• LG Opinions

    Published on 04-07-2013 07:30 PM

    We, the members of the Los Gatos Citizens for Responsible Development support responsible, reasonable and effective growth and development.

    We support the re-development of the Los Gatos Business Park LLC (proposed Albright Office Park) consistent with the following:

    • We support a project consistent with the Goals and Policies of the 2020 General Plan, consistent with the General Plan Light Industrial Land Use Designation, and consistent with the Townʼs Commercial Design Guidelines.
    • We support a project that protects our environment.
    • We support a project that minimizes traffic impacts in an already congested area.
    Published on 04-04-2013 02:00 PM

    Math class offerings cut by the district at Fisher Middle School will impact every K-5 child!

    The district's implementation plan for the new Common Core Standards in Los Gatos K-8 will result in the loss of math levels. Can you believe in Los Gatos we would allow such a thing? Since when do we settle for limited choices? Why would we not continue to allow kids that excel in math to be placed in a classroom that provides a challenging and stimulating learning environment? If your child excels, no longer will the be allowed to take a class outside of their grade level. Those that need the highest math level currently offered at Fisher, will now have to wait until high school. How can this be? Since when did we say "no" to providing an excellent education? The Superintendent labeled the over 100 parents at the "math meeting" last week as "hostile" when questions arose. That does not sound very collaborative nor solution oriented, it unfortunately sounds like a "no".

    Published on 03-19-2013 07:00 AM

    The General Plan calls for a 35 foot height limit. Why should we approve 65 feet requested by the developer?

    Structures that go 35 feet, with underground parking will be in compliance with the existing zoning height limit, and provide open space with the underground parking. Keeping to the existing height limit will protect views, and the privacy of adjoining landowners.

    Published on 01-09-2013 09:30 PM

    Los Gatos Town's Planning Commission pushes affordable housing away

    Recently the Los Gatos Town’s Planning Commission was called upon to to plan for future affordable income housing units throughout Town. The commission’s response was a resounding “Not In My Downtown!” Paying only lip service to the concept of building affordable housing IN Los Gatos, the Commission’s plan-which will come before Town Council within a few weeks- is to essentially dump hundreds of low-income housing units in the “faraway lands” north of highway 85.

    by Published on 11-10-2012 01:44 PM

    Now that this year’s General Election is for most of us just a distant memory, it’s about time for government (particularly our local government) to get back to the business of governance (def. the act of governing consisting of the separate processes of management and leadership).

    That said, it is unfortunate that in recent months past, an attempted putsch (def. a sudden attempt by a group to overthrow the institutions of government), with the underlying objective of altering the traditional sequence of succession to the office of Vice-Mayor, manifested itself amongst the membership of our very own Town Council, leading some local observers to label the event as the playing out of dirty politics within Town Chambers.

    When word of this event reached my ears, I was for the first time in my over two decades of living and raising a family in Los Gatos, ashamed to call myself a Los Gatan.

    As this year comes to an end and a new year begins, with Vice-Mayor Barbara Spector having won re-election, and (soon to be former) Planning Commissioner Marcia having been ...
    Published on 11-10-2012 01:32 PM

    Congratulations to Marcia Jensen on her election to Town Council and to Barbara Spector on her re-election to Town Council. Both have worked hard to preserve the qualities of the town that we all find are the compelling reason to live here. Thanks to Steve Rice for his years of service on Town Council. We look forward to having Barbara Spector as Mayor for the next year given the normal rotation from her current post at Vice Mayor and to Steve Leonardis as Vice Mayor, on his rotation. 2013 will be a good year.

    Bill Schmidt
    Los Gatos.

    If you would like to submit a letter, please contact me: kir@insidelg.com
    by Published on 11-10-2012 01:30 PM

    The elections are finished and we have one new excellent councilperson soon joining the council in addition to re-electing another excellent councilperson, Barbara Spector. It is my understanding that the existing council will soon be naming the new mayor and vice-mayor. Because there was some acrimony when Ms. Spector was named vice-mayor last year, I am hoping that the transition will go much more smoothly this time.

    I don’t believe there is a rule, nor law, as to how the succession happens, but rather the town has relied on custom and tradition. In the past, the vice-mayor (currently Ms. Spector) became the mayor, and the vice-mayor’s position was either a council person who had not been vice-mayor, or if all had been the vice mayor, it would likely be the person that had not been either mayor nor vice-mayor for the longest period of time. Steve Leonardis, until this last election, the newest councilperson, would be in line for the job of vice-mayor.

    It is important to get the new council off to a smooth start in 2013 with
    Published on 11-08-2012 06:10 PM

    On November 19, the Los Gatos Town Council will make appointments to the position of Mayor and Vice Mayor. These appointments are very important to the future of our Town.

    I strongly urge the Council to appoint Barbara Spector (currently Vice Mayor) to the position of Mayor and Councilman Steve Leonardis to the position of Vice Mayor.

    Barbara Spector has proven herself to be a strong, well-prepared leader and is the traditional appointment to the position of Mayor. Steve Leonardis has consistently proven himself to be an independent thinker who studies the issues and is in line to be the traditional appointment to Vice Mayor.

    These are two excellent Council members who have served Los Gatos well and will continue to serve honorably in these key positions.

    - Dick Allen

    If you would like to submit a "Los Gatos Resident Opinion" piece, please email me: kir@insidelg.com
    Published on 09-28-2012 07:05 AM
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    The Los Gatos Art Bridge attempts to connect newer residents of Los Gatos to the earlier artists and craftsmen who participated in making the town the attractive and comfortable place we all love. Many newcomers to town (residents for less than perhaps 20 years) are not aware that so much of the unique town culture was created by a substantial number of artists and craftsmen and women who are still living here, still producing their wares and have fans and active customers throughout the world. This being said, many of these local artists and crafts people may be world class professionals but they are often unknown here, in their hometown which they helped build and promote.

    A perfect and timely demonstration of this lack of knowledge regarding local talent is when the town officials solicited an artful treatment of the glass panels to be used in the new library, a building which is nearly all glass. The architects for the library were from Berkeley and the Los Gatos officials had them solicit proposals for the art treatment of the glass panels. Ultimately, the town paid one artist from Chico approximate
    Published on 09-26-2012 02:00 PM
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    The mission of the Art Bridge is to develop a greater awareness of the heritage

    of the Town of Los Gatos.

    It is not simply an effort to recite the history of Town but to

    track and further illuminate the ongoing, living legacy of those

    who brought new life and vigor to Town

    in later half of the 20th Century

    In the wake of the massive Loma Prieta Earthquake of 1989, many buildings in Los Gatos, private and public, were cracked and broken and shaken from their foundations. A lot of rebuilding was going to take place.

    A generation earlier, in the 1960s, for economic reasons, the Town of Los Gatos was facing another, less dramatic, rebuilding. The agricultural economy, upon which the entire Santa Clara Valley made its living, was being phased out. A research and manufacturing economy was moving in, and it was moving in fast and furious. This industrialization was festering most substantially around the Naval Air Station at Moffet Field in the north end of the county. It was obvious that this area would surely develop into the center for this emerging technology based industry. Just as obvious, the far flung communities, at the foot of the mountains defining Santa Clara Valley, ...
    Published on 08-21-2012 04:30 PM

    Town Council Can You Hear Us? Our Neighborhoods Can Not Absorb An Increase In Hillbrook School Traffic

    It often seems as if the root cause of many problems can be attributed to being heard and recently it seems as if the art of listening is a rare commodity. Recent Town Council meetings have seen broad representation from residents, with varying concerns, all with passionate messages. But I can’t help to think that the message is getting lost in translation. Town Management please take notice – we have safety issues resulting from Hillbrook School’s growing traffic! LG CATS (Los Gatans Concerned About Traffic & Safety) is asking Hillbrook School, Mr. Larson and our town management to hear us. We need solutions to provide safety for anyone living on or using Marchmont, Shannon, Kennedy, Englewood, Topping, Hilow, Stonybrook, Cardinal, Robin and the surrounding streets and cul de sacs impacted by Hillbrook's growing traffic.


    As a neighbor and friend to Hillbrook for the past 12 years, I can assure you I want Hillbrook to succeed in
    Published on 07-23-2012 05:45 PM

    I have heard the comment from Hillbrook School parents and a trustee that Marchmont Drive and surrounding streets are public streets. The implication is that neighbors have no right to object to heavy traffic generated by Hillbrook because the streets around the school are free and open to anyone. It makes me sad to hear this because it suggest that many people at Hillbrook turn a deaf ear to neighbor’s concerns about safety and quality of life. They see no reason to stop using—and abusing—neighborhood streets.

    I would like to counter the idea that there should be no limit to the use of our neighborhood’s streets, especially since Hillbrook is requesting an almost 32% expansion of its student body--which would also, of course, increase Hillbrook traffic by at least 32%. I would like to point out that Town policies are aimed at protecting neighborhoods along residential streets like ours—Marchmont, Hilow, Topping, Stonybrook, Englewood, Cardinal, and Robin to name just some—and that residential streets are not in fact open to excessive use.

    The Town has policies to protect neighborhoods like ours. ...
    Published on 04-30-2012 12:05 PM

    The following email was submitted by a Los Gatos parent. He/she lives in the LGUSD district; however, he/she wishes to remain anonymous:

    What does innovation and collaboration look like? Why don’t we have educational equity in LGUSD?

    To me part of innovation and collaboration is looking at who is doing the best job or who is having the best outcomes and then ask them what are they doing differently. This is something in our educational community that needs to be done on every level. Not just by teachers but by our administrators as well. I received the below email about upcoming kindergarten orientation at Blossom Hill because that is my home school. Attached is a two sheet form they ask that you fill out to inform them about your kindergartener. The kindergarteners also get a chance to meet all of the teachers prior to the commencement of school. My friends in Saratoga describe even more in depth forms that they fill out about their children. While there is an orientation for the parents at Van Meter, to my knowledge, there is no formal process that involves the exchange of information about the children or any type of meet and greet. I also believe that this has not been happening at Daves.

    I have been very happy at Van Meter. We have had two wonderful hard working teachers who have made my child look forward to going to school on a daily basis. I have spoken to some
    Published on 04-30-2012 10:25 AM

    The following email was submitted by a group of "concerned parents." They live in the LGUSD district; however, they wish to remain anonymous:

    The April 10th board vote to stop building Lexington has sent shockwaves throughout our community. I can’t help but ask, “How did we get here?”

    After thinking back over the past several months of Board meetings, what stands out is the overly optimistic presentations from the District’s Chief Business Officer. Her presentations listed the challenges with each action being taken. Things were moving on track to be shovel-ready by June. Our expectation was a green light to start building.

    Then we hear the big shock. Four million dollars later and CGS still will not approve it. Why?

    As CBO and Project Manager, Leslie Paulides was intimately aware of all aspects of the Lexington project. She was responsible for interfacing with the geological consultants and even stood before us, at a board meeting, confidently explaining soil samples to determine geologic era, slope stability and landslides. She knew all of the challenges with water, fire, safety, and seismic issues the engineers faced. Were the consultants misleading her? Why was everything ...
    Published on 04-28-2012 01:20 AM

    Dear Los Gatos Community,

    After sitting for five hours on Tuesday at the Los Gatos Union School District Board of Trustees' Meeting, I realized that the Los Gatos Community is now facing a lose-lose situation. It is time to put a stop at this "one school against another" absurd madness.

    Considering Fisher as a long term interim housing for Lexington students and setting the site up with portables that will cost between $1M and $2M, would be like buying an expensive tent for your family and setting it up at your neighbor's backyard, because it seems like the price to fix your roof is too high.

    If this is the route that the Board decides to take, what will happen once the graduating kids overcrowding Van Meter along with Blossom Hill, Daves and Lexington join the Fisher + Lexington Elementary combo?

    At that point we will get desperate, turn back to the Lexington site and, possibly, decide to spend who knows how many more millions into something that should have been done 10 years ago.

    No site is unbuildable. You just need to invest the money to make it buildable. Los Gatos

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