for child pornography

Los Altos Police last week arrested 68-year-old Los Altos resident Edward Voorhees Jr. for alleged possession of child pornography.

According to Sgt. Mark Bautista, officials from the Santa Clara County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force contacted Los Altos Police last year after they learned that someone in the city had downloaded “harmful matter depicting persons under the age of 18 in a sexual manner.”


VTA plans for El Camino Real prompt skepticism

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Valley Transit Authority proposal to convert general-use right lanes on El Camino Real to bus-only use received a chilly reception last week.

A Valley Transit Authority proposal that prioritizes public transit along El Camino Real drew a largely skeptical reaction from residents who spoke at one of two public hearings last week.


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