Last updateWed, 06 Dec 2017 2pm

Wojcicki remains upbeat, vows continued involvement

Anne Wojcicki, the force behind Los Altos Community Investments and the First Street Green project, said she decided to change course when she stopped to look at the big picture and foresaw a “huge uphill battle” in making the project a reality.

“If people aren’t excited about it, just pause it,” she said Friday. “There are lots of other things I can do (to help Los Altos).”

Preschool renegotiates for spot at new Hillview

Dozens of parents, many teary-eyed, packed the Los Altos Council Chambers last week to learn the long-awaited fate of Children’s Corner preschool. Instead, they were left hanging a bit longer after the council voted to renegotiate the terms of lease for the preschool’s potential spot at the new community center.

The nonprofit Children’s Corner has been at its Hillview Community Center location since 1981. But with the center’s upcoming rebuild, the preschool must consider a few options: negotiate with the city for space, find a new location or go out of business entirely. The Oct. 10 council meeting gave supporters hope that the first option was viable.

Bitter pathways debate muddles LAH election of new vice mayor

Ursula Lane
Courtesy of Bridget Morgan
The proposed pathway along Sadr Emad-Vaez and Pouran Aazad’s Ursula Lane property sparked debate at last week’s Los Altos Hills City Council meeting.

Los Altos Hills City Councilman Roger Spreen will be the town’s next vice mayor. He’s the choice future Mayor John Radford voted for, but he’s not the choice Radford initially wanted.

“I’ll be real clear: I’m so mad about the last vote, I’m not really interested in having anyone as vice mayor rather than Courtenay Corrigan, to tell you the truth,” Radford said at the Oct. 11 council meeting. “I can’t even possibly imagine where we came out on that last vote.”

First Street office-park project abruptly halted -- reaction mixed

LACI rendering
Courtesy of LACI
A rendering of the First Street Green shows an amphitheater and shady areas provided by trees, trellises and umbrellas. A backdrop to the stage, seen at the bottom right of the image, buffers residents from the sound of concerts at night.

Developers of the high-profile office building and park on First Street abruptly pulled the plug on the project last week, leaving supporters disappointed and detractors relieved.

Employees of Los Altos Community Investments, the largest downtown property owner, began spreading the word Oct. 10 that they planned to discontinue efforts to build the First Street Green, a 77,000-square-foot, three-story office building with a neighboring half-acre park and more than 300 underground parking spaces across from Safeway. The project was the vision of LACI founder/principal Anne Wojcicki of Los Altos Hills, co-founder of the biotech firm 23andMe.

Los Altos converting streetlights to LEDs

Streetlights in Los Altos are undergoing an upgrade this month as PG&E replaces high-pressure sodium bulbs with light-emitting diode bulbs.

The modern lights cost less to operate and are supposed to last longer. They expend less than half the energy required by the older style of bulb, and PG&E estimates the upgrade will save Los Altos approximately $12,000 next year.

Meeting focuses on demand for affordable homes in Los Altos area

As the cost of housing rises in Santa Clara County and more residents fall below the poverty line, there’s a sense of urgency within communities to build more affordable homes. At last week’s Los Altos Community Coalition meeting, guest speaker John Barton advocated for just that.

Barton is director of the architectural design program at Stanford University and a former member of the Palo Alto City Council. He brought his expertise on affordable housing to the table Friday as he addressed the coalition, local residents and even a couple of city councilmembers.

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