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Los Altos’ First & Main Sports Lounge WEEKEND | P.14 AUGUST 20, 2010 VOLUME 18, NO. 33 650.964.6300 INSIDE: MOVIES | PAGE 17 Introducing the iCouncil COUNCIL MEMBERS TEST IPADS TO SAVE TIME, MONEY AND PAPER By Daniel DeBolt In hopes of saving reams and reams of paper, three City Council members will be ditching their inches-thick weekly reports for iPads next month in an experiment. Part of every City Council member’s job is to read a staff report on each agenda item within the five days before every council meeting. But when she recently purchased a new iPad, it occurred to council member Margaret Abe-Koga that lugging around those massive weekly staff report binders, as thick as 6 inches on busy weeks, made little sense when she could read the reports on her iPad. After all, this is See iCOUNCIL, page 9 MICHELLE LE An inside view of the $470 million El Camino Hospital, which opened last November. El Camino Hospital to lay off 140 OFFICIALS SAY SLUMPING ECONOMY FORCED STAFF CUTS By Nick Veronin E l Camino Hospital announced on Aug. 12 that it will be laying off about 140 full- and part-time employees. The hospital has been hit hard by the recession and has seen a “sustained decrease in patient activity,” El Camino officials said in a press release. “A reduction in force is necessary so that our operational costs aligned with patient revenues,” the statement said. “This process has been very difficult for all those involved,” said Chris Ernst, a spokeswoman for El Camino Hospital. “We’ve been trying really hard to avoid today.” Ernst did not have an estimate for how much money the cuts will save the hospital, but emphasized that while it was a very hard decision, it was necessary. “It is ultimately the right business decision for the long-term health and strength of this hospital.” The hospital has notified most of the 195 employees whose jobs may be cut, Ernst said. Of those 195, Ernst estimated that somewhere between 138 and 142 employees, from service-level employees up through the hospital’s administration, would be let go. The hospital’s current employee base is about 3,000. About 21 nurses are likely to lose their jobs, Ernst said. She did not have estimates for the layoffs among other categories of employees. The hospital was rebuilt as part of a $470 million, seven-year project. The new facility was opened in November 2009, and it was referenced in Popular Science magazine the next month as “the most technologically advanced hospital in the world.” Comments attached to this story on the Voice website expressed many concerns about the layoffs and the hospital’s management. Some criticized the hospital for spending too much money on televisions and robots capable of shuttling medical supplies around the hospital. See HOSPITAL, page 9 INSIDE GOINGS ON 19 | MARKETPLACE 22 | REAL ESTATE 25 | VIEWPOINT 13 Students show improvement on standardized tests Local elementary, middle and high schools showed an overall improvement on state standardized test scores last year, according to education officials. The Mountain View Whisman School District saw a 2 percent overall increase in English language arts scores and a 3 percent overall increase in mathematics scores, as measured by 2010 California Standards Test, according to a report released by the district. Overall scores are up 13 and 14 percent, respectively, since the 2005-06 school year. The Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District also showed improvement over last year’s scores in every area tested. Freshmen improved most in algebra (10 percent), sophomores improved most in chemistry (9 percent) and juniors improved most in their summative high school math (6 percent). —Nick Veronin

Mountain View Voice 08.20.2010 - Section 1

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