High-tech pioneer, philanthropist Jack Melchor dies

Jack Melchor, a key figure in the early days of Silicon Valley and a generous benefactor to El Camino Hospital, died Sept. 5 at his Los Altos Hills home, surrounded by family. Mr. Melchor was 90.

Mr. Melchor, along with his late wife Norma, were staunch supporters of the hospital, donating millions of dollars to its operations for more than 50 years. Norma, who died in 2012, served on the hospital board for 16 years. El Camino’s Melchor Pavilion, built on land donated by the Melchors, is named in recognition of their contributions.

The Mooresville, N.C. native was an early high-tech innovator, entrepreneur and successful venture capitalist. The founder of Melabs and Hewlett-Packard Associates, Mr. Melchor pioneered the development of LEDs (light-emitting diodes) as well as microwave technologies. As a venture capitalist, he invested in 3Com, Triad Systems and Rolm.

For their collective achievements, Mr. Melchor and his wife were named the Town Crier’s Los Altans of the Year for 2007.

Watch for the full story in the Sept. 16 print edition of the Town Crier.


California releases new state testing results

The California Department of Education released the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress today. The Town Crier has compiled a graph of all local public schools showing the percentages for each grade and school of students scoring Standard Met and Standard Exceeded in the English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics tests. The graph also shows how many students at each school were tested and the percentages of English Language Learners (ELL) and Economically Disadvantaged students. 

These new online assessments were administered to local students last spring to gauge their progress in learning new, more rigorous academic Common Core standards designed to prepare them for college and careers in the 21st century.

Because 2015 is the first year of the new tests and because they are substantially different from their predecessors and serve as a baseline from which to measure future progress, state officials said they should not be compared to results from the state’s previous assessments, the Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) program.

To enlarge and read the full graph, please click on the image. For Mountain View Whisman School District results, click forward to the second image. 

For the full listing of state data, visit


West Nile fogging ends, but surveillance continues

Megan V. winslow
A West Nile virus fogging notice hangs from the door of a Los Altos home last week.

County officials last week completed fogging operations to combat the spread of West Nile virus in and around Los Altos, but surveillance is underway to determine whether additional eradication efforts are needed.

Santa Clara County Vector Control District staff will continue to set mosquito traps and test specimens they catch for the presence of West Nile virus, said Denise Bonilla, Vector Control District manager.


Los Altos steps up pedestrian safety

Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Marked crosswalks and posted crossing guards are among pedestrian safety measures currently taken at public schools throughout Los Altos.

Los Altos is officially on the path to becoming a more walkable city.

The Los Altos City Council Aug. 25 adopted the city’s inaugural Pedestrian Master Plan, a living document that provides a roadmap for improving pedestrian facilities and enhancing walking safety throughout the city.


San Antonio Hills residents seek switch to Los Altos Hills

Courtesy of san Antonio Hills Homeowners Association
A map indicates which portion of the San Antonio Hills Homeowners Association wants to switch its sphere of influence from Los Altos to Los Altos Hills.

The Los Altos Hills City Council has a warning for San Antonio Hills residents: Be careful what you wish for.

Many San Antonio Hills residents want to change their homeowners association’s sphere of influence (SOI) from Los Altos to Los Altos Hills, but doing so could ultimately lead to a forced annexation by the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), councilmembers advised at their Aug. 20 meeting.


Local art fee, fund shelved while East Bay lawsuit ensues

Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Pokey Park’s “Midnight Stomp Series,” a trio of dancing birds along the First Street Safeway frontage, is among the sculptures placed throughout Los Altos under the city’s on-loan sculpture program.

Los Altos’ potential development fee for public art is on hold while the federal court determines whether Oakland’s art mandate violates constitutional protections for property rights and free speech.

Due to the continued uncertainty, the Los Altos City Council twice postponed voting on Los Altos’ art requirement, first at its July 28 meeting and again Aug. 25.


MVPD seeks burglary suspects

Mountain View Police seek the driver and passenger of a silver or gold Honda who may be connected to a burglary on the 1000 block of Cuesta Drive.

Several items were stolen – including passports, jewelry and electronics – between noon and 3 p.m. Aug. 19, according to police. The suspects entered the home through a window.


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