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Charming Stanford Barn locale WEEKEND | P.21 SEPTEMBER 16, 2011 VOLUME 19, NO. 35 650.964.6300 INSIDE: MOVIES | PAGE 24 Park revamp could cost $139 million COUNCIL WANTS MORE ‘REALISTIC’ RENGSTORFF PLAN By Daniel DeBolt C MICHELLE LE GOING APE FOR BOOKS First-graders Edwin Chirinos and Tessa Hunter can’t believe their eyes as Principal Judy Crates, dressed in a gorilla suit, visited their classroom at Castro School on Sept. 8. The bananas and the monkey suit were an unusual reward that students earned over the summer. For the story and more photos, see page 8. Save the Annex or risk flooding the hospital? By Daniel DeBolt I n early October the City Council will be asked to either protect the El Camino Hospital area in a major flood or keep a flood basin out of one the city’s last pieces of untouched open space. Pleasing the vocal opponents of the plan, the Santa Clara Valley Water District has declared the controversial proposed flood basin at the Cuesta Annex unnecessary to meet the goals of its Permanente Creek flood protection project. But district officials warn that a new alternative — a “catchment pipe” under Cuesta Drive — would allow flooding of a residential area south of Cuesta Drive where the Annex basin would otherwise provide some protection. The water district now proposes an option for an 11-foot-deep, 4-acre flood basin at the Cuesta See CUESTA, page 12 Local swimmers abandon ship in Hawaii MV TEAM ESCAPES FAST-SINKING VESSEL OFF COAST OF LANAI By Nick Veronin A boat carrying six swimmers from a Mountain View open-ocean, competitive swimming team sank suddenly in choppy conditions INSIDE between the Hawaiian islands of Lanai and Maui on Sept.9. All 11 people aboard, including the swimmers from the Mountain View Masters Swim Team, their guests, the crew and a young child, made it out of the ship safely and were promptly picked up by other nearby boats. Despite the accident, all members of the team completed the Maui Channel Swim — a 9.5See SWIMMERS, page 15 GOINGS ON 25 | MARKETPLACE 26 | REAL ESTATE 27 | VIEWPOINT 19 ity Council members appeared to back away from plans for a major revamp of Rengstorff Park on Tuesday, expressing shock at the price and the need to remove numerous large trees. The city had hired San Josebased Anderson Brule Architects to create several concepts for revamping the park, including the replacement of the park’s aging aquatics center and community center. There’s the potential of adding a new indoor gym and new teen center into a cohesive design. Four conceptual designs were presented to show what was possible, with cost ranging between $86.7 million and $139.6 million if built in 2021, when costs could increase by almost 50 percent, according to a city staff report. Three of the designs cost over $130 million. In the designs, the Community Center, tennis courts and Aquatics Center were placed in different locations, usually around a large grass area, with different ways of connecting those buildings through new paths and landscaping to the new senior center and child care center on the eastern edge of the park. Few positive comments were made by council members about any of the four designs, with some calling for a plan that was more “realistic” and affordable. Some of the harshest remarks came from council member Margaret AbeKoga, who said that she found herself “trying to recall why we embarked on this project.” “We need to talk about how we are going to finance this,” AbeKoga said. Council member Laura Macias said Rengstorff Park is already a “gem” that many people love. “What we need to do is polish that gem,” she said. Council member Tom Means added, “I don’t think we schedule a lot of weddings there.” Council member Ronit Bryant said the main reason for revamping the park was to rebuild the city’s 1964 Community Center. “We have a community center that looks pathetic,” Bryant said, adding that she wanted a community center that “lives up to the other facilities we have in town.” “We need to bite the bullet on this,” said Bryant, who recalled that the city looked at building a new community center 10 years ago “and it was expensive then, too.” Bryant said the cost of the park See RENGSTORFF, page 6

Mountain View Voice 09.16.2011 - Section 1

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