'Cradle of Liberty' inspires gratitude, call to action

Cradle of Liberty ceremony
Ishaan Parmar/Special to the Town Crier
Former Los Altos Mayor Frank Verlot, standing, master of ceremonies for the July 4 “Cradle of Liberty” statute anniversary event, speaks to the crowd gathered at Shoup Park in Los Altos.

The solemn statue of a soldier with a baby, nestled under a canopy of trees at Shoup Park, served as inspiration for a special July 4 program celebrating America’s freedoms and gratitude for veterans.

Lots of Love drives MV's efforts to curb homelessness

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The city of Mountain View is experiencing an uptick in RVs parked along main roads, such as Shoreline Boulevard, above. Police spokeswoman Katie Nelson said she “definitely noticed” more long-term parkers and noted that officers had received complaints from cyclists whose lanes were blocked by RVs.

Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors President Joe Simitian has a big dream: developing long-term, systemic solutions to end homelessness in the county.

He knows that realistically, results are going to come slowly, with collaboration, but his fellow supervisors and other community leaders are making his vision a reality, one project at a time.

Special events in the works for 4th

Los Altos Hills 4th of July Parade
Alice Sakamoto/Special to the Town Crier
Led by Los Altos Hills Mayor John Radford’s springer spaniel, Eddie, participants of the town’s 2017 4th of July Parade march down Fremont Road. This year’s parade begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday at town hall, 26379 W. Fremont Road.

From pancakes to parades, there are several ways for local residents to celebrate the Fourth of the July.

A list of scheduled events follows.

Local residents fill downtown Mountain View to protest separation of families

Families Belong Together
Andrew Yee/Special to the Town Crier
Participants of Saturday’s “Families Belong Together” march and rally line El Camino Real at Castro Street in Mountain View. View additional images online at www.facebook.com/LosAltosTownCrier.

Local residents and community leaders took to the streets of downtown Mountain View Saturday night at a rally organized by Together We Will Palo Alto/Mountain View to protest the U.S. government’s immigration policies that have led to separating parents from children at the southwest border.

“Immigrants are welcome here. No hate! No fear!” protestors chanted at the intersection of Castro Street and El Camino Real.

The protest was one of many held Saturday throughout the nation, prompted by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s April order of a “zero-tolerance” policy regarding immigration at the border. According to estimates by Propublica, more than 2,300 children have been separated from their families since Sessions’ announcement.

“We want to let the administration and the communities know that what the administration is doing is not OK,” said Sabah Rumanawar, a volunteer with Together We Will, in a phone interview. “And it’s up to the local communities and the state communities and the national communities to come together and make sure that the values of our nation don’t get tainted.”

The closest migrant detainment facility to this area is in Pleasant Hill, according to a Propublica database. The facility, run by the Southwest Key Program, has posted a statement on its website opposing the separation of families at the border stating that “For every child who has come through our shelter doors, we start on day one to reunite them with their parents or a family sponsor and to provide the kind of service that will help them thrive. This has been our priority for decades.”

By the time Saturday’s protest officially started, more than 200 people lined the northeast corner of El Camino and Castro, holding signs with words like “Impeach Hate,” "No refugee prison camps,” and one sign written in Chinese that translated to “Trump is Crazy.”

“I think the community leaders need to show that although it isn’t affecting me personally that it affects people in our community,” said Cupertino Councilman Steven Scharf, who was holding a sign with those words written in Chinese.

Scharf joined fellow community leaders – including Los Altos Mayor Jean Mordo, Mountain View Mayor Lenny Siegel, East Palo Alto Vice Mayor Lisa Gauthier and Mountain View City Councilman Ken Rosenberg – at the protest.

Although the rally officially began at 7 p.m., supporters started congregating at the intersection at approximately 6:45 p.m. with a couple passersby driving along El Camino yelling to “Build the wall.” By the time the crowd turned to march to Mountain View Civic Plaza, organizer IdaRose Sylvester estimated that more than 1,000 people were in attendance.

“We protested here three weeks ago at the farmers’ market in Mountain View when the news just broke and received 25 people,” the Mountain View resident said. “But someone has told me that they estimated 1,000…But expect this to get much bigger than it is right now.”

By the time the event ended at 9:30 p.m., Sylvester estimated that more than 2,500 protestors – from young to old – filled Civic Plaza.

“When my daughter grows and asks what we did, I want to be able to tell her that we did what we could,” said Mountain View resident Allison Zimmerman, accompanied by her husband and children. “We were in San Jose earlier today and now we’re here showing our support.”

As the marchers settled into Civic Plaza at approximately 8 p.m., Siegel, Gauthier, Rosenberg and other community leaders addressed the crowd.

“How many people are outraged right now?” Rosenberg said. “You are not outraged enough! What is happening is awful and it breaks every covenant we thought we belonged to.”

Rosenberg later added, “Do what our former and real president (Barack Obama) did – ‘Don’t boo, vote.’”

The immigration policy appears to be on its way toward being dismantled; June 26, a Southern California judge ordered the government to reunite all children with their families within 30 days.

“I think that’s too long,” longtime Los Altos resident Janet Harding said. “First of all, they shouldn’t have been separated in the first place. And then they should be reunited within 30 days – that is too long for any child to be taken away from their families.”

View additional images online at www.facebook.com/LosAltosTownCrier.

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Santa Clara County disposes of reusable cup survey

Countywide Retail Habit Survey
Ishaan Parmar/Special to the Town Crier
Paper cups used at coffee shops such as Philz are cited as one of the biggest contributors to single-use waste. Philz offers a substantial discount for those who bring a reusable cup.

An online survey seeking to gauge Santa Clara County residents’ thoughts on reusable cups has been prematurely suspended due to concerns it implied officials intend to impose fees upon or ban the sale of disposable beverage containers.

The Countywide Retail Habit Survey originated with the Public Education Subcommittee, a group under the county Recycling and Waste Reduction Commission’s Technical Advisory Committee that consists of officials from various cities who develop community outreach campaigns. Subcommittee members published the survey June 1 and intended to accept responses through June 17, but they discontinued it days before. Subcommittee chairwoman Karin Hickey, environmental program manager for the city of Santa Clara, explained its abrupt end in an email sent to the Town Crier.

Weeds by Miramonte Avenue USPS leave 'mulch' to be desired

Miramonte Post Office
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Weeds at the post office on Miramonte Avenue in Los Altos, above, before they were mowed down last week.

As it turns out, the power is still with the people.

Just days after the Town Crier looked into complaints from multiple residents about unkempt landscaping in front of the United States Postal Service building on Miramonte Avenue in Los Altos, the weeds disappeared.

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