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.

Things my mother said to me: A Piece of My Mind

“Anything worth doing is worth doing well.”

But also (of a small rip or a crooked seam on a dress): “It’ll never show on a galloping horse.”

Spring cleaning: Megan's Musings

We had to get out. Immediately. Through frantic hand gestures, I attempted to convey the urgency to my mother, but she was chatting away with the clerk. Anyway, it was too late, because my sister recognized the scuffed-up boots and the bead necklaces and the shiny blue prom dress that had transformed her into a mermaid a decade before; the thrift store was littered with her worldly possessions, all for sale. And we had put them there.

I am a traitor. A “recovering” hoarder myself (I hear my husband scoff as I type this), I know how novelty sunglasses and ratty concert T-shirts can bewitch through nostalgia-laced spells. I’ve experienced the sense of betrayal that accompanies the discovery of personal treasures clandestinely trashed or donated. But, truly, in this instance, I was aiding and abetting for a greater good: my mom’s sanity.

Letters to the Editor

Adding ‘mystery lane’ would solve I-280 jams

Regarding the Town Crier article “I-280 bottleneck proves both dangerous and frustrating” (March 8):

Solution: Fix Interstate 280 by adding the “mystery lane” that disappears at Magdalena Avenue, then reappears a few hundred meters south (as a high-occupancy vehicle commuter lane). It is crazy to go from four lanes to three lanes and back to four lanes – all within approximately 700 meters – on an interstate highway! Who designed this major flaw into our city?

Letters to the Editor

Common Core contributes to quality education

In these uncertain political times, Californians need to stand by the gains we’ve made for public education over the past several years.

Despite their repeated threats, the new federal administration will have little power to repeal Common Core, and we are more committed than ever to the standards we have worked so tirelessly to implement statewide.

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?

Los Altos should celebrate its history: Other Voices

Several weeks ago I was delighted to open the Los Altos Town Crier and see a 1915 photograph of my grandfather, Claude Cyrus Taylor, and my great-grandfather, Charles Hammill, amid their orchards on Pine Lane.

I was struck by the irony of the controversy surrounding the temporary pop-up park and my grandfather’s lasting legacy building quality homes of permanence that I still pass by every day. This was work he did as our region began to change from agricultural to residential.

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 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 – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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