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Ephesus Turkish cuisine WEEKEND | P.15 APRIL 22, 2011 VOLUME 19, NO. 15 650.964.6300 INSIDE: MOVIES | PAGE 19 Council considers major new goals, projects By Daniel DeBolt T NICK GONZALES A crowd armed with signs and slogans marched at the Google campus to protest corporate tax breaks. Tax day protest at Google EVENT ORGANIZED BY MOVEON.ORG HAS PEOPLE CALLING FOR CORPORATIONS TO PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE By Nick Veronin A s Americans across the country scrambled to mail off their W-2 and 1099 tax forms on Monday, April 18, a crowd of more than 75 gathered in the muggy drizzle at the Googleplex to demand that the search giant pay its fair share to Uncle Sam. The protestors carried signs and marched from a far-flung corner of the campus near Highway 101 almost to the headquarters building, occasionally chanting slogans, such as: “Don’t cut Medicare/cut corporate welfare!” The demonstration was just one of many organized across the country by the progressive political group MoveOn. org. Tim Molina, a member of MoveOn, led the local protest. INSIDE Fueled in part by an email that was penned by Michael Moore and sent to all MoveOn members, the protestors at Google came from cities all around the Bay Area to accuse Google of dodging what it owes the federal government, and demand that it pay more taxes. Len Fisher, another MoveOn member, came from Saratoga to protest. He said that he pays quite a bit in taxes and is happy to do so. “I think it’s the duty of any citizen to pay taxes,” Fisher said. “I think we owe it to our society.” Although Fisher and others at the protest didn’t seem to have an entirely clear idea about how much Google paid in taxes this year, and some threw out enormously high numbers about how much the company should have paid (one protestor claimed Google owed trillions of dollars), they all seemed certain that Google and other major companies very often get out of paying taxes by engaging in tricky money-shuffling overseas, by retaining an army of lawyers and by cozying up to the government through lobbyists. Google had no official comment on the protest, but according to a Bloomberg article published in October of last year, the company does move its money around overseas in order to garner lower corporate tax rates — a strategy that got one protester particularly riled up. Paul Buffalo Labont, who addressed the crowd with a charismatic southern drawl and forceful, pro-labor rhetoric said he had no patience for corporations that See GOOGLE, page 7 GOINGS ON 20 | MARKETPLACE 21 | REAL ESTATE 24 | VIEWPOINT 14 he City Council looked at a slew of new goals and city projects in a study session Tuesday, April 19, including a reexamination of the train crossing at Castro Street in light of recent news. On Monday U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto), state Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) and state Assemblyman Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park) proposed that the state’s high-speed rail line share Caltrain’s rail line instead of building an additional two tracks. (See story, this page.) The city has spent considerable time and money studying what the four-track plan would do to Castro Street and the city’s downtown, but this latest proposal needs further examination, council members said. Some believe that the plan may require that the city close Castro Street. High-speed rail money may not be available for gradeseparated crossings. “To me it seems critical that we have a city position on Castro Street,” said council member Ronit Bryant. Bryant suggested that the city might have to close off Castro Street and direct cross-town traffic onto Shoreline Boulevard. Council member Mike Kasperzak could not attend the meeting, but said in an email, “I don’t think you can realistically grade separate Caltrain and Castro Street” because of engineering and financial issues. “We need to realistically look at closing Castro Street” and build a grade-separated pedestrian crossing across Central Expressway. “You would have to go down to Shoreline Boulevard and come around, which businesses probably wouldn’t like,” Kasperzak said. “But I think people will get used to getting there when that’s what you want to do.” Kasperzak said that Evelyn Avenue could be modified for heavier traffic flow to and from Shoreline Boulevard, especially if the Castro Street median is no See COUNCIL, page 8 Merge high-speed rail with improved Caltrain, legislators urge By Gennady Sheyner and Jocelyn Dong S aying that government funding for California’s HighSpeed Rail program will be “severely limited ... for the foreseeable future,” local federal and state representatives are calling upon the California High-Speed Rail Authority to essentially link the high-speed rail route from Los Angeles with an improved and electrified Caltrain system running from San Jose to San Francisco. U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Palo Alto), state Sen. Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) and state Assemblyman Rich Gordon (D-Menlo Park) made their announcement on April 18 at the Menlo Park Caltrain station. The three legislators described the “blended” system of high-speed-rail and Caltrain as the best way to save money, protect Peninsula communities from unnecessary construction and to ensure the continued viability of Caltrain, which is facing a financial crisis. Eshoo, Simitian and Gordon said California’s high-speed-rail plans should include what they called a “21st Century Caltrain” -- a definition that includes electrification, positive train controls and new rolling stock. Simitian called Monday’s See HSR, page 12

Mountain View Voice 04.22.2011 - Section 1

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