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.


Group wants pool funding included in community center

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Some families have backyard swimming pools, but a local group is advocating for a public one.

A local group wants the city to include a public pool as part of its plans for a new community center, with the public funding at least a portion of the swim facility.

Kamrin Knight-Desmond and Maridee Charlton of the Los Altos Community Pool Foundation told the Town Crier that the best path to building a new public pool facility in Los Altos might be to include it as part of a future bond measure to replace Hillview Community Center. The pool foundation formed after the closure of Covington Pool in 2001 and originally sought to fundraise privately for a pool as part of the city’s original 2009 Civic Center Master Plan.


LASD parent announces run for school board

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos School District Board of Trustees candidate Sangeeth Peruri asks Covington School students for feedback on education issues.

The race for a seat on the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees is off to an early start as a second candidate announced his intention to run in the November election.

Covington parent Sangeeth Peruri joins Martha McClatchie in the race. McClatchie in April declared her intent to run.


Backyard brush has potential to spark fires

Courtesy of CalFire
Regional brush and weed abatement programs encourage home- owners to create defensible spaces, illustrated above. Clearing debris can prevent fires from spreading to adjacent properties.

Drought has accelerated the start of fire season, prompting authorities to issue a reminder to local residents: Don’t brush aside the responsibility of keeping yards free of dangerous fuels that could feed flames.

“It’s starting much earlier than last year,” said Duffy Price, president of the Los Altos Hills County Fire District. “We want to make sure that all of Los Altos Hills and the unincorporated areas take it seriously.”


Police Blotter

Los Altos runaway found by police

An 11-year-old Los Altos girl with autism is home safe with her family after she ran away May 25, resulting in a police search that ended on Highway 101 in Palo Alto.

According to Los Altos Police Sgt. Cameron Shearer, the ordeal began after the girl left home in the early afternoon following an argument with her mother – who subsequently contacted police to report her missing.


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