Mountain View committed to new LASD school campus

As the Los Altos School District trustees are expected to finalize purchase of the 10-acre Federal Realty property in The Village at San Antonio Center for a new campus, and to decide on which school will be housed there, we want to correct the record on some misinformation that is being spread as the topic is being debated.

Whichever school is placed on the new site, we look forward to it serving the Mountain View neighborhood students in the Los Altos School District along with other students. As the city of Mountain View is contributing significant resources to the site, with up to $23 million in park fees and the allowance of close to $100 million in the sale of development rights, which has never been down before, we are committed to helping the school be successful.

Those who are concerned with cannabis stores should rest assured that the Mountain View City Council recently removed The Village at San Antonio Center as a permitted location. There will also be a 600-foot buffer from sensitive uses, including schools, and that buffer may be increased to 1,000 feet.

Others concerned about bike and pedestrian safety, particularly when crossing El Camino Real, should know that thousands of students from Mountain View have made the crossing safely over the years, as they’ve had to commute to schools located in Los Altos. The city recently implemented a “road diet” at Graham Middle School, which is also near El Camino Real, to make the area safer for cyclists and pedestrians. The city is focused on making the San Antonio neighborhood similarly more pedestrian and bike friendly and supporting Safe Routes to Schools as new development occurs. For example, completed improvements include: Bike lanes at San Antonio Road, between California Avenue and El Camino; a lighted pedestrian crossing at Miller Avenue and San Antonio; and green and buffered bike lanes on the south side of California between San Antonio and Pacchetti Way. With the old Safeway site redevelopment, plans include a new signal across California Avenue between San Antonio and Pacchetti; improvements to bike lanes on the north side of California between San Antonio and Pacchetti; and a raised crosswalk across Pacchetti north of California. Phase II of the Village at San Antonio Center development calls for a pedestrian paseo, and the city also is studying bike lanes on El Camino.

Some have turned to crime statistics. While there has been a higher than average number of calls for service, mostly associated with retail theft and car break-ins at the shopping center, the area is still safe overall. Numerous families live in the immediate vicinity, and the amount of violent crime is relatively low. In comparison, calls for service in the San Antonio area have been less than half the number of calls in the Mountain View downtown area and the adjacent residential neighborhood.

To be able to acquire a 10-acre site for a school in this real estate climate is a major feat. The Mountain View City Council was the only city within the Los Altos School District boundaries to answer the school district’s call for assistance in the acquisition of a new school site. We, and our colleagues, recognize that new housing development in the San Antonio area is contributing to an increase in the Los Altos School District student population, and this area will be the concentration of future student population growth. It therefore makes sense to have a school in this area that will serve the neighborhood students and also provide much-needed amenities to residents in the vicinity.

Margaret Abe-Koga is a member of the Mountain View City Council and Lisa Matichak is mayor.


No Shoes, Please: Town Crier columnist leaving for East Bay, says thanks for the memories

When our family originally moved from Mountain View to Los Altos, we thought our newly purchased home cost more than what anyone ought to pay for a three-bedroom fixer-upper, but the joke at the time was that in Los Altos, you pay for the land and the house itself is free. That said, the property had potential, so my husband and I took the plunge and bought it.

The second day after we had moved in, a neighbor approached me while I was standing outside. He was an original homeowner, someone who had built his house on this tract of land where nothing but orchards had existed before.

Other Voices: Los Altos stormwater drainage initiative worth the extra money

A proposed city of Los Altos stormwater drainage fee, subject of a city council public hearing Tuesday, will average approximately $7 per month, or $88 per year per parcel.

Letters to the Editor - week of April 24

Egan students deserve better

I respectfully disagree with the April 10 editorial (“Bombshell deal just might work”) and Nancy Bremeau’s letter (“LASD scores an ‘A’ for 10th-site plan”) concerning the deal to give the whole of the Egan Junior High School campus to Bullis Charter School and move Egan to a new site.

I grew up in the Los Altos School District and graduated from Egan in 1994. At that time we had six elementary schools, Bullis Charter School did not exist and there were 351 students at Egan. If my counting is accurate, it means 351 Egan students enjoyed an entire 18.8-acre campus to themselves.

Other Voices: Sharing is the solution for BCS, LASD

At the April 8 Los Altos School District board meeting, families expressed their outrage with the proposal to relocate Egan Junior High School. Our community believes, and I agree, that the proposed Bullis Charter School/Los Altos School District agreement is not in the best interests of our children. We all want peace, but not at any cost. We must find a better solution.

I request that the district and charter school boards work together to implement a groundbreaking district/charter collaboration that benefits all students.

Letters to the Editor - Week of April 17

Bullis Charter School: Why no outrage?

Outrage abounds. Many are asking why the Los Altos School District camp would negotiate a deal that seemingly surrenders a “jewel” to Bullis Charter School when the charter school apparently gives up nothing.

Let me tell you why I am celebrating. This deal is a long time in the making. As a Bullis Charter School parent, I am excited to consolidate our program onto one site. We will no longer spend time negotiating the use of a gym, field or lab, and all of us can go back to supporting our students in their classrooms. No more Proposition 39, threats of lawsuits or brutal neighbor-to-neighbor conflict.

Haugh About That?: Past, present or future – life's three locations: Where did I live?

With cries bellowing from the nursery, I rushed in to save the day. I was sure my grandson needed me. After all, I’m his Grammie, the baby whisperer. Sitting in bed, with snot running down his face, he continued wailing even after I picked him up. I finally realized it wasn’t me he wanted, but his favorite stuffed animal, Lovey, that had fallen out of his crib.

Cuddling him close, I gave Lovey back, but just as I did, he dropped it to the floor again and wrapped his little arms around my neck, putting his tear-stained cheek next to mine. Holding him close, I was reminded of all the sweet times I had done this with my children, but rarely had I stopped to treasure the moment. Life was busy with four kids, and I was on overload.

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 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.

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