Roads and sewers weigh heavy in proposed budget for Los Altos Hills

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos Hills’ 2014-2015 budget focuses on roads and sewers and allocates funds to clean up O’Keefe Preserve, above.

During a four-hour joint meeting of the Los Altos Hills City Council and the Finance and Investment Committee June 4, the council reviewed a tentative budget proposal of approximately $8 million in expenditures.

“Overall, it’s a good-news budget, but the devil is in the details,” City Manager Carl Cahill said.


Chamber of Commerce seeks parking discussion with city

The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce wants to talk to the city about parking – or lack thereof – in the downtown area.

According to Julie Rose, chamber president, the organization aims to present at a future city council study session its own downtown parking report that calls for the construction of a multilevel parking structure. A chamber subcommittee unveiled the report at a meeting last week. The subcommittee includes Rose, former Councilman Ron Packard, property owner Jeff Morris and Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Superintendent Barry Groves.


Jury finds 'Bubble Wrap' attacker guilty of murder attempt

A jury last week found Laura Jean Wenke, known as the “Bubble Wrap” attacker, guilty of four charges, including attempted murder.

According to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office, the jury deliberated for four hours over two days before returning guilty verdicts on four charges levied against the 53-year-old Los Altos resident. Wenke was also found guilty of domestic violence, assault with a deadly weapon and assault with a stun gun in the first of a two-phase trial.


LA Council Brief

Council authorizes civic center survey

The Los Altos City Council voted 4-1 May 27 to enter into consultant service contracts to conduct a public survey on and funding analysis for the potential construction of a new community center.

Councilmembers voted to grant a $25,855 contract to Godbe Research to conduct a survey that gauges public support for financing a new community center via a bond.


Measure AA passes; sheriff re-elected

A local open-space bond measure squeaked by and voters re-elected Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith to a fifth term in the June 3 election.

As of Monday, results showed Measure AA passing with 67.8 percent of the vote, exceeding the two-thirds benchmark required. Walter Moore, president of Peninsula Open Space Trust, said the Measure AA campaign declared victory Monday afternoon.


Measure AA supporters claim victory

Local voters went to the polls yesterday in the California State Primary election.

Supporters of Measure AA, the Peninsula’s open space preservation measure on the June 3 ballot, officially claimed victory Monday, winning more than 67 percent of the vote throughout the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (MROSD). The measure needed 66.7 percent to pass.
Voter approval of Measure AA now authorizes MROSD to issue bonds of up to $300 million to add 200 miles of new trails, increase recreational access for residents of all ages and preserve and restore thousands of acres of open spaces, forests, watersheds and farmlands throughout the Midpen district, which stretches 550 square miles from Los Gatos and East Palo Alto to north of Half Moon Bay.
“Peninsula residents have just made an incredible investment in the future, preserving the beautiful open spaces that make this region so special,” said Walter Moore, president of the Peninsula Open Space Trust, which, along with the Sempervirens Fund, served as Measure AA’s chief sponsor. “It is terrific to live in a place that puts such a high value on protecting our scarce natural areas for future generations, and we’re incredibly grateful to this community’s strong support.”
The funding approved by Measure AA will support 25 key projects identified through an extensive public planning process as providing the broadest public benefits. An independent oversight committee will ensure that funds are spent as promised.
Support for Measure AA was widespread and included nearly all the elected officials, community groups, chambers of commerce and housing advocates on the peninsula, as well as more than a dozen local newspapers and media outlets. Representatives said overwhelming community support and help from committed volunteers brought this measure over the challenging two-thirds majority needed to pass.
"We want to thank the thousands who shaped the Vision Plan and supported Measure AA--those who visit the preserves and use the trails, conservationists, parents, educators, employers and many, many others, who voted for the health of our environment and the health of our community,” said Steve Abbors, Midpen General Manager, “Now it’s our turn, we're hitting the ground running, and we look forward to the day in the near future when we come together again to celebrate the completion of the first Measure AA-funded project."
For a complete list of the 25 top open space projects that will benefit from this measure, click here. For details about Midpen, visit

H&H pulls out of Los Altos, Boardwalk closes

Town Crier File Photo
A Los Altos mainstay for little league teams, families and individuals looking for a burger is scheduled to close today (June 4).

A tide of business changes recently swept across Los Altos as longtime family restaurant The Boardwalk announced its closing and The H&H Co. revealed that it had sold its eight downtown businesses and was leaving town.

The H&H Co. proprietor Mary Heffernan reported via her blog at that her “thriving” enterprises had already been sold. She didn’t identify who purchased the businesses or return repeated calls for comment.


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