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Modern twist at Sliderbar Cafe WEEKEND | P.16 JUNE 18, 2010 VOLUME 18, NO. 24 650.964.6300 INSIDE: MOVIES | PAGE 19 Hangar’s ‘cork room’ set for demolition By Daniel DeBolt A MICHELLE LE Caroline Boone rents the historic Bakotich house, which is slated for removal or demolition to make way for a co-housing project for seniors. Historic home all yours — if you move it CITY’S SECOND OLDEST HOUSE IN THE WAY OF SENIOR PROJECT By Daniel DeBolt T ry as they might, a group of seniors who want to build communal housing at 445 Calderon Avenue say it is not economically feasible to design their 19-unit condo complex around the 1880s house in the middle of the large lot. Instead of demol- ishing it, they are hoping to find a new address for the Victorian farmhouse known as the Bakotich house. Susan Burwen, who is organizing the co-housing effort with her husband David, secured the 1.3 acres adjacent to Landels Elementary School last year with the help of investors. Now Susan Burwen says their architect, co-housing guru Charles Durrett, has come up with 30 designs for the project, but none were able to incorporate the 19-unit condo building and the 1,700-square-foot-home, even if moved to a different part of the property. See BAKATICH, page 9 s preservationists scramble to keep the Navy from removing the siding from historic Hangar One at Moffett Field with no plan to replace it, many are now realizing that a unique artifact of the airship era inside Hangar One is set to be destroyed in August — a small building known as the “cork room.” In the early 1930s, the massive Navy airship the USS Macon sailed over Mountain View and the Pacific Ocean like an airborne aircraft carrier with a handful of small fighter planes ready to be deployed from its belly. In its home base, the 200-foot-tall, 1,133-foot-long Hangar One, the cork room was a temperature-controlled environment used to store and maintain the Macon’s fragile helium gas cells which kept the airship aloft. They were made from cow intestines before Goodyear came up with a cotton fabric that did the job, said Bill Wissel, founding board member of the Moffett Field Historical Society. The fragile cells had to be constantly inspected and patched because of chaffing on the airship frame. The 30-yard-long, narrow steelframed room with double doors on one end is likely to be last of its kind after a similar one in Lakehurst, New Jersey (the location of the fiery Hindenberg crash) was demolished, Wissel said. “In my opinion, the cork room is the most significant historical artifact in the hangar,” Carl Honaker, the last chief executive officer at Moffett Field before it ceased to be a Naval base, said in an email. “It’s the only physical evidence of the USS Macon/Lighter-Than-Air era, which was the purpose for constructing the hangar in the first place.” Hangar One’s interior buildings, including the cork room, may be demolished as early as August, according to an e-mail dated Monday, June 14, from Sarah Ann Moore, the deputy base closure manager for the Navy. “Preservation of the cork room is not a component of the Navy contract,” Moore wrote. “Work associated with removal of Hangar 1’s interior buildings is estimated to start in August 2010.” Navy officials have said it is impractical to decontaminate the cork room for preservation. It is unclear what needs to be decontaminated, though lead paint is found throughout the hangar and the hangar’s asbestos-laden siding is scheduled for removal this fall. The Navy currently plans to preserve a section of the five-inch-thick cork insulation and take photos of See CORK ROOM, page 11 Firefighters’ pay cut could help save police jobs By Daniel DeBolt A fter a year of discussions the city has a balanced budget that now has the backing of the City Council after a unanimous straw vote Tuesday night. To address a $4.6 million deficit, cuts to the $87 million INSIDE general fund will result in the elimination of 15 city employee positions, only four of which are filled: three police assistants and a police department records specialist. A deal to reduce pay raises for firefighters could save those four jobs when the City Council takes a final vote on the budget on Tuesday, June 22. Some residents spoke Tuesday out of concern that cutting the office jobs in the police department would “saddle” sworn police officers with more paperwork, thereby reducing police crime-fighting capacity. Council members said the four police department posi- GOINGS ON 20 | MARKETPLACE 21 | REAL ESTATE 24 | VIEWPOINT 13 tions could be saved by a lastminute deal with the city’s Firefighters Association, which may save the city $250,000 in the 2010-11 fiscal year budget. City Manager Kevin Duggan is not counting on the deal but said he was “optimistic” that it could be reached before Tuesday. Firefighters Association president John Miguel said discussions have been extended because of unresolved complications with his union’s contract. Miguel said a contract misinterpretation by city management may have cost fireSee BUDGET, page 6

Mountain View Voice 06.18.2010 - Section 1

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