We’re all thumbs when it comes to commenting on recent news around Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. Take a gander:
â€¢ Thumbs-up: To the recent arrest of a suspect in the wave of glass-etching vandalism last June that plagued downtown Los Altos stores already reeling from the economy. In many of these cases, the perpetrators are never found. One store’s surveillance video may have helped here. Those convicted of the damage, in the tens of thousands of dollars, should pay for it. A second suspect in the case remains at large.
â€¢ Thumbs-up: To GreenTown Los Altos, the new grassroots environmental group, for its message of responsible living through conservation. The group's recent gala at the Geschke estate had people talking when members displayed large, handsome illustrations showing how downtown could be high density and still remain cozy and inviting.
â€¢ Thumbs-even: To the city of Los Altos' making a green move by installing recycling cans at seven locations downtown and seven more in local parks. The problem: Other than a small white band with blue "recycle" lettering, the recycling cans look just like the garbage cans. It's no wonder workers are finding regular trash mixed among the cans and bottles. Painting the recycling cans blue to distinguish them from the trash cans will make this item a thumbs-up.
â€¢ Thumbs-up: To the Los Altos School District for the recent good news about its budget. It turns out the 2008-2009 balance was $1.5 million higher than projected. The news means a much better picture for 2009-2010, with supplemental funds from the federal stimulus and higher tax collections from property and parcel taxes. The district also was able to increase its reserve to 7.4 percent, or $3.1 million. The state mandates a minimum 3 percent reserve.
â€¢ Thumbs-up: To the K-8 school district again, for its improvement in the state's Academic Performance Index test scores. The district earned an overall score of 959 in 2009, a three-point gain over the previous year. By contrast, the average API scores statewide are 790 for elementary schools, 754 for junior highs.
â€¢ Thumbs-up: To Los Altos City Manager Doug Schmitz for orchestrating the continued beautiful array of flowers in the entrance median to Main Street. Big blooms speak louder than concrete.
â€¢ Thumbs-up: To Los Altos action taken in the wake of a newsrack ordinance that allows the bulky racks moved from the edge of the sidewalks nearest the street closer to the buildings and out of the way of pedestrians and motorists looking for downtown businesses.
â€¢ Thumbs-up: To local residents who have been honored recently for their longtime contributions to the community. These include Mary Davey of Los Altos Hills, recognized by the Committee for Green Foothills for her decades of environmental efforts; and Jim and Becky Morgan of Los Altos Hills, honored last weekend at Hidden Villa for their years of contributions through their foundation. The honors are well deserved.