Friday, March 29, 2013

Good News To Report From the Orchard!

Spring has brought some very good news to our Heritage Apricot Orcard. Do you notice anything missing?

It has been almost a year since the City of Los Altos did an extensive telephone survey of residents and discovered there was no support at all for a project that would plow under our beloved Heritage Apricot Orchard and pave it over to build a bigger civic complex.

We even had an election in November that replaced two of the pro-development gang on the council (they were term-limited out, praise be. The third is out at the end of this year.)  Each week, I drove by city hall, hoping that awful sign had been taken down.

The sign was about nine feet tall and about seven feet wide. From the main road through our town, it blocked the orchard as if the orchard were in its way. Instead of the other way around.

No dice, as my father used to say.

The sign has been up for at least four years, and was especially offensive to many of us because we live in a town that bans billboards. In addition it was paid for by Us to propagandize Us. The "building" part was strictly a proposal. It was way too much like HG Wells 1984.

Oh, and did I mention that, compared to an apricot orchard, it was ugly?

I stopped driving by. I concentrated on writing a book about our orchard history. I figured I should turn all that negative energy in a positive direction. "Perhaps," I said to myself, "If they know our heritage they will be more likely to cherish it." 

My book, California Apricots: the Lost Orchards of Silicon Valley is out in two weeks and I'm back in circulation again. I drove by City Hall.

The sign is GONE! And the orchard, which was allowed to grow shabby last year, while the city fiddled with this foolishness, is back looking just dandy. Hooray!

What a beautiful history with which to surround our civic buildings.

Under the circumstances, I hate to be picky. But why not, since it is my blog! The bureaucrats being what they are, couldn't stand to miss another signage opportunity.

You can't tell from the photos, but this sign is only about 25% the size of the other one.

So now we have another sign.

Still, this one refers to an actual project that is going on now on the road in front of it. The sign still should not be there, but my local government apparently sees the orchard as advertising space and just doesn't connect with the trees. We'll work on that.

All in all, I'm delighted. The little sign will have to come down quickly as the project is a small one. (See the cost? Only $1.1M, or taxi fare to gov't officials!)

That unpleasant, annoying, thorn-in-our-side, propganda-ish, Soviet-like-thing is in a trash barrel somehwere. Exactly where it belongs.

How appropriate that this is Easter Week, an ancient remembrance of man's redemption. It is a great time to consider the lillies of the field. 

How they grow, though they toil not, neither do they spin.

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