Mon10202014

Letters to the Editor

Resident offers wish list for Los Altos

I have a wish. Before the Los Altos City Council crowns any more Tech Royalty with permits to transform downtown Los Altos, I wish that our council would cast its attention to the outlying business areas in our small city.

For example, over the years, Loyola Corners and Woodland Acres have been promised changes in traffic flow, master plans, bridge repairs and business-friendly assistance. None of these needs or plans has been addressed. Instead, we are encouraged to travel downtown to struggle to find a place to park and admire some newcomer’s idea of living in “The Village.”

I wish that the council would follow through on a plan for a new community center on the property on which it presently stands.

I have a wish regarding bicycle safety. The council has proudly posted signs attesting that Los Altos is a bicycle-safe city, but try cycling safely through Loyola Corners, where there are no bicycle lanes on either of the bridges.

I have a wish for basic maintenance of roads and bridges over Permanente Creek that are unmaintained and unkempt. They need to be replaced.

I have lived here for 57 years. Please, don’t turn a deaf ear to the longtime residents who are now calling your attention to the unwelcome changes. We expect change, but we need changes that make our lives better, not just changes designed to create opportunities for business and real estate interests.

Janet M. Dobson

Los Altos

Share ideas for new community center

This year, the Los Altos City Council is actively looking at planning a new community center at the Hillview site.

Our new community center will provide meeting space where all of us can gather to share, play, exercise, learn and relax. It will be a place for all ages to gather. Whether taking an art class, gathering with seniors for lunch or swimming laps, this space will be a magnet for our community to come together.

We hope to use the space in the most efficient way to make this a peaceful pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly place.

The key pieces the council voted to consider in the new center, pending resident support for funding, include a new 55,000-square-foot building, a swim center and underground parking.

Many people from the community have participated in focus groups and workshops to contribute their ideas. The next community workshop is scheduled 6 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Los Altos Youth Center, 1 N. San Antonio Road. It will offer another opportunity to learn about the project and share ideas. Help us build community here in Los Altos now and for the future.

Jan Pepper

Los Altos City Councilwoman

Public pool an unnecessary expense

Regarding the Town Crier’s July 23 editorial, “Pool should be included”: When the Covington pool was shut down in 2001, I recall that the people pushing for a new pool were mostly nonresidents. Just how local are the swimmers in the pool foundation?

The pool program has mushroomed from one pool to three, and the editorial would have you believe that they would serve as the primary place for learning how to swim. If that’s the case, let’s eliminate the toddler and lap/fitness pools. The editorial goes on to say that hundreds of children in Los Altos are using pools outside the city limits. What’s wrong with that?

Another superfluous comment in the editorial is that Los Altos is the only local city without a pool. So what? It seems to have worked – and we have a YMCA pool right on our doorstep next to El Camino Hospital. The pools project is an unnecessary expense, and I ask our residents to vote against the bond measure.

Edward Kelley

Los Altos

Mtn. View’s housing imbalance, LASD impact

The Town Crier’s report on the The Village at San Antonio Center (“San Antonio developer asked to swap office space for housing,” July 23) raises a significant issue that is ignored by the city of Mountain View and its housing advocates.

Not addressed by the Mountain View City Council in its directive that switches proposed office space in Phase 2 to housing: the further impact it will have on the Los Altos School District. The district has already been heavily impacted by all the new higher-density residential units in this growing part of Mountain View within district boundaries.

Agreed, with the expansion of Google Inc. and other high-tech companies, Mountain View has a growing jobs-housing imbalance. But it also has a housing-schools imbalance that is even more pressing.

Where do the proponents of adding more housing in this increasingly densified part of Mountain View propose to school the kids of families? This district section of Mountain View extends well beyond just the “Village.” It encompasses the length of San Antonio Road between El Camino Real and Caltrain, extending several blocks east past Showers Drive and west to Palo Alto on either side of San Antonio. Multiple hundreds of new and under-construction housing units have been added, and continue to be added.

Adding more high-density housing in this north-of-El Camino neighborhood, without contributing property for a neighborhood school, shirks responsibility.

Unfortunately, Mountain View seems to have sidestepped this issue. Mountain View needs to step up and work with the district to help find another suitable school location within this higher-growth part of Mountain View. The burden of solving this ever-growing capacity issue should not fall on Los Altos alone.

Frank Verlot

Former mayor of Los Altos

Another local icon lost to progress

Well, another longtime Los Altos restaurant has closed and its building is set to be torn down: Burger Town (Dairy Belle, to those of us old enough to remember) on San Antonio Road near First Street. And no special mention in the news. Really?

This joint has been around for my 45 years here in town and, according to the city, was first built in 1959.

To some, it may not have reached icon status like the Clint’s Ice Cream building nearby at First and Lyell streets (now Los Altos Hardware), but for many of us, in our youth, it was the place to go after a Little League game, bike ride to Shoup Park or other event.

Even now, it was still a hometown favorite for a quick, greasy burger made right in front of you, or a chocolate-dipped cone.

And what will replace it – three stories of office space?

Do we really need more office buildings in town? We are slowly losing our hometown village atmosphere, and for what – progress? Nice going, folks.

Matt Siragusa

Los Altos

Residents should check water systems

I’m not real happy that our dog, Moose, demands an early-morning walk at 5:30 or 6 a.m. nearly every day. However, such walks have provided me with opportunities to see wildlife, gorgeous sunrises and paper delivery people.

In addition, I’ve also seen how much water runs off of our well-tended lawns and gardens and into the gutters while homeowners sleep, blissfully unaware of the waste.

Nearly every street has puddles of water in the gutters, while many have streams flowing into the sewers due to overwatered plants, misdirected sprinkler risers and broken sprinkler heads. By the time the homeowner leaves for work at 8 a.m. or so, the gutters have dried and the evidence has disappeared.

We should always be mindful of our water usage, but our current drought increases the urgency of monitoring and reducing our consumption.

I encourage each of us to check our watering systems (even if one needs to wake up at 6 a.m. to do so), and to consider reducing both the frequency and the duration of watering operations.

Wes Brinsfield

Los Altos

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