Issuu on Google+

Ryowa focused on noodles WEEKEND | P.14 MAY 28, 2010 VOLUME 18, NO. 21 650.964.6300 INSIDE: MOVIES | PAGE 17 Who should pick up Caltrain tab? COUNCIL SAYS VTA SHOULD STEP UP, BUT WITH CONSEQUENCES FOR NORTHERN COUNTIES By Daniel DeBolt O MICHELLE LE Attendees use umbrellas to stay dry at the ground breaking of the new Day Worker Center renovation Tuesday. A new era dawns for Day Worker Center By Daniel DeBolt T he rain coming through the roof didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s spirits as the Day Worker Center of Mountain View entered a new era Tuesday afternoon with a groundbreaking ceremony for its first permanent home. The once abandoned cinder block building at 113 Escuela Avenue might need a new roof and some windows before it can function as a Day Worker Center, but that didn’t stop it from being filled Tuesday, May 25, with community leaders, day workers, volunteers and neighbors. People walked around puddles on the concrete floor and huddled under umbrellas as rain drifted down. “We figured you’d feel bad for us and donate” money towards the renovation, joked pastor Bob Moran. He and several other community leaders spoke to the large crowd inside the center before the shovels came out for the ceremonial INSIDE photo-op outside. The center still needs to raise about $150,000 to have everything it needs to open up, but building permits have been issued and construction is expect to be finished in three to four months. Another $100,000 could The center still needs to raise about $150,000 to have everything it needs to open up. provide quite a few “nice to haves,” said Dave Luedtke, who designed and managed most of the project. Like many others who worked on the project, including some college students who designed the interior layout, Luedtke worked for free. Normally he would have charged about $70,000 for such a project, he said. “The goal is to get a permanent place and a roof over our head, the rest is luxury,” Luedtke said. Despite the donated help, the project still has an overall budget of $940,000, $360,000 of which went towards purchasing the building in 2008. The renovation itself will cost only $360,000, but a long list of permit fees, a $25,000 traffic study and other expenses added up for the rest. The center, has been housed in various churches since it started in 1996, is used by 100 laborers everyday who hope to be matched up with employers, who are usually homeowners or contractors who need help with landscaping or construction projects among other things. It is an alternative to waiting on the street for employers who may or may not pay a decent wage, though some day workers still congregate at the corner of San See DAY WORKER, page 6 GOINGS ON 18 | MARKETPLACE 20 | REAL ESTATE 23 | VIEWPOINT 12 n Tuesday, the Mountain View City Council decided that Santa Clara County needs to maintain its Caltrain funding, but not without making San Mateo and San Francisco counties pay for cutting back their support. Riders in those counties should face decreased train service and higher fares, council members said. Caltrain announced April 1 that it may have to cut train service in half to stay afloat because of declining revenue from various sources. “This is not an April fool’s joke. This is real. We’re at a watershed moment where there’s a possibility this railroad could go away,” Caltrain CEO Mike Scanlon told his board of directors. About 40 percent of Caltrain’s $100 million budget comes from transportation agencies in San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. SamTrans in San Mateo County has announced that it will be cutting its share by 35 percent. If the other counties follow suit, it would result in $14 million reduction to the Caltrain budget. That, along with declining state funding and fare revenue, would result in major cuts to evening, midday and weekend train service, reported Margaret Abe-Koga, a VTA board member and Mountain View City Council member. Mountain View’s downtown train station is the second most used on the Caltrain line, and on Tuesday, the council felt it was important to weigh in on how the languishing train service is funded. Mayor Ronit Bryant said, “Letting Caltrain be dismantled is a truly shocking idea.” “It probably benefits Santa Clara County the most,” said Council member Mike Kasperzak of Cal- train. “We may well have the most to lose.” Mayor Ronit Bryant said that the city would be writing a letter to the VTA in support of maintaining the agency’s current Caltrain funding, but would make clear that there should be some consequences for the two counties to the north for reducing their contributions. Those consequences include reducing service to underused stations in San Francisco and San Mateo Counties and creating what Kasperzak called “fare differentials” — higher prices See CALTRAIN, page 8 Police give up pay raises By Daniel DeBolt W ith just a few weeks left to patch a $4.3 million general fund deficit, the city’s police have agreed to go without regular pay raises next year. Unfortunately the agreement with police does little to lower this year’s projected $4.3 million budget deficit for the fiscal year beginning July 1, because city officials had been assuming police would go without raises after their contract expired in June. Police agreed to extend their current contract another year without the annual raise, called a cost of living adjustment. Over the last two years, police have received the raise, which is worth 3.2 percent of their salaries. That would cost the city about $560,000 to do again this year, See POLICE, page 6

Mountain View Voice 05.28.2010 - Section 1

Related publications