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Downtown businesses want to hire, but will the workers come?


Asher Kohn/Town Crier
Yusuf Tosun is working seven days a week at Cafe Nur until he can find more employees. He expects to be understaffed until students can take shifts in the summer months.

For the past year, Yusuf Tosun has been working seven days a week at his family’s Mediterranean restaurant on Main Street, Cafe Nur. In that time, the five-year-old restaurant has struggled to find servers and cooks to ease the owners’ workload.

“There are no employees in Los Altos,” Tosun said. “That’s why the owners need to work hard. … We don’t have free time. We used to have a lot of free time.”

Downtown businesses want to hire, but will the workers come?


Asher Kohn/Town Crier
Yusuf Tosun is working seven days a week at Cafe Nur until he can find more employees. He expects to be understaffed until students can take shifts in the summer months.

For the past year, Yusuf Tosun has been working seven days a week at his family’s Mediterranean restaurant on Main Street, Cafe Nur. In that time, the five-year-old restaurant has struggled to find servers and cooks to ease the owners’ workload.

“There are no employees in Los Altos,” Tosun said. “That’s why the owners need to work hard. … We don’t have free time. We used to have a lot of free time.”

Tom's Depot thrives despite city leader's assertion, says owner


Asher Kohn/Town Crier
Tom’s Depot has been a Loyola Corners mainstay run by the Gonzalez family for the past 16 years. The owners and many local residents dispute a Los Altos city councilwoman’s contention that the cafe has fallen on hard times.

Maria Gonzalez, owner of Tom’s Depot since 2001, said her beloved Loyola Corners cafe is humming along smoothly, contrary to a Los Altos City Councilwoman’s assertion made at an April 20 study session that the restaurant was struggling financially.

“The business is doing well,” Gonzalez said. “When we started, my husband and I worked every day. And we have kept doing the same thing since we started.”

No answers from Los Altos Lighting

Months after the sudden closing of Los Altos Lighting, many former customers have items waiting at Ga-Ja “Chris” Kim’s store.

The windows of the lighting store at 343 Main St. are papered over. Kim has not responded to requests for comment.

It's time to worry about our pensions


 

I recently attended a seminar about public pension reform led by Chuck Reed, former San Jose mayor and current board member of the Retirement Security Initiative.

Back in 2012, Reed led the effort to pass a pension reform measure for San Jose. Today, he paints a dire picture of the underfunded pension situation across the United States, not just for those on public pensions, but for all retirees. Reed says a solution is difficult to find because it would require compromise from the same people who caused the problem in the first place: politicians, union leaders and even rating agencies.

Dream Volunteers students change their world


Courtesy of Shital Patel
Los Altos middle-schooler Saumya Patel, left, transports organic fertilizer up a hill in Providencia, Costa Rica. Saumya credits Dream Volunteers with teaching her not to take life at home for granted.

Silicon Valley often is the epicenter for new business ideas. Sometimes, however, the technology capital of the world has to wait until a local young visionary returns home from Guatemala.

Brian Buntz founded Dream Volunteers 10 years ago, when he was a teacher at Graham Middle School in Mountain View. An annual benefit event held at Redwood City’s Fox Theatre May 4 will celebrate a decade of the local nonprofit organization’s work.


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