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SillyCon Valley

Which some like to call “Silicon”



Below are articles about what is generally called Silicon Valley. When Lester Earnest came to Stanford at the end of 1965 and bought a house in the Town of Los Altos Hills (due south of Palo Alto and near I-280 but not identified on the above map) it was a quiet and friendly rural community dominated by apricot orchards with a few horse ranches and cattle. There were few fences or gates, so people could walk or ride cross-country in almost any direction. This area was called the Mid-peninsula or the South Bay but some now pretend that it was called the “Valley of Heart’s Delight,” a myth.

     As big technology companies began flourishing in the area, many of them being Stanford spin-offs, the name “Silicon Valley” was introduced in 1971 and became a great marketing success as the name “Silicon” was added to a number of other places around the world. However, in my opinion that was a really poor name choice, so I plan to propose a replacement.

      Because Los Altos Hills always had one-acre minimum lot sizes, it became gentrified with lots of mansions and a generally snooty population who erected fences and gates everywhere and then tried to dismantle the pathway system but were stopped at the last moment because it is a town of cul-de-sacs where a walk around my block could involve a six mile hike were it not for the off-road paths.


Los Altos Hills History

L. Earnest, Myths About Wallace Stegner’s Study, February 2012. How attempts to preserve the office of a famous author were rejected by the Town, enabled by political manipulations and lies initiated by Town officials.


L. Earnest, Florence Fava’s fabulous fantasies  2016.08.24. How an anthropology student got recognized as a Town Historian even though she knew almost nothing about the subjects she wrote about and lied a lot.


L. Earnest, Recommend Removal of Erroneous Historical Monuments, 2010.05.03. A memo that succeeded in getting bogus monuments removed from Fremont Road that had been erected by the Town in 1976 based on fake histories written by former Town Historian Florence Fava.


Historical Resources lists museums and reference materials on local history.


Green Sheets, 1955. A document titled “Proposed New Foothill Community”, which advocated incorporating a new town that became the Town of Los Altos Hills, was printed on green paper and distributed to the community. If you read the principal arguments and then read one of the many books by author Wallace Stegner it becomes clear who wrote the main arguments in favor of incorporation in the Green Sheets.


Los Altos Hills Emergencies

L. Earnest, Are you ready for the next big one? 2010.09. This report reviews the history of local catastrophes and poses five questions about emergency access routes that the Town of Los Altos Hills Council should consider but still hasn’t.


L. Earnest, Hot times in the Hills, 1985.07. An account of the last big fire in Los Altos Hills.


Cycling Safety

L. Earnest, Please stop bicycle bigotry, 2016.02.05. The proposal to bar cyclists from Byrne Preserve should be dropped.


L. Earnest, Green is the new black, 2016.01.14. Proposes the creation of a side path for cyclists and pedestrians to get around the hazardous I-280/Page Mill interchange and against the creation of bike lanes there.


L. Earnest, Build a Safe Side Path Instead of a Bike Bridge, 2015.12.18. Advocates reallocating funding for a relatively useless bike-ped bridge that is over budget to instead build a badly needed way for cyclists and pedestrians to get around the Page Mill/I-280 interchange.



L. Earnest, Forget about bike lanes, 2015.11.28. Bicycle lanes provide only imaginary safety and are a waste of paint.


L. Earnest, Shared Paths With Two Lanes or Three, 2015.11.27. Proposes a new lane configuration for mixed-use paths aimed to reduce interference between cyclists and pedestrians.


L. Earnest, A Safe Route Through the I-280 Page Mill Interchange for Pedestrians and Cyclists, 2015.11.18. Shows a simplified version of the proposed multi-use path along the north side of the Page Mill/I-280 Interchange.


L. Earnest, A 50-year-old highway design blunder has taken another victim, a 52-year-old man. There is a simple fix that should be implemented now, 2015.11. Advocates building a multi-use path connecting Old Page Mill Road to Arastradero and upper Page Mill Roads along the north side of the Page Mill/I-280 Interchange.


L. Earnest, Cycling Recycled.  A Town newsletter article on cycling safety written by a county sheriff had an anti-cyclist slant, so Lester Earnest sent this to the Traffic Safety Committee, the newsletter editor, the Town Council and the author of the article, who was kind enough to later send a “Thank you” note.


L. Earnest, Roadside bike paths are unsafe. Letter to the Town of Los Altos Hills regarding an ill-conceived bicycle route.


L. Earnest, A more direct and frugal route for the S1 Trail, with additional benefits, 2010.06.30. A side path was proposed that remains the best solution to the cycling and pedestrian safety problems in the Page Mill/I-280 Interchange.


Los Altos Hills Council, A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE TOWN OF LOS ALTOS HILLS REQUESTING PROVISION OF NON-VEHICULAR WAYS THROUGH INTERCHANGE, 1965.06.07.  Calls for revision of the Page Mill/I-280 interchange design to make it safer for non-vehicular traffic such as cyclists, pedestrian, and equestrians.

Los Altos Hills Paths

L. Earnest, How to stop pathway burglars, 2011.07. Getting rid of this threat is surprisingly simple.


L. Earnest, Pathway Easements, 2005. Spreadsheet reports on existing pathway easements using certain Codings.


L. Earnest, Proposed path indemnification for landowners, Memo to City Council per resolution by the Pathways Committee recommending that the Town formally indemnify property owners where there are public paths.

List of Streets and Named Paths, Spreadsheet lists names and public or private status of Town streets and named paths.



Santa Clara County Government

L. Earnest, Mount Umunhum’s Fraudulent Monument, the old radar tower overlooking Silicon Valley is a byproduct of the biggest tax fraud in world history but is being preserved because of public ignorance.


L. Earnest, Conduct of weed inspections. 2011.04.11. Letter to the Santa Clara County Weed Inspector reviewing his recent misconduct.


Traffic Safety

L. Earnest, Yielding More And Stopping Less Can Save Time And Fuel, – A draft Resolution submitted to the Traffic Safety Committee proposing a radically different traffic safety policy that would reduce the number of stop signs and encourage yielding. If Los Altos Hills declines this proposal I will seek other venues.


L. Earnest, The Second Stupidest Stop Sign in Los Altos Hills and what can be done about it.


Oregon Dept. of Transport., Stop vs. Yield Signs 2002.08.30.


L. Earnest, A safe route through the El Monte/280 interchange for motor vehicles. Recommends a change in the I-280 northbound off-ramp to eastbound El Monte Road.