Fruit fly eradication efforts to begin in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills on Friday

Eradication efforts are set to begin in parts of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills today (July 10) following the discovery of the potentially devastating Oriental Fruit Fly.

As is state protocol following the detection of these produce-plundering pests, the California Secretary of Agriculture has declared an emergency proclamation authorizing immediate implementation of an eradication program, according to a Santa Clara County Public Affairs press release. State officials today are scheduled to begin affixing special species-specific pheromone flytraps to light poles and public trees within a 14-mile radius of the detection site. The treatment area is roughly bounded by Alma Street (in Palo Alto) to the north, Miramonte Avenue (Mountain View) on the east, Ravensbury Avenue (Los Altos Hills) to the south and La Cresta Drive (Los Altos Hills) to the west.

The first of two Oriental Fruit Flies were detected by California Department of Food and Agriculture officials June 29 in a residential neighborhood northeast of the Interstate 280 and El Monte Avenue interchange. A second specimen was dispatched to the office of the state's head entomologist last week, and officials have identified it as another Oriental Fruit Fly, said Michelle Thom, deputy agricultural commissioner with the Santa Clara County Division of Agriculture.

Each treatment to eradicate the insects will take two to three days to complete and state officials will repeat applications every two weeks for approximately eight weeks, according to the press release. The lures attract and kill male Oriental Fruit Flies, Thom said, enabling them from mating with females and reproducing,

Female Oriental Fruit Flies lay eggs in fruits and vegetables and their maggot offspring feed on the produce, causing it to decay and fall from the tree, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. They are indiscriminate insects and have been known to attack more than 230 types of produce.

The species is widespread through much of the mainland of Southern Asia and typically arrives in the United States through contraband fruit transported by international mail and airplane passengers, Thom said.

West Nile fogging scheduled for Mountain View

 The detection of West Nile virus in Mountain View has led county officials to schedule fogging operations in affected neighborhoods next week to prevent it from spreading.

Adult mosquitoes collected in Mountain View's 94043 zip code have tested positive for the virus, according to the Santa Clara County Vector Control District. Infected mosquitoes were also found in parts of Palo Alto.


Council meets to discuss civic center bond measure

The Los Altos City Council has scheduled a special meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday to discuss placing a bond measure on the November ballot to overhaul the community center.

Councilmembers are considering the next steps for a bond to replace the aging Hillview Community Center, build a community pool and improve Hillview Park and its open space.


Los Altos welcomes affordable housing options

Above photo by Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier; left graphic courtesy of Colonnade Los Altos
Colonnade Los Altos has scheduled a lottery for 17 upcoming below-market-rate units.

More affordable housing options are coming to Los Altos, and prospective residents have until the end of the month to submit their applications for a lottery drawing.

“It’s a terrific opportunity for very high-quality apartments in an urban setting so close to shopping on El Camino,” said David Kornfield, the city’s planning services manager.


Residents, council favor evolving face of Golden Way neighborhood

From City Of Los Altos Website
Homeowners on Golden Way commissioned a design rendering of their two-story residential rebuild to showcase the project to city representatives and neighbors.

Homeowners on Golden Way successfully appealed to the Los Altos City Council – and their neighbors – to advance their residential remodeling project.

The council June 23 unanimously supported the homeowners’ appeal of a May 6 Design Review Commission decision that imposed conditions limiting the two-story project’s height, mass and scale to suit the neighborhood.


Council approves budget, seeks to 'clean up' project list

The Los Altos City Council June 23 unanimously adopted two financial plans – the city’s 2015-2017 operating budget and the 2015-2020 Capital Improvement Program budget.

Following feedback from the council’s May 28 budget study session, staff incorporated additions to the financial plan. Highlights include $300,000 for a downtown plan, $392,000 to account for staff positions expected to be filled, $100,000 to study the viability of a downtown parking structure and $300,000 to improve Grant Park & Community Center.


In a year of make-do, survey studies the who and why of local homelessness

Courtesy Of SAnta Clara County Office of Supportive Housing
The graphic reveals the combination of factors leading to county residents becoming homeless – and remaining so.

Unsheltered residents proliferated in Los Altos and Mountain View over the past two years.

The narrative of Silicon Valley homelessness most often highlights the tent camps in San Jose, but outdoor spaces in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View also see the homeless in fluctuating numbers year by year. And while countywide homeless rates have declined 14 percent, two local cities saw a spike in numbers.


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