Select Page

Wildfire Evacuation Route signs being installed

Wildfire Evacuation Route in Los GatosThe Town of Los Gatos takes its responsibility for minimizing risk from flood, fire, earthquake, or other disasters seriously.  A few months ago, I began to notice “Flood evacuation route” signs.  First I noticed it along Blossom Hill Road, close to the Highway 17 over crossing, and later on Lark Avenue.  (Lexington Reservoir  is located further down the highway and a break in the dam would bring tons of water screaming down the highway 17 corridor.)  Seemed like a wise idea, given that we have that and also Vasona Lake right here.

Additionally, though, last week I saw a “Wildfire Evacuation Route” sign too.  It was located on Prospect Avenue and Kimble Avenue, across from the new Sorellas housing development which is currently under construction by Summerhill (formerly the Holy Names Sisters convent and Casa Maria Montessori School).

If you live in a woodsy or mountainous area, the odds are good that your property is located in a zone earmarked as high risk for wildfires, and you’ve been notified that brush must be cleared 100 feet away from your house or structure annually to create “defensible space”. (Some of the best Los Gatos real estate can be found in those areas!) What isn’t always so apparent is where to go in the case of a wildfire.  These new signs should help to improve safety in case of a serious fire.

You may not know that the town has some helpful resources online, too.  You can find them here:

http://www.losgatosca.gov/1359/Fire-Safety-and-Wildfire-Preparedness

CalFire flier on creating 100′ of defensible space around your home (pdf)

Other helpful info:

Flood evacuation information on the town’s website

72-Hour Emergency Preparedness Kit Checklist (pdf)

“Los Gatos Prepared” revised

Statement of purpose on the Los Gatos Prepared page:
Empowering Community Self-Sufficiency towards the ultimate goal of every resident and business in Los Gatos having the awareness, skills, and resources necessary to be self-sufficient in the event of an  earthquake, fire, flood, or possible flu pandemic

Los Gatos historical walking tour app: LOST GATOS

Michael Kane as Mountain Charlie 2007 Historic Walking Tour in Los Gatos

Michael Kane as Mountain Charlie in the 2007 Historic Walking Tour in Los Gatos

Locals may remember that a few years back, there was a wonderful “Los Gatos History Walk” put on every year or so.  Town residents would don garments from a bygone era and take on the persona of legendary Los Gatos figures for a few hours. Both fun and educational, it provided a sense of the town’s past – both the buildings and the people’s.  It was absolutely wonderful while we had it.

Discover LOST Gatos: Self-Guided Walking Tour

Today, there’s an app for that!  It’s called Discover LOST Gatos and as of this writing, there are 3 different self-guided tours:

  1. The Heart of Los Gatos (approximately a 35 minute walking tour with 12 stops)
  2. Los Gatos: The Gem City (a 45 minute walk with 12 stops
  3. The Cradle of Los Gatos (50 minute stroll with 13 stops)

The app has been released for Android and iPhone, so you can find it online wherever you get your phone’s apps – just search for “discover LOST Gatos”. It is also available in web format online at losgatos.stqry.app/ no download necessary.

The Mercury News did a nice article on this and will fill in the details on who’s behind this wonderful idea.

http://www.mercurynews.com/los-gatos/ci_30098778/los-gatos-discover-lost-gatos

As for me, I just downloaded it to my phone and look forward to getting to know our beautiful town a little more!

April is Green! It’s "Keep Los Gatos Beautiful" Month

DocumentDid you know that April “Keep Los Gatos Beautiful” Month? There’s a lot of emphasis on the town being “green” too. Events include:

For detailed information on these events and MORE, please see the Los Gatos town newsletter, “Keep Los Gatos Beautiful”. Check out the Town’s Environmental Services page or sign up for the Growing Greener newsletter to stay up to date throughout the year.

 

(Originally posted April 04, 2014, updated for this year April 5, 2016)

Holiday Encore Sale benefitting EMQ

EMQFFEMQ (previously known as Eastfield Ming Quong) is hosting a “Holiday Encore Sale” Oct. 10 and Oct. 11 2015 from 9 – 4 at the EMQ FamiliesFirst Community Room at its center in Campbell.  This fundraiser is being run by the EMQ Auxilary and the Butter Paddle (the Los Gatos store run by volunteers, many of whom are Los Gatans, with profits supporting EMQ)  in support of children and their families who are in crisis.  Locals know, but newcomers may not, that EMQ has a site here in Los Gatos, too.)

Donations are being sought for like new and very gently used holiday items.

Address: EMQFF Community Room 251 Llewellyn Avenue, Campbell, CA 95008

For more details:

http://business.losgatoschamber.com/events/details/holiday-encore-sale-3999

 

Learn more:

EMQ represents the merger years ago of two organizations: Eastfield and Ming Quong.

To learn about EMQFF’s work:  http://emqff.org/

Interesting history of Ming Quong: Ming Quong: A History of Rescuing Chinese American Girls (the stuff of movies!)

Info on Donaldina Cameron, who founded the Ming Quong Home for girls and the Chung Mei Home for boys.

Cameron House in San Francisco

Whole Foods in Los Gatos: don’t donate outside, donate at the cash register

Whole foods distraction free shoppingOn Tuesday of this week, I dashed into the Whole Foods in Los Gatos to pick up a couple of items. It was more crowded than usual, apparently due to the Labor Day weekend we’d just finished.   The staff was cheerful and moved fast.  But when it got time to pay, the requests for donations came one after the other.  I’d brought my bag from the trunk of my car and the first question I got was whether I wanted to donate the bag discount or take a few pennies off my bill.  Then I was asked if I wanted to donate to a charity.  And finally, I was asked if I wanted to “round up” my purchase price and give the rest to a worthy cause.

In short, within about 60 seconds, I was asked to donate three times.

That felt excessive, even though the amounts were small.

As I emerged from the store, I noticed for the first time a large placard, proudly notifying the consumers who shop at Whole Foods that they should ignore anyone asking them for money outside, that this shopping center, Cornerstone, supports a “distraction free” shopping experience.

What hit me, though, was the irony:  Whole Foods doesn’t want veterants, Girl Scouts, Teen Challenge, or anyone else volunteering for a worthy cause asking for donations outside of their store.

No, they want you and me to donate inside, instead, through them.

Does that seem right to you?

Just moved to Los Gatos with kids?

Dolce Spazio Los GatosAre you moving to Los Gatos with kids? Or just arrived?  This is a wonderful town for young people and the cool things to see and do continue year round. Below please find a list of my personal favorite places (shops, restaurants, parks etc.) and things to do with children in Los Gatos.

Things to do year round:
Los Gatos Saratoga Community Education & Recreation (all ages – classes, camps, fun things to do)
Petroglyph – decorate ceramics
Beading classes (older kids) at Natural Expressions in the Opera House
Oak Meadow and Vasona Lake County Parks carousel and small gauge train
Local parks and open space trails for hiking – see town of Los Gatos website for link

Summer fun:
Hillbrook School summer camp (horseback riding)
Youth Science Institute at Vasona
Vasona Lake County Parkpaddle boat rides, Parks & Rec classes on sailing and more
Los Gatos Creek Trail

Shops:
Affordable Treasures (wonderful for party favors, piñatas and stuffing, little gifts and trinkets!)
The Wooden Horse (fantastic toy store – get kids to think)

Food & restaurants:
Classic Burger (very casual)
Happy Hound  (very casual)
Shangri-La – Chinese food (casual)
Andale – Mexican food (casual)
Purple Onion (2 locations) (casual)
The Diner of Los Gatos (hot dogs and hamburgers in cardboard “cars”)
Double D’s  Sports Bar
Los Gatos Cafe (cinnamon buns, breakfast for all)
Also: the Farmers’ Market on Sundays has a wonderful crepe booth!
—>Add link to article on patio dining in Live in Los Gatos blog

Desserts and sweet stuff:
Icing on the Cake – bakery and desserts
Dolce Spazio – gelato
Powell’s Sweet Shop

Seasonal events:
Holiday tree lighting (usually 1st Friday night in December)  & Holiday Parade (usually 1st Sat in Dec)
Screen on the Green – free movie night each September at Oak Meadow
Summer free music concert series: Jazz on the Plazz, Music in the Park, Vasona Vibrations

 

Another article which includes things to do NEAR Los Gatos with kids, and not just IN LG:
https://liveinlosgatosblog.com/kid-friendly-things-to-do-in-and-near-los-gatos/