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OUR NEIGHBORHODS IN THIS ISSUE Profiles, maps and vital facts of featured neighborhoods in the community DECEMBER 31, 2010 VOLUME 18, NO. 52 INSIDE: WEEKEND | PAGE 14 650.964.6300 2010: THE YEAR IN REVIEW Tough year for public education The city imagines its future FALTERING ECONOMY, HUGE STATE DEFICIT HIT SCHOOLS HARD OFFICIALS MULL WORLD’S FAIR SITE, NEW GROWTH, TRAIN STATIONS AND POT CLUBS IN 2010 By Nick Veronin By Daniel DeBolt A nationwide recession, combined with a $19.1 billion state budget deficit, forced local school officials to make some difficult decisions in 2010. Programs were cut, class sizes increased and positions were eliminated. But despite the cuts, the show went on at Mountain View schools and Foothill-DeAnza community colleges. Community members, along with local and national charities and educational foundations, chipped in, while two area school districts asked voters to approve two tax bonds — one was approved, one was not. Elementary and middle schools With about $3 million less to I t was a year for futuristic visions for the city. A car-less Googletopia surrounding the headquarters of Google was envisioned along with a 2020 World’s Fair at Moffett Field showcasing Silicon Valley’s cutting edge. MICHELLE LE THE YEAR IN PICTURES: NASA Ames’ annual Yuri’s Night in April had a sort of Burning Man-meets-space flight theme with music and art installations like the Five Ton Crane, above. It’s one of the top images of 2010. See the rest of Voice photographer Michelle Le’s top picks, beginning on Page 10. spend this school year, Mountain View Whisman School District made cuts to teacher benefits, raised class sizes, crafted a new district-wide bell schedule that allowed for a reduction in bus drivers and eliminated some programs entirely. Target class sizes for kindergarten through third grade were bumped up from 20 to 25; GATE, the district’s “gifted and talented education” program, will now rely entirely on parent support for funding; and, for the first time, next year it is likely that teachers who choose The Grinch who stole the Christmas flamingo By Daniel DeBolt T he morning after Christmas, a thief stole more than just a Christmasthemed flamingo from a home on Wright Avenue — he appears to have stolen some Christmas cheer as well. “It’s not so much the cost, it’s like, how rude is that?” said Andrei Fenner, who put up the flamingo on his front lawn with his wife and kids, ages 3 and 7. “The kids are saying, ‘Why would someone take this from us?’” It wasn’t just any plastic lawn flamingo; it was a motorized one with Christmas lights and a Santa Claus hat. There was even a faux the lowest tier health care plan offered by the district will have to contribute to the premiums. This year proved to be a delicate balancing act for Craig Goldman, the newly appointed district See SCHOOLS, page 8 NINSIDE El Camino Hospital’s financial woes P.5 But it wasn’t always dreamy. The city also survived major budget cuts, a City Council election, a battle with an unwelSee CITY FUTURE, page 8 Police told Fenner that they don’t have the resources to look for a flamingo thief, even if the thief’s fingerprints were left on a screwdriver used to unscrew the flamingo. Fenner found the screwdriver on the lawn. And that is a shame, he said. “For the kids who probably did it, it is probably not going to be palm tree with Christmas lights to go with it. The uniquely Californian set-up stood apart from the typical snowmen and nativity scenes and neighbors loved it. “It just became a neighborhood joke because no one else really has this type of thing,” Fenner See FLAMINGO, page 6 said. “We all really got into decorating like crazy. Everyone in the neighborhood came by to take Anya Fenner, 3, poses next to the pictures of it with their kids. Christmas flamingo before it was We were just glowing about all stolen from her front lawn. “A bad this.” man came and took it,” she says. INSIDE GOINGS ON 19 | MOVIES 17 | REAL ESTATE 23 | VIEWPOINT 13

Mountain View Voice 12.31.2010 - Section 1

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