The 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Maps 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)
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.
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.
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.
Grab your ticket and hop on board. Tonight, January 11th from 6:30 – 7:30PM, drop by NUMU Los Gatos for a lecture by local historian Derek R Whaley on the railroads of Los Gatos.
Derek, author of the book, “Santa Cruz Trains: Railroads of the Monterey Bay,” and a website by the same name, has tracked the history of railroads in the Santa Cruz mountains. Learn little remembered stories of the growth of Los Gatos as a travel destination, local train trivia, the disappearance of the rail lines, and how it exists today.
With trains coming back in vogue, RSVPs for this event have been fully booked and closed, but if you haven’t made reservations available seats will be given out on a first-come-first-served basis. This event is free to NUMU Members and $10 General Admission to the museum for non-members. See you there tonight!
The Environmental Protection Agency has dubbed January “National Radon Protection Month“. Radon is usually off the radar in Silicon Valley, but should it be? As it turns out, Santa Clara County is a an area with moderate radon levels.
The only real way to know if radon is a problem for your indoor air quality is to test it. The County of Santa Clara has a page on its site regarding radon, the state’s health and safety code regarding radon, a list of service providers and qualified labs, and more. Click here to go to the Indoor Air Quality page for the county.
Recently in an “advertorial” piece in the San Jose Mercury News, I saw that there are home testing kits for radon available online. The county doesn’t mention these so not sure if it’s omission because the kits are new or an exclusion because it’s a job better left to testers. I’ll let my readers do more research, but wanted to mention it in passing as another option to investigate.