Letters to the Editor: Los Altos Hardware, open letters to LA, LAH

End of an era for iconic ice cream cone

My parents, Henry and Sue Nesmith, have owned Los Altos Hardware for almost 40 years. Before the hardware store took ownership of the property in 1983, the building was home to the famous Clint’s Ice Cream shop, followed by a wonderful French restaurant. The building is known for its iconic ice cream cone that sat on the roof marking the spot of Clint’s Ice Cream Store.
In the midst of obtaining a new roof, Los Altos Hardware realized the historic ice cream cone had to be removed. Every rainy winter the cone would leak severely and merchandise would be ruined because of water damage. For years, we tried to patch the leaks from the inside, but they could never be fixed. When we started to investigate with the roofing company, we realized the foundation was made of narrow wooden beams that were decaying and full of termite damage. Unfortunately, the memorable ice cream cone had to be removed. It was a miracle it never fell over!
We understand the sentimental value of the ice cream cone and are terribly sad to see it go. Through the years we have loved hearing the stories of our customers’ experiences at Clint’s and hope those stories never stop! We hope to one day re-create a more stable structure to represent Clint’s ice cream cone.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Los Altos Hardware loves being a part of this wonderful community and we thank you for your continued support!
Nina Nesmith
Operations manager
Los Altos Hardware

LAH: All benefits, no assistance

Following is an open letter to Los Altos Hills Mayor Michelle Wu.
After reading your June 10 letter to the editor (“LAH mayor says town backs small businesses”) – your rebuttal to the negative response about the choice the town of Los Altos Hills made to provide just a molecule of funding assistance for the Los Altos Small Business Relief Fund (Los Altos Hills funded one business grant) – I was very unhappy to learn that Los Altos Hills seems to want all of the benefits from a close-in and charming downtown with free parking, but chooses not to assist in any meaningful way during an emergency shutdown of the business community.
The tax-base argument is groundless. Santa Clara County reported a very high rate of recent residential property tax payments, while retail businesses have been prevented from generating revenue, which in turn generates sales-tax revenue. These businesses have been forced to shut down and limit shopping for the sole purpose of keeping everyone in our community healthy.
It is a very unbalanced burden the retailers, service providers and restaurants are forced to endure. Their landlords and mortgage holders are not required by the same COVID-19 orders to stop collecting monthly rents and mortgages. The reason the fund was created was to help, in a small way, balance the inequitable financial burden that continues. The city of Los Altos understands how critical it is to help share the burden.
Due to lack of funding, 20 small businesses that qualify for a Small Business Relief grant will not be provided that assistance. Perhaps Los Altos Hills would prefer to pay on a “per trip” basis: a toll gate at each road artery leading into downtown Los Altos from the Hills.
Sherry Scott
President, Sherry Scott
Los Altos

LA council, mayor: ‘We can do better’

I find Los Altos City Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins’ off-handed comment to Councilwoman Neysa Fligor extremely offensive. Her apology is hollow. She owes an apology to the community as well for her insulting remark. Racist language hurts all who hear it, regardless of their background. Mayor Jan Pepper’s defense of Bruins’ remark is equally concerning. She owes an apology to the community as well.
Their behavior is emblematic of a lack of awareness of council members as to the systemic racism present in American society and the implicit cultural bias that permeates our lexicon.
Apologize to the citizens of Los Altos. Educate yourselves. Share your plan to work with the Los Altos Police Department on reducing racially motivated stops and inviting community oversight.
We can do better. We demand better from our leadership.
Gretchen Craford
Los Altos

Chamber programs making a difference

The leadership provided by the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce has been instrumental to our community during this historic time. The Chamber has worked with several local organizations to create the following new programs.
• The Los Altos Small Business Relief Fund. The fund provides $5,000 grants to eligible storefront businesses across all Los Altos business districts.
• What’s Open Los Altos. The project provides one online location to order, purchase and donate to support Los Altos businesses through the COVID-19 crisis.
• The Los Altos Gift Card. The initiative supports online gift card sales to support our local merchants and restaurants.
• Open Streets Los Altos. The program works with both retail and restaurant owners to build consensus and find a temporary solution that supports our entire community. Residents have expanded opportunities to shop and dine within social-distancing protocols through the open streets of downtown Los Altos Thursday through Sunday.
• Facebook groups and social media campaigns. Such efforts engage residents through social media to share photos of their favorite takeout and recent retail purchases.
We ask you to show your support of our efforts by donating to the Chamber – losaltoschamber.org.
Kim Mosley
President, Los Altos
Chamber of Commerce

Letters to the Editor: Street closures, mayor's bias, climate change

Group offers support for street closures

We fully support the Los Altos City Council’s June 9 decision regarding street closures to experiment with ways to support downtown restaurants and retail and personal service businesses and the community as a whole.

Los Altos Property Owners Downtown believes a key to having a successful downtown Los Altos has always been striving to increase “feet on the street,” which serves all the downtown businesses. Obviously, the COVID-19 shelter-in-place orders have necessarily severely limited for public health reasons “feet on the street,” causing great damage to most if not all businesses in our community.

Letters to the Editor: Reach codes, small business, Kiwanis thanks

GreenTown Los Altos supports reach codes

Blue skies and clean air. The pandemic is a terrible price to pay, but clean air is wonderful.

GreenTown Los Altos strives to be the environmental face of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills with creek cleanups, tree plantings, bike rides, and more. We also want to encourage everyone to stop burning fossil fuels in their homes and in their cars, a leading contribution to climate change – and that brings us to reach codes. Reach codes “reach” beyond the Title 24 codes that require energy efficiency in building construction.

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

Paid Political Endorsement letters

The Town Crier offers the option of pre-paid political endorsement letters for candidates in the Nov. 3 election.

Letters must support candidates – no submissions containing exclusively negative content will be printed.

Authors’ names are required for publication. Letters will be published in the order they are received, and we will accept only one letter per author per campaign. Please limit letters to no more than 200 words.

The cost is $150 per endorsement letter for either print or online, $200 for both. The deadline is 5 p.m. Wednesdays for inclusion in the following week’s Town Crier. To submit endorsement letters and for more information, email Howard Bischoff at howardb@latc.com.

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