Los Altos affordable housing program could see changes

The Los Altos City Council directed staff March 10 to pursue means of supporting – and possibly altering – the city’s affordable housing program.

The city currently has 149 below-market-rate (BMR) living units: 105 multiple-family living units – apartments, condominiums and townhouses – and 44 affordable second-living units, usually considered small, backyard dwellings.


Bob Grimm remembered as heart of Los Altos

Town Crier File Photo
Bob Grimm – pictured in 2011 – nurtured Los Altos' civic life from parades to elections. He was the man-behind-scenes, patiently keeping the books and tending the floats.

If it was a worthy cause, Robert Grimm was always there to help.

The former Los Altos mayor and retired Hewlett-Packard Co. executive quietly volunteered in many capacities inside and outside Los Altos, over many decades and in many ways.


MV light rail station closed, to be demolished

The Evelyn Light Rail Station is no more. The Mountain View station closed Monday as crews began removing fixtures and other items for reuse prior to demolition.

According to the overseeing agency, Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), the station will be demolished in advance of a second light rail track being built between the Mountain View and Whisman stations.

VTA officials said lane closures on eastbound Central Expressway are likely most weekdays and evenings. Daytime lane closures are typically 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nighttime lane closures are typically 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. Vehicle and bike lane closures on westbound Evelyn Avenue will be in place at times.

The purpose of this project, according to the VTA, is to eliminate the current bottle neck caused by the single track operation in this area of Mountain View and provide storage space to stage multiple vehicles to service future BART service and special events at Levi’s Stadium. Officials are eyeing a December completion date.

"We need that track for the Super Bowl," said Brandi Childress, VTA media spokesperson. "Demolition (of the station) definitely is the first order of business."

Levi's Stadium is the scheduled home of Super Bowl L, taking place in February 2016.

For more information, call (408) 321-7575 or visit This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Multi-county car pursuit ends in Los Altos Hills with crash

A multi-county vehicle pursuit that blocked traffic on Interstate 280 for more than an hour Tuesday (March 17) ended in Los Altos Hills when the driver's SUV overturned on the freeway, according to California Highway Patrol reports.

No injuries were reported during the incident, but suspect Ramon Bernal of Davis was transported to Stanford Medical Center as a precautionary procedure. The 24-year-old was later booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail on charges of felony evasion of a peace officer and driving under the influence of drugs, according to CHP Officer Ross Lee.

The chase began near Vacaville at approximately 2 p.m. when a CHP officer observed Bernal's gold Nissan Pathfinder speeding westbound on Interstate 80, near Interstate 505. The officer attempted a traffic stop, according to CHP reports, but Bernal ¬ – the sole occupant of the vehicle – failed to yield. He continued driving at speeds between 80 and 95 mph onto Interstate 680 southbound, where a spike strip deflated the SUV's tires, and then onto 280 northbound.

By the time Bernal reached 280 near Magdalena Avenue, the SUV's tires had disintegrated to the point that the front of the vehicle came in contact with the roadway, according to CHP reports. He drove the SUV onto the center median, struck a dirt embankment and lost control. The vehicle flipped once before coming to a rest upright, and Bernal was able to exit the SUV on his own. CHP officers took him into custody without incident.

Northbound 280 traffic flow returned to normal levels by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

MVLA tenure denial generates tears, questions about process

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High students wield signs professing their support for drama teacher Rob Seitelman, who was denied tenure by the district.

Last week’s denial of permanent employee status to a Mountain View High School drama and English teacher left his students in sobs and their parents furious.

The announcement also led to questions concerning how the high school equivalent of the tenure process works and how a beloved instructor might be deemed unworthy of the designation.


Council axes First Street development moratorium

Alicia Castro/Town Crier
The Downtown Buildings Committee’s walkabout in downtown Los Altos Sunday draws a crowd of local residents eager to weigh in on First Street development.

The Los Altos City Council has scrapped the idea of freezing First Street development.

The proposal, voted on at the March 10 council meeting, failed to secure the required four votes for approval. Three of the five councilmembers were poised to approve the moratorium at Tuesday’s meeting, but a four-vote threshold applies to measures that are fast-tracked.


Council skeptical of El Camino bus project metrics and merits

Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council sent a message to the Valley Transportation Authority voicing its concerns about bus lanes on El Camino Real.

With the El Camino Real Bus Rapid Transit Project on schedule for 2018 construction, the Los Altos City Council is concerned local input may be left at the curb.

“It just feels like this bus is running down the street here, and we’re trying to catch it and have some influence on what might happen,” said Mayor Jan Pepper at the March 10 council meeting. “And it doesn’t really feel like that’s going to happen.”


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