Relay For Life – A Community Of One

Posted on June 16, 2011 by  
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Over the past eight years, the residents of Los Altos have come together as a community of one.  One Purpose.  One Goal.  One Weekend.

Once again, we will be gathering for 24 hours.  We will be honoring cancer survivors, and remembering those who have passed.  Relay for Life  is a community event that brings us together.  Recently, the Town Crier wrote a article about this year’s event. Enjoy …

The eighth annual Los Altos-Los Altos Hills Relay For Life, is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday at Egan Junior High School, 100 W. Portola Ave.

The Los Altos Relay has generated $2.3 million for the American Cancer Society since its 2004 inception, including last year’s contribution of approximately $200,000, Skitt said. Administrative costs are estimated at 8-9 percent, and there’s only one paid employee for every 600 volunteers, he added.

Although it’s been difficult to get sponsors, tough economic times have not quelled the philanthropic spirit of the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills community, according to Alan Russell and Jan Masters, Relay’s sponsorship co-chairpersons.

Focusing more on youth outreach this year, the organizers approached area community colleges and schools, Russell said. Foothill College and several elementary schools have registered teams.

The event is free, and community members can attend of whether or not they want to fundraise. Participants may sign up in advance and solicit pledges or register on Saturday at the start of the Relay. Russell said there would be opportunities to contribute at the event, such as purchasing food or lap beads.

The 24-hour event is likely to draw nearly 400 participants, including more than 200 survivors.

With an overarching “Follow the Purple Brick Road to Life” theme, attendees can enjoy a mix of entertainment, including music from keyboardist Dirk Damonte and Jenn Grinels and selections from the “Wizard of Oz”; games and activities for children of all ages.

For more information, click here.


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Mission Trail Improves Diversion Rate

Posted on June 10, 2011 by  
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This past Fall, the City of Los Altos signed a new contract for solid waste management.  When the City made that decision, they didn’t just begin a new chapter, they began a whole new book.

Since that time, residents have applauded the switch from the previous company.  A new era in environmental sustainability was underway, and the results have been better than expected.  Recently, the Town Crier wrote a article about this year’s event at Egan Jr High. Enjoy …

Mission Trail Waste Systems’ garbage collection service has steadily improved the city’s recycling and landfill diversion rates since the company began servicing Los Altos last September, according to members of the Environmental Commission.

Mission Trail signed a 10-year contract with Los Altos, replacing Recology (formerly Los Altos Garbage Company) as the city’s provider of garbage and recycling services.

“Los Altos is a pleasure to service,” said Teresa Montgomery, Mission Trail’s public relations manager. “(The residents) want to make the most of our services.”

In establishing the new garbage service, Los Altos’ stipulations included a target diversion rate of 75 percent, which Mission Trail is obligated to meet, according to Don Bray, commission vice chairman.

Diversion rate is the percentage of waste materials redirected from traditional disposal in landfills that can be recycled, composted or reused.

Los Altos’ diversion rate increased from 67 percent last September to approximately 73 percent last December, according to a Montgomery supplied table.

“Clearly, Mission Trail’s service is making great progress toward (the city’s) goal,” Bray said. “Use of new color-coded rolling bins, single-stream processing of all recyclable materials and the ability to mix food wastes with yard wastes in a single organics bin, have been popular with citizens and are major contributors to these gains.”

Diversion offers economic and environmental benefits, according to Bray. Recycling saves money and reduces environmental impacts, diversion of food wastes and soiled paper products reduces landfill costs and significantly reduces methane emissions from landfills, he said.


New Fire Chief Representing Los Altos

Posted on June 2, 2011 by  
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Emergency service (Police & Fire), within Los Altos, are routinely held up as a successful model of professionalism.  The men and women who serve the community have created a indelible bond with the residents.

Hopefully the last thing you will ever have to do is dial 911.  However, if you do, rest assured that an organization designed for efficiency will respond in short order.  I am fortunate to know many of the individuals who provide these invaluable services to Los Altos, and I could not be happier that they stand watch over the community.

Recently, Los Altos Patch wrote about a recent County decision that implicitly impacts every resident of Los Altos: the appointment of a new Fire Chief.  Below you will find an edited version of Sheila Sanchez’s story.  Enjoy …

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors announced Wednesday the appointment of Kenneth R. Kehmna to serve as the new fire chief for the Santa Clara County Fire Department.

Both Los Altos and Los Altos Hills receives its fire services from the county fire department.

Kehmna, who has 23 years of fire service experience, began his career as a firefighter with the city of Campbell in 1987. In 1993, county fire assumed responsibility for providing fire services to Campbell, bringing Kehmna and his colleagues from the city into the Santa Clara County Fire Department, according to a press release on the county’s website.

Since 2007, Kehmna has held the post of deputy chief, first in charge of operations and in 2009 in charge of training. As deputy chief of operations, he managed the four department battalions and the fire investigation division. As deputy chief in charge of training, he managed all training activities to ensure firefighter readiness, the release stated.

“Chief Kehmna brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the position of fire chief,” said Dave Cortese, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. “He is intimately familiar with fire service in Santa Clara County and dedicated to providing high-level quality services to our community.”

He also worked closely with recently retired fire chief Waldvogel and represented county fire at the regional and statewide levels, working closely with the California Emergency Management Association and Cal Fire, according to the release.

“I will do my very best to preserve the proud lineage of leadership that has been the hallmark of this department,” he said. “I am excited about our future and confident that the outstanding relationship we have with labor will continue as we face new challenges and opportunities together in the coming years.”