Q&A: LACI's Anne Wojcicki talks 170 State St. remodel


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Anne Wojcicki, the principal at Los Altos Community Investments, wants “food and fun” in her 170 State St. building. Located in downtown Los Altos, the building has been mostly vacant for nearly a year.

Food and fun are the priority for Anne Wojcicki when 170 State St. takes on new life after its remodel.

Located in downtown Los Altos and owned by Los Altos Community Investments, the complex has been occupied by Play! Los Altos and Kiwi Crate in recent years. Now completely vacant – and long ready for a face-lift – 170 State St.’s future gained some clarity in a Town Crier interview last week with Wojcicki, the principal at LACI and CEO of 23andMe.

Global shifts alter the business of what goes in your bin


Courtesy of Bill Watson
Karen Gissibl, Sunnyvale’s environmental program manager, provides perspective beside the plastics bales at the SMaRT Station serving Mountain View and Sunnyvale. The bales are sold for industrial reuse – when the market will buy.

It would be reasonable to assume that industrial innovation or chemical engineering limit what goes into local recycling bins and what gets consigned to the trash. But the contents of your bin respond to big business – the vast networks of scraps transported and repurposed across borders.

When China drastically changed its recyclables import policy this year, it caused a ripple effect across U.S. waste management, particularly on the West Coast. And the effects were felt in Los Altos and Mountain View.

Rummage sales benefit community at every stage of the resale business


Photo courtesy of LAUMC
Shoppers find treasures and oddities at the Los Altos United Methodist Church rummage sale.

Rummage sales have survived many of the disruptions reconfiguring retail – the spread of online networks may have only strengthened the tradition of assembling a mass of secondhand goods as a community fundraiser.

May represents a boom time in local rummage sales, with Los Altos United Methodist Church and Foothills Congregational Church holding decades-old efforts that draw shoppers from around the Bay Area and, in a few cases of nostalgia and longtime participation, even out of state. The city of Mountain View recently hosted a citywide garage sale, mapping out 175 participating homes and groups who opened their card tables of excess goods to the community. Other community sales dot the year’s calendar.

Why good advice on annuities is hard to find

Annuities are commonly sold by insurance companies as a solution for retirement. Unlike stocks and bonds, they provide guaranteed income for as long as you live – at least to the extent supported by California’s Life & Health Insurance Guarantee Association.

But getting help with choosing annuities can be surprisingly difficult. Here’s why.

LA council hashes out next steps for retail sales of cannabis

Retail and delivery cannabis shops could soon be budding in Los Altos after the city council directed staff to conduct outreach and prepare an ordinance on taxing marijuana businesses.

After Proposition 64 legalized recreational cannabis in November 2016, the city adopted an urgency ordinance to temporarily prohibit medicinal and adult-use commercial cannabis sales within city limits. Since then, the council asked staff to research allowing cannabis businesses in Los Altos and imposing a local tax on them.

Mtn. View council blazes forward with cannabis zoning

The Mountain View City Council largely signed off on preliminary plans to license and zone cannabis retail within the city earlier this month, a move that could make it one of the first cities on the Peninsula to join San Jose in permitting recreational marijuana shops later this year.

The city’s staff recommended a lottery-based approval process for selecting shop operators, citing the intensive volume of applications received by some cities, a desire for fairness and the need to not violate land-use requirements that bar favoring any one specific applicant based on his or her perceived characteristics. At their May 8 council meeting, council members questioned how a streamlined permitting process could still privilege applicants that appeared to demonstrate prior experience or other signals of likely future success, but overall supported the staff’s proposed approach.


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