polo rrl The year in review
In the midst of day to day activities it’s easy to forget what happened last week, let alone last month or way back in January. A look at 52 weeks’ worth of the Los Gatos Weekly Times finds many notable events, including a ban on single use plastic bags and a “coming soon” Styrofoam ban.
The historic Los Gatos Theatre was restored to its former grandeur after a lengthy remodeling job. But other construction projects brought protests from Los Gatos residents, including the new Netflix headquarters and the proposed North 40 development.
The new year started out with some surprising news when three term Los Gatos Town Councilwoman Diane McNutt announced she would not seek re election. During her tenure, McNutt rotated into the mayor’s position in 2006 and 2010, which she described as the highlight of her political career. “Only a handful of people can be mayor of the town where they live,” she said.
McNutt’s announcement opened the door for a hotly contested council race in November, with Los Gatos Planning Commissioner Marico Sayoc the first to enter the fray.
In Monte Sereno, the city council appointed Lon Allen to replace Councilwoman Julie Wiltshire, who moved out of the city and therefore had to resign.
Longtime Los Gatos resident Mike Wasserman was elected president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. During his State of the County address, Wasserman pledged to promote county services to residents so “they can get the help they need from us.”
The Albright Way initiative qualified for the June ballot, giving voters the opportunity to decide if a developer should be allowed to build two 65 foot tall buildings and two 50 foot tall buildings. The General Plan limited building heights in the Albright area to 35 feet. Just before the June election the town council approved the taller building heights. Voters went on to approve them, too.
The town council approved a one year regulatory permit for the controversial Templar Sports gun shop.
The old “knife” marquee that graced the entrance to the Los Gatos Theatre for decades was restored and put back up, a sure sign the theater would be reopening soon.
Gov. Jerry Brown declared a drought emergency on the 17th, with local water agencies expressing hope that rain would come in the remaining winter months.
The question “Paper or plastic?” disappeared permanently from the Los Gatos lexicon when the town’s single use plastic bag ban took effect on the third. People who forget bags can still pay a dime for a recyclable paper bag because the town council decided in December to bypass a 15 cent fee hike that was included in the original ordinance.
The Elks Lodge on Newell Avenue was sold to Los Gatos resident Tom Grant, who indicated he would build houses there.
Cal Fire and the Santa Clara County FireSafe Council warned hillside and mountain residents to begin preparing for fire season early because of the drought. “We are experiencing conditions right now that we would usually see in August,” Cal Fire’s Ken Pimlott said at the time.
Two San Jose men were arrested by Los Gatos Monte Sereno police and charged with mail theft. Police said David Zumr and Timothy Reinert were responsible for 250 thefts in Los Gatos, Saratoga, Campbell and San Jose. The men were also charged with possession of methamphetamine. Another suspected mail thief, who was also charged with narcotics violations, was arrested in December, prompting police Chief Matt Frisby to say, “Unfortunately, this is yet another example of the types of crimes our communities face locally and regionally, and many times are fueled or associated with persons involved with illegal narcotics.”
The longtime executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, Ronee Nassi, announced she would retire, prompting a search for her replacement. Zack Marks was hired to replace Nassi. He started work in early June.
Los Gatos High School pole vaulter Greta Wagner signed a letter of intent with UCLA to continue her track and field career in the Southland.
LGHS sophomore Kendal Davis captured a gold medal at the CCS girls wrestling championship.
The Wildcats’ boys soccer team clinched the DeAnza Division championship crown in a 2 1 come from behind victory over Palo Alto.
The LGHS cheer squad won the Jamz National Championship title for the third year in a row.
The Los Gatos Saratoga high school district announced it would ask voters to approve a June bond measure that would raise an estimated $99 million for facilities improvements at Los Gatos and Saratoga high schools. The measure won handily, with a 63.9 percent voter approval margin.
Resident John Hopkins was named the 2014 Distinguished Business Leader by the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce.
The latest innovation in breast cancer screening made its way to Los Gatos when Breast Imaging Specialists began offering 3D mammograms. The technology gives doctors a clearer picture, enabling them to more easily detect problems.
A proposal to build express lanes on Highway 85 started to circulate through Los Gatos and other West Valley communities. The project evolved over the year and in November the VTA board of directors put the toll lane project on hold until January 2015.
The Los Gatos High School girls’ soccer team clinched the CCS championship.
The Los Gatos Little League season opened at Blossom Hill Park with a new scoreboard dedicated to the memory of late coach John Musser.
The police department held a meeting with downtown merchants, offering crime fighting tips and good news: Crime in the downtown area dropped from 81 incidents reported in 2012 to 63 in 2013.
Los Gatos’ popular live performance venue, The Woodshed at Keith Holland Guitars, moved to San Jose because its owner could not afford to pay for fire and safety code upgrades. The guitar store, however, remains in business on Roberts Road.