Editorial: Final thumbs for the year

It’s nearing the end of 2019, and we have our thumbs ready for takes on the most recent local news developments.

Thumbs-up: To the Los Altos School District for finalizing its 10th-site purchase. The complex deal for the 11.65-acre site in the high-density San Antonio area of Mountain View is a huge win for the district – as it currently stands, the district is paying less than $28 million of the $155 million purchase price, with the city of Mountain View (which gets park space) and developers paying the rest. Construction is still years out, and it hasn’t been decided which school will occupy the site. But it’s a certainty that local students will benefit from it.

Thumbs-down: To the cowardly thieves who not only broke into, but also demolished the entire storefront of Marcel Jewelry Design on Main Street in the early-morning hours of Dec. 2. For this to happen to a respected merchant whose business has been burglarized before is beyond horrific. The only small consolation is that his most valuable assets were not stolen.

Thumbs-down: To the long, meandering and unproductive Los Altos City Council meetings that were a constant in 2019. Here’s to shorter meetings and more succinct comments from council members that yield greater results in 2020.

Thumbs-up: To Lawrence Chu, our first Los Altan of the Year in 1994 and longtime owner of Chef Chu’s restaurant. It was February 1970 when Chu first opened his doors and offered the first-rate Chinese cuisine that is now known the world over. He is using his upcoming 50th anniversary celebration, scheduled Feb. 9, to promote and raise funds for the Los Altos History Museum. Attesting to his popularity, the event sold out quickly.

Thumbs-up: To Carol Larson, who is leaving the David and Lucile Packard Foundation at the end of the month after 31 years, 16 as its president and CEO. She’s led the $7.1 billion Los Altos-based foundation with a steady hand, overseeing work that has both a local and worldwide impact in education, health care and the environment. She was highly collaborative, fostering strong relationships with staff and board members, and doing so with unparalleled diplomacy and humility. The foundation board will be hard-pressed to find a successor as effective as Larson.

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