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Virginia Roberts 1925-2014

Mrs. Virginia R Roberts was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee on March 8th, 1925 to parents William Clarence Colwell and Mary Virginia Colwell.  She was educated in Chattanooga and later attended San Mateo Junior College after moving to California.  She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Robert L Roberts, daughter Sharon Virginia Buzzini , and son Robert L Roberts.  She is survived by; brother Dr Gene Thomas Colwell (Peggy) of Duluth, GA; sister-in-law Betty Lou Colwell of Oakridge, TN; daughter Donna Colby (Michael) of Turlock; son-in-law George Buzzini of Ripon; and daughter-in-law Carol Roberts of Milpitas.   She is also survived by her grandson’s; Brian Buzzini (Jonelle) of Riverbank; Tim Buzzini of Modesto; Kenneth Colby (Holley) of Oakland; Ryan Colby (Molly) of Pine Grove; Jesse Colby (Chelsea) of Sutter Creek; and Robert T Roberts (Karin) of Santa Clara.  As well as her great-grandchildren, Grace and Sophie Buzzini; Kate and Jack Buzzini; Shayla and Rylee Colby; Tyler, Grace and Madelyn Colby; and twins Addison and Etta Roberts expected in February.
Virginia, fondly referred to as Nana by the grandchildren, was a person who embraced life and the people in it. The family will have fond memories of wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, hosted for decades on her own, taking care of every detail and preparing delicious meals without ever a hitch. She loved to entertain, whether it was a Christmas dinner for 25 or a friend over for afternoon coffee and sweets. Both type of events were given the same level of commitment to make her guests feel comfortable and considered. Virginia’s commitment to life and the people in her life is what endeared her to her family and friends and, in turn, her life was fulfilled.

Virginia and Bob moved to California in 1951 after World War II when Bob accepted a job as a Pilot with United Airlines.  He retired as Captain and Chief Pilot from United Airlines stationed out of San Francisco.   Virginia was a Volunteer at Los Altos City Hall, Chamber of Commerce, member of the Volunteer Committee, and recipient of the John W Gardner Lifetime Community Builder Award.  Her favorite place to volunteer was City Hall where she was fondly known as the house mother.

We are grateful to Dr. James Joye and his staff, El Camino Hospital, and Pathways Hospice for their excellent care and kindness.  In memory of her, donations can be made to the Los Altos Community Foundation in her name.  A celebration of her life will be on October 30th from 4 to 6 PM at the Neutra House on Hillview Avenue in Los Altos.

2014 Los Altos City Council Candidates Forum


“SAID” TALKS in Los Altos. Watch our potential decision makers say what they will do for Los Altos in the next 4 years regarding:


Downtown Parking: You mentioned downtown parking. People have been arguing about downtown parking for decades. Do you believe there is a parking problem now?  Do you think there will be a parking problem in 10 years?  And if so, what would you do when in office to solve that problem?



Measure N and Schools: Do you support or oppose Measure N, and give us your reasons for that, and what can the city council do to improve relationship with the schools?



Pool at Community Center: Do you see a pool as a must have for the Community Center?  Why or why not?



First Street Developments:  Do you like how the developments on First Street between Edith and Main turned out, and should those developments serve as a template for future development in the rest of downtown?



Traffic: Los Altos has thorough fares like Grant Rd and Fremont Ave that are heavily trafficked and link outside Los Altos’ jurisdictions– the backup on Fremont in the morning and evening is from lights at Hwy 85, for example).  How will you improve this kind of situation when you are in office?



Safe bike and pedestrian routes: Please describe how you would incorporate safe bike and pedestrian routes into all planning so that biking/walking is a safe and desirable option in Los Altos and not an afterthought?



Library: What is your outlook for a new library and where should it be ranked with all the civic center priorities?



City P.R. Person: In December 2012 the city hired a full-time, $86,000 a year, Public Affairs officer – a P.R. person – is that position necessary in a city government as small as Los Altos? If so, why?



Good government: How do you define good city government?



Stevens’ Creek Trail: Do you favor future expansion of Steven’s Creek trail in Los Altos?



Loyola Corners: It seems like little attention has been given to Loyola Corners over the years.  What’s your take on the needs of the area and how would you meet those needs on the council?



Citizen Input: How will you learn what citizen’s want? What will determine your response to citizen opinion? And a context statement: How do you define the difference between reaching a consensus versus succumbing to “group-think”? How would you avoid the latter?



Questions to Audience and Candidates:



Walter Singer Bust location: Stand up if you think the Walter Singer Bust should be moved from its current community plaza location to the Front of Le Boulanger where Singer’s business used to be.



Walter Singer Bust location 2: Stand up if you agree with the council’s decision, which was to move the Walter Singer bust from the Community Plaza to a location at the History Museum, which I guess actually even surprised the people at the History Museum.



Downtown parking: Is parking downtown a problem for you?



First Street developments: Stand up if you like how the First Street developments between Main and Edith have turned out.



City code limiting temporary signs: Do you support the city code that limits all temporary signs, including campaign signs, to 12 square feet?



Multiple choice – Know your Facts:



Skate park funds: Has City Council ever appropriated funds for a skate park to be built in Los Altos?



City budget: What is the size of the 2014-15 Annual City Operating and Capital Budget?



City council meetings attended: How many city council meetings have you attended in person in the last year?



Seniors: What percentage of Los Altos residents are over 65 years old?



City staff: How many fulltime employees or approved positions does the City of Los Altos employ?



City commissions: How many Commissions or committees has the Council created and staffed?



City manager job performance: How would you rate the job performance of Marcia Somers? If elected or re-elected would you retain her?



Seniors: Does the city need to do more to cater to its senior population, with elements like free shuttles, more lighting & benches in public places, or other things?



Police services: Our police services cost about $8 million per year.  The county sheriff has offered to provide the same for $4 million.  What should we do?



Community groups: Do you believe community groups should be involved in city planning processes? If so, how?



Who do you admire in Los Altos: Could you tell me who do you admire the most in Los Altos – it could be a person living or dead?



What makes you unique: What makes you unique? What makes you stand out among the rest of you?  Give me one unique quality about you that you would bring to the table that the other candidates don’t quite match up with?



Connecting Civic Center and Downtown: How would we connect the Civic Center to Downtown? Would you have any ideas?




Overflow questions from the Forum are posted at http://bit.ly/1t72fAA

Residents can continue to post and vote on questions at this link as well.


Los Altos Town Crier is continuing to publish responses to questions that have been developed by the Sponsors.


Los Altos City Council Candidates Forum

Los Altos High School Eagle Theatre

October 1, 2014, 7 p.m.


Sponsors for the Candidates Forum include:

American Association of University Women-Mountain View & Los Altos Area, Center for Age Friendly Excellence, GreenTown Los Altos, League of Women Voters–Mountain View-Los Altos, Los Altos-2020, Los Altos Community Foundation, Los Altos Education Association, Los Altos Forward, Los Altos Town Crier, Los Altos Women’s Caucus.



Acterra benefits from $4K LACF grant

Acterra received a $4,000 grant from LACF to support its community-based restoration programs at Redwood Grove Nature Preserve in Los Altos, and at Byrne, O’Keefe, and Juan Prado Mesa Preserves in Los Altos Hills. This funding increases its impact by bringing more volunteers, more plants, and more energy to our local nature preserves.
In particular, we they been able to support exciting youth programs such as the weekly “Grove Guardians” crew over the summer, and development of a scavenger hunt where participants learn about local ecology.
“We also really appreciate the organization’s role in building community among local nonprofits. LACF makes us feel like we are part of a larger, community-wide effort to make our part of the world a better place.”

2014 Community Service Award Winners announced

Carol and Ralph KuiperRalph and Carol 2


After growing up in Southern California, Carol and Ralph met at Stanford University and after several career and educational stints between Southern California and Stanford, they settled in Los Altos in 1973, 43 years ago. Ralph was an engineering manager and executive in the Aerospace industry finishing as the Director of Research in the Lockheed Martin Palo Alto Technology Center. Carol was a high school English and Journalism teacher and finished her career at Gunn High School in Palo Alto.

Both feel privileged to live in a community that values service and philanthropy and offers a great environment to grow and raise a family. They are enthusiastic and long-time supporters of the Los Altos Community Foundation.

Their three children graduated from Los Altos High School: Jennifer ’83—BA, Stanford, MA, UC Berkeley—is an independent consultant evaluating USAID programs in the Middle East. Heather ’85—BA, Stanford, MA, Johns Hopkins, Doctorate of Public Health, UC Berkeley—is a full-time volunteer and mom and part-time consultant. Skot ’88—BA, Long Beach State, film & video production, manages warehouse space and served on the San Francisco Arts Advisory Sub-committee. Heather is married to LAHS graduate, Loren Rauch, ’85—BS, UC Berkeley, MD, UCSF—an emergency room physician and son of Los Altos residents, Margie and Herb Rauch. Their two children and Carol and Ralph’s grandchildren are Milo 13 and Cordelia 10.

Carol’s Volunteer Activities

1. President, California Retired Teachers Association, Mid-Pen, Division 54

2. Secretary, Board of the LWV-Los Altos-Mountain View Area

3. Neighborhood Co-Coordinator, Block Action Team (BAT) 111

4. Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Trainee

5. Secretary, Board Peninsula Democratic Coalition, Voter Registration

6. Former Board member, GreenTown Los Altos

7. Former Los Altos School District Board of Trustees – two terms (81/2 years)

8. Former Girls Scout Leader and Area Girl Scout Council Chair, Cub Scout Den Mother

9. From an area perspective, she also served on the boards of the Palo Alto Women’s Club

and Garden Club

10. Former Sunday School Teacher, Los Altos United Methodist Church

11. Most proud of: working with the community to maintain an excellent elementary school

district in the face of Proposition 13 funding challenges.

Ralph’s Volunteer Activities

1. Chairperson for the Peninsula Chapter of the World Affairs Council (11 Years)

2. Board of the Los Altos Stage Company (6 yrs)

3. League of Women Voters National Committee on Arms Control Policy

4. Leader of Lockheed Junior Achievement Program (4 Years)

5. Represented Lockheed on the Stanford Engineering Advisory Committee and the

Stanford Integrated Manufacturing Association

6. AYSO Commissioner and coach (9 Years) and referee (10 Years), planned, funded and

supervised construction of Santa Rita Soccer Field

7. YBA Basketball Coach (10 Years)

8. Indian Guide organizer

9. Most proud of: Establishing a speaker series to inform and engage the public in matters

of international interest and concern

Los Altos PARK(ing) Day 2014

The Basics:
What: Downtown Los Altos PARK(ing) Day 2014!
When: Friday Sept 19th 8am – 7pm
Where: 265-271 State Street, outside Linden Tree Books and Earth Beauty Apothecary (note this is a different location than 2012 & 2013!)
Why: To create free public gathering space in downtown Los Altos
Who: Everyone is invited! Passerelle Investment Company is hosting this event with the City’s permission. For more info please visit: http://passerelleinvestments.com/parking-day/
Short description:
Come check out this free public one-day pop-up park in downtown Los Altos, outside Linden Tree Books and Earth Beauty Apothecary on State Street! The third annual of its kind in downtown, it’s open 7am-7pm and features turf, seating, chalk & magnet art walls, and plants from Los Altos Nursery.
Long description:
Come down to State Street this Friday September 19th for downtown Los Altos’ third annual PARK(ing) Day celebration! This year we will set up our seating, turf, chalk/magnet art planter walls plus shade umbrellas on two parking spaces outside Linden Tree Books and Earth Beauty Apothecary at 256-271 State Street. 

PARK(ing) Day is an annual worldwide celebration in which citizens, artists, cities, community groups etc transform urban parking spaces into temporary public parks for all to enjoy. To learn more about PARK(ing) Day please visit: http://parkingday.org/about-parking-day/

Passerelle has been hosting PARK(ing) Day in downtown Los Altos since 2011. To learn more about the history of this local project please visit: http://passerelleinvestments.com/parking-day/

MVLA Scholar in the Town Crier

Octavio Romero arrived in the United States from Mexico at the age of 12, the fifth son of parents who had never attended high school. Although he knew little English when he started Egan Junior High School, Octavio demonstrated quite early that he had what it takes to be a successful student. He had always loved math and had a strong work ethic. He explains that he was motivated to succeed academically.

“I always did my homework as soon as I got home from school,” he said.

At Los Altos High, Octavio earned a 3.8 grade-point average. Although accepted by all of the UCs and CSUs to which he applied, he decided to attend Foothill College, knowing that doing so would make a college education far more affordable.

Octavio’s first introduction to MVLA Community Scholars came through Michael Smith, his AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) teacher, who encouraged him to apply for a Community Scholars scholarship. Octavio is grateful that the money he received from that scholarship allowed him to pay his school fees without having to get a full-time job that would have prevented him from concentrating on his studies.


Read the rest.

Off to college with MVLA Community Scholars

MVLA Octavio Romero2014__010-EditIn the fall, thousands of excited students walk onto college campuses for the first time, eager, happy, and filled with anticipation. However, some, especially first-generation-to-college students, often feel anxious. While other students are walking purposefully around, filing out paperwork and looking as if they know exactly what they need to do and what to expect, these other students can feel like they have just landed on a foreign planet.

MVLA Scholar, Octavio Romero, was first in his family to go to college, and graduated from San Jose State University in December 2013 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He remembers, “The first day (of college)….I felt frightened, almost overwhelmed…I felt so out of place.” Luckily, Octavio had been paired with a mentor to whom he could turn for reassurance and who, according to Octavio, “Was there for everything and anything that I needed.” Another student, Maritza Arreola, is also grateful to the MVLA Community Scholars program for its mentors: “Thanks to this stability in a complicated time of transition, I transferred to Mills College… successfully earning my BA in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies this past May (2014).”
MVLA Maritza ArreolaChallenges for first-generation-to-college low-income students arise early, asserts a board member of MVLA Community Scholars. Many of these young adults learned English while attending high school, and/or worked to help support their families. Yet, their fine grades get them into good colleges. One mentor observes, “The dedication and work ethic of our Scholars is truly inspirational. They figure out 95% of issues on their own, but it helps to talk to someone else who has walked a similar path. That’s where we mentors can offer support. And, we’re pretty good cheerleaders for our Scholars during their college journey!”
This fall, MVLA Community Scholars is very proud to be helping 24 new Scholars with annually renewable scholarships and college mentors; and although college will certainly challenge them, they have the motivation and intellect to succeed, and we promise to be there…whenever they need us.

To learn more, donate or to volunteer visit www.mvlacommunityscholars.org
Carolyn Pierce-Whang

MVLA Community Scholars is a program of the Los Altos Community Foundation

Read more about the MVLA Community Scholars.



Glass Pumpkin Patch Los Altos for GreenTown

Comes visit the Glass Pumpkin Patch Los Altos.

Los Altos Community Foundation is sponsoring the Glass Pumpkin Patch Los Altos September 13-14 10 am – 5 pm at Lincoln Park, Los Altos.

Benefiting the non-profit GreenTown Los Altos

The patch features work from Walker & Bowes and San Jose Glass Artists.


For more information go to greentownlosaltos.com

Come out and find your perfect Pumpkin.

Glass Pumpkin Patch Event