Los Gatos crime map

Until a few months ago, the Los Gatos crime map in use was provided by CrimeReports.com. That site morphed into CityProtect.com, which covers most of Santa Clara County, but not the town of Los Gatos or city of Monte Sereno. What was nice about City Protect is that it included all of San Jose, Campbell, and Saratoga – among other places. So the activity that I wanted to track did not start nor stop at the city limits. Nor do break ins.

New Los Gatos crime map

This morning I phoned the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department (non emergency line) to ask what site we are now using since the Los Gatos and Monte Sereno burglaries, assaults, etc. are no longer showing up on CityProtect. I was told that we are now utilizing a new site, LGPD.CrimeGraphics.com.

 

2021 Crime map for Los Gatos and Monte Sereno

 

At the risk of sounding ungrateful for this tech tool, I will state that it’s not a very good or useful site for most consumers. The major issue is that it will only suggest that the viewer to see 7 days at a time. Want to view 12 weeks of info? You may have to try the search 12 times, 7 days each. With CityProtect, the website’s visitor can see a crime map going back months in one glance by adjusting the filters.

To me, that is a lot more helpful. It’s not that the site won’t permit longer searches, but it seems to get hung up unless what is being sought is only  one of the several options.

Missing data in the new Los Gatos crime map

Another issue is that the info is incomplete. I am aware of some incidents within a block of me that do not show up on this new site.

If you’re local, you may be aware that Los Gatos and Cambrian (as well as other locations) have been plagued recently with a gang of 4 burglars who’ve been breaking into homes when the residents are gone, and that they are quick and seem to be after cash and jewelry. It made the news (t.v. station linked above) but has been all over NextDoor and also the RingDoorbell forum. These guys appeared in several backyards but were unsuccessful at getting in, mostly because some of the homes were not as unoccupied as they might have seemed from the street. A few weeks ago we had a small swarm of police cars on my street for an event like that in which they got into 2 backyards but didn’t make it into the house. Those are not on the new Los Gatos crime map website.

Another house within a block of mine was broken into a couple of years ago: the power was cut first and the alarm didn’t go off. That one is not on this site either.

Los Gatos residents who are around the corner from a site where police cars have converged and not on social media sites may be oblivious to the uptick in crime across Los Gatos. It’s imperative that we have reliable and thorough information. I’d like to see it include attempted break ins as well.

It would also be useful to have the data be as interconnected as our communities. But with the current setup, if you want to see what is happening along the border with Saratoga, Campbell, or San Jose, you’ll have to check two sites. Wouldn’t it be better to have all of that info at a glance? It’s not on the ballot, but if it were, I’d cast my vote for getting Los Gatos back onto CityProtect.

Since right now the info is segmented, I would suggest that if you aren’t following the issue of the break ins by that gang of four, you get onto your local NextDoor group so you are informed.

Chocolate Dream Box closing

Chocolate Dream Box closing permanently - buy your treats and gifts while you can today and tomorrowI’m sad to share that the Chocolate Dream Box closing will take place tomorrow, another casualty of the coronavirus pandemic. The shop is open from 12 noon to 4:30 p.m. today and tomorrow. Holly, the owner, is letting people in, 2 at a time to keep social distance, to enjoy one last chance to buy her delectable treats.

15557 Union Ave. at Los Gatos-Almaden Rd., Los Gatos (in the Downing Center, corner with Union Avenue).

See related post on this site from a few years back

Chocolate Dream Box – a Los Gatos Treasure!

Light Up The Night

Light up the night in Los GatosThe Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a fun evening on December 12, 2019, “Light Up The Night”. The Chamber’s website states:

 

Join us for a night of shopping, sipping and fun!   The stores will stay open until 8:30pm for an evening of shopping.  A few stops along the way will have champagne or wine for you to enjoy.  Surprises abound throughout the evening!  After shopping, the fun continues with a party at The Palms.

 

Get pricing and details the link below.

Light Up The Night – December 12, 2019 – details and tickets

Tree pruning, tree removal in Los Gatos

A canopy of trees
A canopy of trees

Most Los Gatans know that you cannot just remove any tree you like in town – some older and larger trees are protected, and some are deemed so important as to be known as heritage trees.

Did you know that the protections extend to pruning certain trees, and not just removing them?

Not all trees are protected, and not all pruning is prohibited.

  • At what point is it required to get permits to prune or remove a tree in Los Gatos?
  • How old and how large do they have to be to need a permit for pruning (let alone removing) them?

I was surprised at the answers, so thought I’d share some of the highlights of them here. If you’d like to just jump to the town’s document, here it  is: Town of Los Gatos Parks and Public Works Tree Removal and Pruning Permit

The town’s info all uses the diameter of the tree’s trunk at 4.5′ above grade, but I think it’s easier to measure the circumference. Jim, my better half and a guy who thinks math problems are recreation, reminded me that you can learn the circumference of a circle simply by multiplying the diameter by pi, or 3.12 (appx!).

The town has three categories, protected, large protected, and heritage.

What is a protected tree in Los Gatos?

Protected trees are classified as such by meeting any of a variety of criteria: diameter of trunk at 4.5′ above natural grade, type of tree, or some combination of the two of them together with the type of location in town.

In addition to the criteria, there are a few exceptions, such as fruit or nut trees up to 18″ in diameter, or a short list of others up to 24″ in diameter, including most palm trees.

A protected tree may be as small as 4″ diameter (appx 9″ circumference)  on vacant or non-residential property.

For residential lots which are developed (a home exists on the property), all trees which have a 12″ or greater diameter (less exceptions). For the developed hillside areas (see the map for the designated Town of Los Gatos residential hillside areas), it’s just an 8″ diameter (about 24-25″).

There are additional criteria, and specific trees named in the town’s document, including some oaks, buckeye, and madrone. And, as you’d expect, if there’s a development review or related requirement from the town, there are other requirements, too.

Protected trees need permits to be removed OR to be pruned by more than 25% over 3 years

What is a large protected tree?

A large protected tree has a diameter of 48 inches or more, or could also be an Oak, California Buckeye, or Pacific Madrone with a diameter of 24 inches or more.

What is a heritage tree?

A heritage tree is “specifically designated by action of the Town Council which possesses exceptional aesthetic, biological, cultural, or historic value to the community”(quote from the link above).

Permits are needed to remove or cut any branch or root greater than 4 inches in diameter of any Large Protected Tree or Heritage Tree

These are just the highlights – if you are thinking of doing major pruning or removal of a tree in Los Gatos, please read this document thoroughly, and if in down, check with the town:
Town of Los Gatos Parks and Public Works Tree Removal and Pruning Permit

 

Related reading:

TOWN CODE Chapter 29 – ZONING REGULATIONS ARTICLE I. – IN GENERAL  DIVISION 2. TREE PROTECTION

Los Gatos: private trees

Los Gatos: street trees

Trees, Branches, and Property Lines in Silicon Valley (older post on my Valley of Heart’s Delight blog)

 

Collord’s Peak

Although locals refer to the Santa Cruz Mountains as “the hill”, the coastal ranges have seemingly countless hills, peaks, valleys, and gluches winding between the Santa Clara Valley and the beach. Several of the hills and peaks have names (if they all do, I’m not aware of it), one of them being Collord’s Peak, which you can read about at the corner of East Main Street and High School Court.  In the image below, there’s a very tall peak, El Sombroso, with a nearer and lower peak in the foreground – that one is Collord’s peak.

 

Collord's Peak - plaque and hilltop
Plaque at the edge of Los Gatos High School which honors Victor R. Collord and names a peak in the Los Gatos Mountains after him.

It was not possible for me to show both the hills in the distance and the plaque equally well lit, so here’s a closeup of the plaque honoring Victor R. Collord.

Collord Peak Plaque closeup - Victor R Collord
Colord Peak Plaque closeup – Victor R Collord

And one more closeup of his good deeds named:

Read more

Hooker Gulch in the Los Gatos Mountains

Hooker Gulch, Los Gatos - satellite viewMaps can be so intriguing, and they can be a dangerous rabbit hole into which my time somehow disappears if I’m not careful. Today I was viewing a topographical map of Los Gatos when I stumbled upon a place in the Santa Cruz Mountains near Los Gatos (aka the Los Gatos Mountains) with the curious name of Hooker Gulch.  That same site is an interactive map with many place names that I never heard of in the coastal range, all of them begging for research. (Click at your own risk.)

Here are a few of odd and fascinating place names in the hills:

  • Hooker Gulch (also Hooker Gulch Creek, which feeds into the Los Gatos Creek)
  • Nibbs Knob
  • Rattlesnake Gulch
  • Buzzard Lagoon
  • Beehive
  • Priest Rock
  • Bull Run
  • Badger Spring
  • And many other “gulch” names: Moody Gulch, Austrian Gulch, Jacques Gulch, etc.

Where is Hooker Gulch?

The steep valley is located near the end of Aldercroft Heights Road (public section of the road), close to Aldercroft Heights, Lexington Hills, and Holy City in the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is just south of Old Gold Mine Road.

Read more

Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival

The Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos will be hosting the Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival on June 10th, 2018, from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  This year is a beach theme, so bring along a beach blanket or lawn chair (the Eventbrite ticket site also encourages people to come in beach wear). In addition to a great musical lineup, there will also be food & activities for all.

Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival graphic

Buy your tickets early – they are more affordable if purchased in advance prior to 5 pm June 8th. They’ll be more expensive at the door.  Early tickets are $5 to $15, and kids under 12 are admitted at no cost.

Please get all of the details on the bands and performers on the JCC website:
Silicon Valley Jewish Music Festival 2018

and buy tickets for the event here:
Eventbrite tickets for the Silicon Valley Jewish Musical Festival 2018

Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center Silicon Valley
14855 Oka Rd, Los Gatos, CA 95032