Help stop vandalism at Redwood Grove
I’m writing this urgent request to the Los Altos City Council and Police Department to please take immediate action to stop the increasing vandalization at the Redwood Grove Nature Preserve.
In the past, I have observed and documented the destruction and have sent photos to the police and the Town Crier. I have continued to monitor the situation, only to see it deteriorate further.
Today, in addition to the usual cigarette butts, “roaches,” discarded rolling papers and empty beer cans, for the first time I observed black spray-painted tagging on a picnic table and several tree trunks.
Please understand that this intense level of vandalization only began when the property became vacant. It is not going to stop on its own. Acterra, the nonprofit group undertaking the preserve’s rehabilitation, can’t stop it. The occasional strolls through the property by police officers able to momentarily leave their fancy new SUVs haven’t stopped it. The neighbors are oblivious, even though their own properties are at risk from potential fires, etc.
We must have a deterrent. The only solution I see is to have someone living in the caretaker’s house. Perhaps the city could partner with Acterra to arrange that? Even motion-detection cameras directly linked to the police department would not substitute for the presence of a real person.
Redwood Grove is a precious gem in this area. As Los Altos’ population increases, it will become ever more valuable and ever more in need of protection. Please take action while the preserve is still here for all of us to enjoy.
Cyclists shouldn’t choose chatting over caution
As I read the article about the newly signed law requiring motorists to provide at least 3-foot spacing when passing bicyclists, I thought, “Seems reasonable – bicycling has enough inherent risks, and riders have so little protection” (“Some question effectiveness of new bike law,” Jan. 8).
Everyone is aware of this vulnerability. Yet many bicyclists choose to ride two or three abreast, often outside the bike lane (which is never wide enough for safe parallel riding). By choosing sociability over safety, they reduce their own safety cushion.
The photo accompanying the article makes the point: several bicyclists riding parallel, far outside the bike lane. They share the same roadway with 2-ton vehicles, trusting their lives to the skill and attentiveness of drivers. Vehicle drivers need to be cautious and considerate when near bicyclists. And although our young children learn not to “play in traffic,” riding parallel is fun.
Sadly, no law, regardless of its good intentions, can protect people from the consequences of their making poor decisions. And I think that riding parallel or outside the bike lane is a poor decision.
Michael Rappaport, M.D.
Chef Chu’s staff draws compliments
I would like to thank Larry Chu Jr. and the entire staff of Chef Chu’s for their kindness, support and professionalism when, without much notice and in the middle of the holiday season, they catered my mom’s memorial service after she passed in December.
During the 20-plus years we lived, worked and raised our family in and around Los Altos, Chef Chu’s always came through for the community and its families.
When 15 teens forgot to make a dinner reservation on a busy Friday night prior to a dressy and time-sensitive school event, one phone call to Larry solved the problem.
“When do they need to arrive?” queried Larry. And when I responded, “Oh, about now,” he said simply, “Send them over, we’ll make it work.”
Over the years, my book club has met there too many times to count. We stayed too long, talked too loudly and were always treated wonderfully.
Now, six years after we have moved across the country, a trip to Los Altos is never complete without visiting Chef Chu’s. And Larry always greets us as if we’ve never left.
Chef Chu’s is more than a restaurant, it is a town treasure. When it’s in your backyard, it is easy to forget this. But when you move away, it is easy to realize what you’ve lost. Coming back under stressful and emotional circumstances and hearing Larry’s calm voice say, “We’ll take care of it,” and knowing they would, was a blessing.