Local hams tackle silly scenarios, but serious about emergency readiness

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Courtesy of Trevor Madsen
FEMA Youth Preparedness Council representative Nicolas Bremeau, right, participates in a ham radio operator drill in Los Altos in January.


During the annual Kiwanis Pet Parade in Los Altos, ham radio operators typically set up a command center as volunteers fan out around the downtown area to provide communications support and practice their amateur radio skills.

Mayors reflect on local responses to COVID crisis

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The first virtual meeting of the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce’s annual State of the Cities event Friday featured the mayors of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills describing how their communities have been persevering during the COVID-19 health crisis.

Los Altos streets undergo repairs through summer

Summer is here, and so is the usual slew of street repair projects throughout Los Altos.

Street resurfacing work is currently underway along Almond Avenue between San Antonio Road and El Monte Avenue, and Covington Road between El Monte and Springer Road. Work on Almond, Brentwood Court and Cuesta Drive was performed Friday. Scheduled next is work on Almond and Covington set for Monday (June 29), Covington Tuesday (June 30) and July 1, and Almond again July 2.

Additional micro-surfacing work is scheduled on: Covington; Cuesta; Vera Cruz Avenue Volti Lane; Elmhurst Drive; Pico Lane; Westminster Lane; Alicia Way; Thatcher Drive; Eureka Avenue; Casita Way; Chelsea Drive; Chelsea Court; View Street; Panchita Way; Woodstock Lane; Ranchita Drive, Brentwood Court; Creeden Way; Pinehurst Drive; and Ronald Court.

“The project(s) may require lane closures and parking restrictions on the frontage of properties on affected streets,” city officials said.

The street resurfacing work is expected to wrap up by mid- to late-August.

Street slurry seal work also is being done on several streets through mid-August. City officials described the work as “repair of minor pavement failures, application of slurry coating, and installation of striping.”

“The slurry seal is a mixture of water, asphalt emulsion and small aggregates commonly applied to roadway surfaces as a preventative treatment to prolong remaining life of roadway,” officials said.

Sanitary sewer repairs, including pipe replacement, is scheduled to begin Aug. 3 and take approximately seven months to complete. The work involves 14 locations: Julie Lane; Ranchita Drive; Marlbarough Avenue; Grant Road; Richardson Avenue; Nightingale Court; St. Joseph Avenue; Laver Court; Highlands Circle; Scott Lane; Oxford Drive; Deodara Drive; Woods Lane; and St. Marks Court.

For more information, visit losaltosca.gov/publicworks/project/annual-street-resurfacing or losaltosca.gov/publicworks/project/annual-street-slurry-seal.

Local senior services threatened under COVID-induced budget cuts

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only threatened the lives of local seniors, but the stability of their services as well.
No sooner had the California State Legislature staved off proposed budget cuts to community-based adult services (CBAS), the nonprofit Avenidas announced June 24 it was halting operations of several of its seniors programs, laying off seven of its 53 employees.
Avenidas operates two senior centers, one in Mountain View and the other in Palo Alto. The agency is scaling back operations at the Avenidas Rose Kleiner Center in Mountain View, in addition to its Door to Door and Senior Planet @Avenidas programs, reflecting what officials called “a new virtual service delivery model.”
“Due to COVID-19, our operations drastically changed, and this new reality is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, causing us to take on these belt-tightening changes,” said Amy Andonian, Avenidas CEO and president. “Although our buildings have been and will remain closed for an unknown amount of time, we are delivering as many existing and new services and programs as we possibly can. I have been impressed at how well we were able to retool to meet the new needs of our vulnerable senior population.”
Avenidas staff members pivoted to continue to work remotely weekdays to help seniors, their families and caregivers navigate the public health crisis. Staff have been delivering groceries, medicine and other supplies to those in need; taking hotline calls and responding to requests; making daily and weekly check-in calls; transitioning to Zoom classes; coordinating with volunteers to help seniors; and counseling seniors.
For more information, visit avenidas.org.

Fighting to keep CBAS

Meanwhile, the fight continues to retain funding for senior adult day care. Gov. Gavin Newsom last month proposed elimination of that funding in the wake of a $54 billion budget deficit. Legislators thus far have rejected that proposal. State funding accounts for 60% of the annual $1 million budget at Rose Kleiner. Absent the funding, the center is faced with closing its doors.
“As budget negotiations continue at the State Capitol, we would love the public to contact Governor Newsom and urge him to retain CBAS as an essential Medi-Cal service,” said Avenidas spokeswoman Kari Martell. “So many seniors from Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Palo Alto will be at risk for placement in nursing homes if our center gets eliminated. With nursing homes the source of nearly half of COVID-19 deaths in California, the proposal to eliminate CBAS is foolhardy.”
Budgeted at $95.2 million with matching federal funds, CBAS keeps seniors living independently in their home at a cost of $76 per day. By contrast, nursing home care is $380 per day.
The State Legislature is scheduled to finalize the budget for the upcoming year June 30.
“Our center not only provides a safe space for our participants, we provide peer socialization, a hot meal, activities and health care including nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and, as needed, dietitian and speech therapy support,” said Kristina Lugo, program director for the Avenidas Rose Kleiner Center. “We provide caregiver support to families so that they have tools to maintain their loved ones at home, not in an institution.”
The center, located at 270 Escuela Ave., serves approximately 100 clients. Lugo said adult day care offers seniors quality of life while easing the burden of care on family members, many of whom need to work during the day.

Local music makers transition to online classes


Above Photo Courtesy of Kristine Dunn; Left photos Courtesy of Shaomei Wu
Kristine Dunn, director of Music For Families, above, conducts virtual music classes with students like Mountain View’s Wu-Lickly family, left.

As small businesses navigate the fluid shelter-in-place orders, Music For Families transformed its highly interactive in-person classes to a comprehensive online course.

A music and movement program for children under age 5 and their parents, Music For Families previously offered classes at Los Altos Lutheran Church and Opus 1 Music Studio in Mountain View.

Summer Reading Program goes virtual at libraries

The Santa Clara County Library District’s Summer Reading Program, “Dig Deeper: Read, Investigate, Discover,” is underway and registration is open. The free program, which runs through July 31, encourages readers of all ages to dig below the surface, investigate the unknown and discover new things.

Dozens of online events, ranging from family-friendly activities to adult classes, are planned over the next two months. All events and programs will be held virtually amid the pandemic.


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