05272017Sat
Last updateTue, 30 May 2017 5pm

Other Voices: First Street Green and offices – yes, please!

Downtown Los Altos has suffered too long from lack of private investment and redevelopment, so I love Los Altos Community Investment’s proposal for a new office building and public park on First Street. I find the design appealing, restrained and smart, but it also strikes me as a generous offer for public benefits and potential catalyst for future investments and revitalization in the downtown triangle.

Times change, the economy changes and generations and demographics change, but some local attitudes about preserving a “quaint downtown” never seem to budge. The small but vocal antidevelopment movement must be brought to heel because it stifles downtown economic vitality.


Other Voices: Educational foundation celebrates schools

Families from throughout the Los Altos School District will gather at the Junior Olympics Saturday. This day is more than just a chance for some friendly competition among students and schools – it is a celebration of our community and how much our schools contribute to making Los Altos a great place to raise a family.

As part of this tradition, the Los Altos Educational Foundation (LAEF) presents the district with a check representing the culmination of our fundraising efforts – $3.7 million this year. We will achieve this impressive goal thanks to all our donors, large and small, within the parent community and beyond, as well as extensive corporate matching funds. These donations provide for the programs that enhance learning for every student from transitional kindergarten through eighth grade in the Los Altos School District.

Why DeVos is so objectionable: Other Voices

In his March 1 Town Crier column, “Clearing up misconceptions about charter schools,” John Phelps celebrated charter schools but failed to acknowledge the essence of what has made Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos such a disturbing choice. If she were merely a proponent of expanding charter school choices, as so many of former President Barack Obama’s education appointees were, the opposition to her nomination would not have been so strong.

From the City Manager's Desk: Downtown Vision project needs your feedback

Over the last several years, there have been many community discussions regarding development projects and how they may or may not fit the character of Los Altos. Ask one person what makes Los Altos unique and you might hear comments about its small-town charm, yet someone else may remark about the specialty shops they can only find in Los Altos. As a new resident, I’m coming to find my own definition of what makes Los Altos such a wonderful place to live.

As stewards of your city, the Los Altos City Council and staff have initiated a community vision process for the downtown area. The Downtown Vision effort will include multiple opportunities for the community to engage in the process and share ideas. The objective of the process is to gather feedback from all community members to identify the most preferred direction for maintaining and enhancing the vitality of downtown Los Altos. For the Downtown Vision project to be successful, we need to hear from you.

Protect the majority from redesign by the few: Other Voices

I met a woman at a Los Altos City Council meeting recently who was frightened. She had lived in Los Altos for four decades, and now she was afraid that a massive, five-story building would be developed on El Camino Real and would loom over her backyard.

She is right to be worried. The potential changes to the height and density of buildings in Los Altos can impact any commercial area near our homes. Right now, the battle zones are El Camino Real, downtown Los Altos and Loyola Corners. But if developers win victories there, the commercial zone near you may be next. And though the council recently imposed a temporary moratorium on building along El Camino Real, that’s the last one the city can impose there. It cannot be extended again. Solutions must be applied in the interim.

You had me at 'hello': Other Voices

I was born into an analog world and destined to die in a digital universe. That’s OK with me. I love change and welcome this cutting-edge technology where information is but a click away. It’s impossible to download “life,” especially if your power cord is unplugged, but laughter is a universal connection – and sometimes you just gotta laugh!

A friend’s recent “conversation” with his teenage daughter humorously illustrates what I call “the power of the ping.” Arriving home after work, he greeted his wife and teasingly asked where their daughter was hiding. “She’s upstairs studying in her room,” his wife said.

Welcome to central planning: Other Voices

As Americans, we pride ourselves on being self-governing. So why are residents of Mountain View and Los Altos silent in face of the frantic reconstruction along El Camino Real?

El Camino is becoming an amalgam of four-story block structures shoved up against the sidewalk. Why do we tolerate the decisions, which are making driving around the valley so much worse?


Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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