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Sancho’s taqueria conquers Palo Alto | P.15 JANUARY 1, 2010 VOLUME 17, NO. 52 650.964.6300 INSIDE: MOVIES | PAGE 18 Mountain View’s top 10 stories of 2009 L ike most California communities, Mountain View felt the pain when the nation’s and the state’s economies fell apart in the economic downturn of 2009. The city’s tax receipts plummeted, and school districts were hit hard while the Legislature and governor tussled over ways to reduce a deficit now projected at $21 billion. A drastically reduced budget was not adopted until well into the third quarter, and in the meantime the city and school districts have learned to make do with less. But while many of the year’s biggest stories are budgetrelated, plenty of others captured headlines in the Voice. Below, in no particular order, we present our picks for the top 10 stories of 2009: TWO BIG MOVES FOR EL CAMINO A fter seven years of meticulous planning, El Camino Hospital finally completed construction on its new, seismically safe, $480 million campus in Mountain View. The new hospital, which sits adjacent to the old one, complies with earthquake safety standards approved in the mid 1990s. It features 399 hospital JAMES TENSUAN El Camino Hospital patient Emma Joy Ham, 5, is transported by staff from the old hospital building to her room in the new building. beds and more state-of-theart technologies than before, including an improved, $20 million radiology department. The hospital officially opened on Saturday, Nov. 15, with a well-choreographed patient move and emergency room swap — the old ER closed at 6 a.m. and the new one opened at 6:01 a.m., with its first patient arriving only minutes later. El Camino purchased the Community Hospital of Los Gatos, signing on to invest a total of $103 million on the facility. The campus was closed temporarily before reopening mid-July. With both campuses, the organization’s total bed count is up to 542. BIG YEAR FOR CITY PLANNING AD-HOC BMX PARK espite slowdowns in the BULLDOZED D real estate market, 2009 was a big year for land use planning in Mountain View. Hundreds of residents gave input in general plan hearings, where many supported turning Mountain View into a network of SUPPORT NETWORK OFFERS WOMEN A SAFE PLACE TO RECOVER T he holiday season can make a bad situation even worse for a battered woman, say staff members at Support Network, a Sunnyvale organization dedicated to supporting women and children who are victims of domestic violence. With private donations, and INSIDE 2009 liday o H und F community partners, such as the Voice Holiday Fund, Support Net- work provides the services and guidance a woman needs to free herself from an abusive situation. “Really, emotionally, our clients are struggling right now,” said Denise Henderson, director of clinical services, who works with women on a day-to-day basis. With children See SUPPORT, page 8 GOINGS ON 20 | MARKETPLACE 21 | REAL ESTATE 23 | VIEWPOINT 13 T he city drew ire from residents in August when a bulldozer was ordered to destroy the ad hoc dirt “Creek Trails” bicycle track known along See LOOKING BACK, page 12 Developer threatens lawsuit against city Haven for domestic violence victims By Kelsey Mesher “villages” while preserving each neighborhood’s unique character was also important for many. Many welcomed news that a major redevelopment was in the works for 16 acres of San Antonio shopping center that may include 400 homes or a movie theater. Meanwhile a clash ensued between smart growthers and neighbors over a plan to redevelop Minton’s Lumber and Supply into a 214-unit apartment complex near the downtown train station, complete with dueling petitions and a heated neighborhood association election battle. A report on the city’s housing needs earlier in the year said Mountain View is “jobs rich” in regards to its jobs-to-housing ratio. The report also mentioned a state requirement for the city to zone a site for a homeless shelter, a cause that has been taken up by an 86-year-old homeless man, Jess Santana, after 173 homeless people were counted in the Mountain View-Los Altos area in January. MOZART SEES OPPORTUNITY UNDER COURT RULING By Daniel DeBolt T he city of Mountain View is bracing for a lawsuit from developer John Mozart after his lawyers sent a letter in October protesting the city’s below-market-rate housing fees. A similar letter was the precursor of a lawsuit recently filed against the city of Palo Alto. Being challenged is Mountain View’s “inclusionary zoning” policy, which requires developSee CHALLENGE, page 6

Mountain View Voice 01.01.2010 - Section 1

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