Editorial: Tough decision on community center

The majority of Los Altos City Councilmembers made the controversial (opponents might say foolhardy) decision last week to set the budget at $34.7 million for rebuilding Hillview Community Center.

They did so despite urgent calls not to from the city’s Financial Commission and the administrative services director in charge of the city’s finances. A consultant’s findings backed up the city’s experts.

Editorial: Questions over school site purchase

Los Altos School District officials were elated – and with good reason – after their announcement last month of a potential partnership with the city of Mountain View to purchase land in the high-density and densely populated San Antonio neighborhood for a 10th school site.

Their excitement was prompted in part by the prospect of collecting tens of millions of dollars by selling development rights on the purchased property, in addition to a financial contribution by the city for parkland at the site. The potential influx of funds could mean more of the $150 million in voter-approved Measure N money spent for upgrades at other schools.

Editorial: Housing crisis a problem for all

A headline last week in a local paper read: “Housing crisis ‘On the Table’ – but what good is talking about it?”

The answer is: plenty good. That was the message that came across from a series of “On the Table” meetings last week organized in part by Silicon Valley Community Foundation under the direction of the Knight Foundation. The Los Altos Women’s Caucus sponsored one such Nov. 15 discussion focusing on what affluent communities such as Los Altos and Los Altos Hills can do to address the problem.

Editorial: Reasons to be optimistic

Call us optimistic (or Pollyanna), but we expect 2018 to go well for the Los Altos City Council. There are two major items ahead that are expected to come to fruition: A plan for rebuilding the Hillview Community Center and final approval of a downtown visioning document that will guide future development for years to come. This year has laid the groundwork for both approvals to happen.

These could be considered monumental achievements as far as Los Altos goes. People have been talking about a Hillview rebuild for 20 or more years, and the debate over downtown growth has been going on possibly even longer.

Editorial: Giving thanks

Festival of Lights
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The Los Altos Festival of Lights "Snow Queen" waves to fans during the 2016 parade.

On the eve of Thanksgiving, we pause from our turkey dinner preparations to give thanks.

Thanks to the volunteers who make the Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade a success every year. This year marks the parade’s 40th anniversary. The parade, with its Santa float, marching bands and costumed fairy-tale characters, is scheduled 6 p.m. Sunday along Main and State streets.

Editorial: Adult ed and 'fake news'

What is “fake news”? We’ve discussed the topic ad nauseam at the national level, but the question hit home at last week’s Los Altos City Council meeting.

It seems word got out that there would be no room in the rebuilt Hillview Community Center for adult-education classes. This triggered a sizable number of residents who attended the meeting – many of them adult-ed students – to lament the prospect and plead with the city to keep their classes intact.

Editorial: A shout-out to Hillview Task Force

The 11-member Hillview Community Center Project Task Force is nearing the end of a five-month process for bringing into focus plans for a rebuilt community center.

Task force members should be proud of what they’ve accomplished. Starting with a general budget number of $25 million and little else, the group has successfully processed all kinds of community input, both in person and online, and brought on an excellent architect.

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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