Issuu on Google+

Drama queens Arts & events | P.25 November 27, 2009 VOLUME 17, NO. 47 INSIDE: weekend | PAGE 19 650.964.6300 Does city give a hoot about owls? Audubon Society calls for preserve at Shoreline site slated for ball fields By Daniel DeBolt W ith the burrowing owl as its poster child, the Audubon Society has started a campaign to make Shoreline Park into an owl preserve, and hopes to halt development of two playing fields planned to go on 12 acres of owl foraging grounds there. The campaign comes as a surprise to the city’s youth sports leagues, which have been waiting hopefully for the long-sought-after Twi-hards come out for ‘New Moon’ Teen girls, older women admit love for the latest ‘Twilight’ movie By Kelsey Mesher A cross the country last week, die-hard fans of the vampire saga “Twilight” flocked to theaters for the latest installment of the film series, “New Moon.” The Associated Press reported that after midnight showings early Friday morning, “New Moon” had See twi-hards, page 11 INSIDE Shoreline ball fields ever since the City Council signaled its support for them in January of last year. As of press time, 150 people had signed an Audubon Society petition calling for a “large and contiguous burrowing owl preserve to protect and enhance (the) burrowing owl’s natural habitats” at Shoreline. The local Audubon chapter is advertising the campaign on its Web site (, and members have been writing letters to City Council members, posting on the Voice’s Town Square forum and advocating for a preserve during General Plan hearings. “We want more than policies, we want a dedicated preserve,” said Shani Kleinhaus, environmental advocate for the Santa Clara Valley Audubon Society, a local chapter of 3,000 bird lovers and bird watchers. “It’s time Mountain View, in its 2030 General Plan, looks at nature preservation as a high priority.” The owls are a California “species of concern” that live in squirrel holes at Shoreline Park. There were once hundreds of the owls on the Bay’s shoreline, Kleinhaus said, but she now believes there are now fewer than 40 pairs in Santa Clara County. The 500-acre landfill turned regional park was home to about 14 owls on Monday, according to a count by Phil Higgins, a cityemployed biologist who counts the owls every week. Higgins pays particular attention to their numbers during the spring breeding season. This year, he said, there were three mating pairs and 10 chicks; the highest number counted was during the spring of 2003, when See owls, page 9 Michelle Le Patri Friedman, executive director of The Seasteading Institute, in his office located on University Avenue in Palo Alto. The biggest idea ever floated Mountain View resident Patri Friedman — Milton’s grandson — wants to start his own country, on the sea By Daniel DeBolt P atri Friedman believes that some day humans might live on platforms in the middle of the sea. The Mountain View resident is so dedicated to the idea, in fact, that he received a half-million dollars from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel to study it further. So with Thiel’s gift as seed money, Friedman quit his job as an engineer at Google in 2008 to start The Seasteading Institute with co-founder Wayne Gramlich. The 33-year-old is the grandson of famous libertarian economist Milton Friedman, whose philosophy he largely shares. But in a Silicon Valley twist, Friedman believes technology will play a significant part in GOINGS ON 28 | MARKETPLACE 41 | MOVIES 22 | VIEWPOINT 18 solving social problems. “You might not think this is the place to start a political revolution,” Friedman said of Silicon Valley. “But (sea steading) is a “Mostly I’m a libertarian, and we live in a very non-libertarian world.” Patri Friedman technological solution to the problems of politics. Rather than saying ‘Can we get people to go with this ideology?’ and trying to convince people, if we can invent this technology to build cities on the ocean, it will increase competition between governments” and fix many problems. He envisions small communities, or countries on prefabricated platforms, where switching citizenship would involve simply floating from one platform to another. Currently, he said, “you have to win a war or an election or a revolution” to start your own country, “which is just ridiculous.” What began as a part-time interest for Friedman is now a full-time job. He employs three staffers and three interns, who spend their work days in a Palo Alto office generating ideas about how to sustain sovereign See friedman, page 12

Mountain View Voice 11.27.2009 - Section 1

Related publications