Meeting shows how Los Altos council, city staff and Planning Commission are not on same page

4880 El Camino Real
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Prior to the construction of Lola LLC’s five-story residential complex at 4880 El Camino Real in Los Altos, story poles stood to show the outline of the development, now pictured above. Developers claim that the city’s required height and material for story poles pose a safety risk. In response, the city council last week revised the policy to include pennant flags as an alternative.

Decisions on two key issues at the Los Altos City Council’s March 26 meeting demonstrated how council members often disagree with the recommendations of city staff and the Planning Commission.

In the city staff reports on subdividing a residential lot and revising the city’s story-pole policy, planners in charge of the projects recommended approving them. However, the council continued the discussion on the proposed subdivision and accepted just one of the Planning Commission’s suggested amendments to story-pole guidelines.

El Camino Healthcare District affiliate cleared to buy bankrupt Verity clinics

Silicon Valley Medical Development, an El Camino Healthcare District affiliate seeking to secure approval for the purchase of five of now-bankrupt Verity Healthcare South Bay clinics, plans to complete the acquisition and open the clinics with San Jose Medical Group this week.

Local psychiatrist claims bogus city award on employer website

Update (April 10): SavantCare officials claim they themselves were duped by online scammers using the website,, that has forwarded them yearly email announcements of "best of" awards since 2015. A Better Business Bureau article of the same scam can be found here. According to the Los Altos-based firm, the only proactive action SavantCare and Dr. Sonia Parikh made was in 2015, when they paid $150 for a "best of" plaque that "Awardedbest" offered to them. The plaque claimed "Best of Los Altos."

SavantCare co-founder Vikas Kedia said: "In hindsight, we should have called the city manager and asked if this was a legitimate award." 

Kedia said the SavantCare agrees with the story's assertion that "the company giving these awards is fake. It seems likely that their business model was to make money from doctors and lawyers by declaring a professional from each city as the best, then asking them to buy a placard. ... We have removed references to these fake awards from our website."

Kedia said that SavantCare officials responded to questions from the Town Crier on March 26, prior to the story's deadline. Town Crier staff asserts the company did not respond either by phone call or email. Kedia said he has hired a digital forensic evaluator to prove emails were sent.

Dr. Parikh is no longer a local resident, which the story indicated incorrectly. She moved to Redondo Beach last year.


A local psychiatrist has been touting an award on her clinic’s website that, according to the city of Los Altos, does not exist.

Dr. Sonia Parikh of SavantCare, described as a “high-tech community psychiatry clinic currently located in five cities across California,” claims online that she has won the “Best of Los Altos for Psychiatrist” honor every year since 2015.

It's official: Los Altos experiencing property crime spree

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Alarm signs serve as deterrents at a home on Waverly Lane in Los Altos, one of the many streets struck by a residential burglary since the year’s start. In 2018, 80 burglaries were reported in the city; in the first quarter of 2019, reveals that the tally is already halfway to last year’s total. The Los Altos police preach their motto of “Be Aware, Be Alert and Be Active” to prevent all types of crime.

Since 2019 began, there have been more property crimes than days of the year.

According to, as of the Town Crier deadline, the city had experienced 113 property crimes. That number includes 41 burglaries (35 residential, six commercial), 44 acts of theft (petty and grand), 14 acts of vandalism and 14 vehicle thefts.

Los Altos Hills man admits college admissions scandal connection

A Los Altos Hills man has revealed himself as a parent implicated in the college admissions scandal by disclosing the link to his Silicon Valley venture capital firm.

Safe Routes project report due this week

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Cyclists pedal on the shared bicycle-pedestrian path along Homestead Road near the Foothill Expressway intersection last week. The Safe Routes to School project team has suggested extending the path on Homestead, replacing the bike lane in some areas.

With the final community meeting held last month, the Homestead Road Safe Routes to School project team anticipates completing its final report by the end of the week.

The report will encompass a study of the traffic hazards along the Homestead Corridor, which includes parts of Grant Avenue, South Bernardo Avenue and Homestead Road, as well as proposed solutions to address the concerns.

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