Counting crows: MV residents puzzled by abundance of black birds

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
An increase in the crow population in Mountain View is logical, according to avian experts, because the birds are already beginning to migrate to warmer climates before winter hits.

In the evenings, just before dusk, Zoe Blatchley sits in her Mountain View backyard and gazes skyward. Then she commences her tally.

A bunch of 10. A bunch of 20. A bunch of five.

Water district weighs customer rate increase

Purissima Hills Water District customers attending a rate hike meeting Oct. 10 have the opportunity to influence their monthly bill’s trajectory – and the district’s ability to fund infrastructure upgrades officials say are critical to preventing future water main breaks in Los Altos Hills.

“We have probably more people that have driven by a main break in the last two months than in the last three or four years,” said Steve Jordan, president of the district’s board of directors. “We’ve had so many.”

On 9/11 anniversary, cyber-security expert warns LAH community of new threats

James McFarlin
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Former Air Force officer, tech CEO and author James McFarlin describes past and current cyber-security threats during a Sept. 11 Los Altos Hills Club luncheon at Fremont Hills Country Club.

If James McFarlin’s Sept. 11 presentation to the Los Altos Hills Club resonated with his audience, its members have already commenced freezing credit reports, setting up two-factor authentication and updating account passwords from the shockingly ubiquitous choice “password.”

Seventeen years after the “greatest intelligence failure in the history of our country,” America is just as vulnerable to foreign threats, and new attacks are and will be of a cyber nature, the former Air Force officer, tech CEO and author told 57 people gathered for a Fremont Hills Country Club luncheon last week. That’s why individuals, private businesses and government agencies should take steps now to protect themselves from catastrophic information security breaches.

Awaiting approval of permits, Waymo holds forum in Los Altos Hills

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Attendees of a Sept. 5 Waymo community forum at Los Altos Hills Town Hall marvel at one of the company’s hybrid Chrysler Pacifica vehicles, above. Allison Tran, 6, of Milpitas watches a Waymo autonomous vehicle simulation with a virtual-reality viewer during the forum. Another forum is scheduled Oct. 17 in Los Altos.

After 9 million miles traversed across 25 cities, self-driving car company Waymo is working to bring fully autonomous vehicle testing to Silicon Valley streets.

Shooting for a Strawless September: Mtn. View woman aims to reduce plastic waste

Although Bobbi Wilmoth never considered herself an activist, the Mountain View resident is on a one-woman mission to rid her city of plastic straws – one restaurant at a time.

Her Strawless September campaign is just the beginning, said Wilmoth, who is undeterred by critics who question how much of an impact the elimination of straws would have on the amount of plastic contaminating the oceans. She tells naysayers that at least it’s somewhere to start.

Stopping the stink: Los Altos Hills launches annual assault on stinkwort weed

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A cyclist pedals past stinkwort growing along Natoma Road in Los Altos Hills last week. The town has hired a pest control company to spray the invasive weed with an herbicide. The application is scheduled to start Monday and last for a few days.

Kit Gordon wrapped plastic around her prop at last month’s Los Altos Hills City Council meeting.

“If anyone wants to have a closer look – anyone in the audience – of what stinkwort is,” said Gordon, raising the bundle of spindly green vegetation Aug. 16. “I don’t know if you want to pass it around.”

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