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Friendly fare at café WEEKEND SECTION 2 MAY 4, 2012 VOLUME 20, NO. 15 650.964.6300 MOVIES | PAGE 27 Utility rate hikes on the way soon CITY HIT WITH HIGHER WATER COST DESPITE CONSERVATION PROGRAM By Daniel DeBolt “I guess we could if we had a ity Council members were use for it,” Fuller said. shocked to learn Tuesday “It just seems extraordinary that for the city govern- to have that much water and ment, saving water doesn’t pay. have to pay for not using it,” said At Tuesday’s City Council council member Ronit Bryant. “I meeting, it was revealed that recall that there were cities who the city has to pay for not using thought they were not getting much water in a new contract enough water.” with the SFPUC. On the bright side, Shoreline Fund property Utility rates to increase taxes are $5 million higher than Water, sewer and garbage rate anticipated, leaving a balance of increases are likely on the way, nearly $40 million. “With this SFPUC agree- say city staff members, who are ment we basically paid $367,000 recommending an 8 percent because we didn’t use enough increase to water rates, a 3 perwater,” said council member cent increase in garbage rates and Laura Macias at the May 1 meet- a 5.5 percent increase in sewer ing. “We spent a lot of time talk- rates to offset the city’s increased costs for those sering to our residents vices, which are all about conservation provided by outand recycled water ‘We basically side agencies. and at the end of The water rate the day it kind of paid $367,000 increases would pay backfired.” for a rate increase The San Francisfor not using of 11.4 percent co Public Utilities contract was reneenough water.’ from the SFPUC, from which the gotiated with the LAURA MACIAS city receives most city two years ago, of its water, while and is a 25-year agreement, said Public Works the remainder comes from the Director Mike Fuller. He noted Santa Clara Valley Water Disthat he was not involved in the trict, which is increasing rates by negotiations, but noted that 7.9 percent for treated water and those who did wanted to make 9.3 percent for well water. sure the city had plenty of water allocated — and apparently paid Shoreline Fund a price for that guarantee. overflowing with cash Council members suggested There seems to be no shortthat the city try and sell the water to someone else rather age of money in the city’s than pay, but Fuller said the city unique Shoreline Fund, which isn’t allowed to do that in the appropriates property taxes in Google’s neighborhood north of contract. “Couldn’t we just put it in Highway 101. tankers and take it somewhere?” See UTILITIES, page 8 said Mayor Mike Kasperzak. C MICHELLE LE Jesus holds up one end of an American flag at a rally outside City Hall following the downtown May Day march on May 1. May Day marchers seek immigration reform By Daniel DeBolt A march focusing on immigration reform held in Mountain View on May Day had a wider focus thanks to the Occupy movement, with protesters talking about banks’ abuses towards the immigrant community. A group of about 135 people marched from Rengstorff Park to City Hall, first heading down California Street to Showers Drive past Walmart and Target, and then to El Camino Real, stickSee MAY DAY, page 10 Young Afghani tech exec shadows local firm By Daniel DeBolt A fghanistan is often described as war-torn and one of the worst places in the world to be a woman, but at least one tech startup hopes to help change that. During a visit to the Mountain View company Outright last week, young Afghani CEO Hassen Poreya said he’s been encouraged to hire women, and despite sometimes horrific conditions for women in his home country, he says about 40 percent of computer science students are women at the only INSIDE such program around, at the University of Haret. He’s hired three women so far to join his 10-person team. “We are looking for women students who are willing to join us,” Poreya said. Poreya is only 22 but he’s already found- Hassen Poreya ed Microcis, a bootstrap startup which aims to provide accounting software to small Afghani businesses. Born and raised in Haret, which he says is relatively isolated from the ongoing military conflict, Poreya is part of a crop of young tech entrepreneurs in Afghanistan made possible by Haret University’s computer science program, which was started eight years ago. “We didnít have computer science engineers or software engineers in Afghanistan” before that, Poreya said. Poreya has been given a hand by the Business Council for Peace, a nonprofit that aims See AFGHANI TECH, page 8 GOINGS ON 29 | MARKETPLACE 30 | REAL ESTATE 32 | VIEWPOINT 22

Mountain View Voice 05.04.2012 - Section 1

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