No study in sight for a downtown business improvement district

A plan to form a Los Altos business improvement district to serve merchants and property owners will just have to wait, according to members of the organizations that had backed it.

At the Feb. 13 Los Altos City Council meeting, members of the Los Altos Village Association, Los Altos Property Owners Downtown and the Chamber of Commerce asked the council to allocate $10,000 for a BID feasibility study. However, the council rejected the proposal, noting that the city’s Downtown Vision project had yet to be completed. Instead, they encouraged the groups to conduct their own educational session.

Spectrum Interior Design moves down the road to MV

Spectrum Interior Design, founded in Los Altos by resident Amy Fischer nearly six years ago, is in the process of relocating to a larger site in Mountain View and will most likely celebrate its sixth anniversary in its new digs April 1.

The company expanded twice at its old First Street address, eventually occupying three suites on two floors, but it still wasn’t as much space as it needed, prompting the move, according to Fischer.

Caffeine-free and curious


Photo by Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier

Twins Sarah Patterson, above in white, and Grace Patterson, in pink, examine a Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health notice at the Starbucks on Main Street, inset. Bemused caffeine addicts stalled out in front of the outpost became a common sight in downtown Los Altos over the holidays. The coffee shop failed inspections Dec. 21 and 27 and reopened over the weekend. Reached by phone, store manager Khan Tran declined to describe the work that had been ongoing inside the store last week. The location had received high marks in previous examinations, but last month an inspector noted live cockroaches on and around the coffee bar and kitchen areas.

Business Briefs: Retirement planning, smart homes and more


Photo by Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Tre Monti prepares to open on Main Street, right.

Financial adviser discusses retirement planning

Financial adviser Arvind Ven is scheduled to discuss “Social Security and Retirement Planning” 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Los Altos main library, 13 S. San Antonio Road.

Ven, who writes the Town Crier’s “Fiscal Fitness” column, will explain how to manage Social Security retirement benefits and will highlight other sources of retirement income to augment and/or fill in the gaps from Social Security.

New workplace laws raise minimum wage

Minimum wage in Mountain View has been jumping by $2 per year recently, reaching $15 Jan. 1.

The increases stem from a 2015 ordinance that targeted attaining $15 by this year, with subsequent annual minimum wage adjustments pegged to the region’s Consumer Price Index, a measure of how the price of goods like food has increased over time.

Assemblyman Marc Berman gives housing, transit update

State Assemblyman Marc Berman joined members of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors at their Nov. 17 meeting in Los Altos to provide a legislative summary of 2017 and offer insight on his priorities for 2018.

Berman, a Democrat who represents Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View, said the biggest victories of this past legislative session relate to two topics that are on everyone’s minds – transportation and housing.


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