Use native plants to replace stinkwort
As a professional, I have been converting weedy hillsides in Los Altos Hills back to native grasslands and wildflower fields. During that time, a new noxious weed, stinkwort, started growing along Interstate 280, then its seeds spread off the freeway onto town properties. Currently, Stinkwort grows along nearly every road in Los Altos Hills, and is moving into the fields around homes and soon will be in all of the Peninsula’s open spaces.
To manage this new weed, every plant needs to be string-trimmed or treated with herbicides, including Caltrans and Stanford University hills spraying their infestations, in August and September each year.
To permanently take the place of the stinkwort, the final fix will be sowing in November one or more of the local native seeds along all of the roadsides and I-280, on Stanford’s hills and within Los Altos Hills’ fields. Those seeds can be purchased in bulk from either Pacific Coast Seed in Livermore or Hedgerow Farms in Winters.
The native seeds include California poppy, Clarkia rubicunda, Grindelia camporum, Heterotheca grandiflora, Madia elegans, Mexican narrow-leaf milkweed, mule’s ear, Spanish clover, Tidy Tips, Western yarrow and White Hayfield Tarweed.
The Reveg Edge
Address traffic hazard on Main Street
There is an annoying traffic hazard on Main Street.
Yellow signs have been placed on the center divider, warning motorists not to cross double yellow lines. Many of these signs are habitually knocked over, increasing road hazards. These signs do not seem to deter motorists crossing double yellow lines, and these signs therefore seem to be a redundant nuisance.
In addition, I urge the Los Altos Police Department to mark a clear red strip at the entrance to Shoup Park. The existing red marking is barely visible, and I have witnessed near-accidents as motorists try to exit Shoup Park onto University Avenue. A speed bump at this intersection would be helpful, or perhaps flashing lights could be installed as motorists exit Shoup Park.
First Street Green would prove a ‘win-win’
I am glad the Parks and Recreation Commission moved forward with the First Street Green proposal (“First Street park plan moves forward after contentious meeting,” Sept. 27).
However, it’s important that the commission stick to its expertise, which is parks and recreation. It should leave the fiscal benefits, benefits to merchants and politics to the Los Altos City Council, and solely consider the (obvious) benefits of a public park in the downtown area.
An open, attractive proposal like this will help create the sense of place that will make our community richer. I also fully support the idea of more community events in the new park/plaza, such as concerts, performances and art shows. Family-centered activities like picnics and games sound good, too.
Since I am not a commissioner, I can comment on the other benefits from added recreational activity at the new public plaza, which will make it more attractive for Los Altos residents to come downtown instead of spending their shopping, dining and entertainment dollars elsewhere.
It’s clear that the First Street Green will attract quality retail to the area to fill downtown vacancies. Plus, we get to both expand our parking capacity while putting it underground and out of sight. That’s a win-win.