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French connection comes to Castro WEEKEND | P.14 JULY 20, 2012 VOLUME 20, NO. 26 650.964.6300 MOVIES | 16 State Senate candidates in 30 minutes or less By Sandy Brundage C MICHELLE LE From left: KimiAnn Sano and Vanessa Higa watch Erin Tokutomi dress Michelle Tokutomi as a big taiko drum during practice for the Obon Festival at the Mountain View Buddhist Temple. Temple’s Obon fest celebrates family By Emily Efland T he thrumming of Japanese taiko drums reverberated through the air during a recent practice at the Mountain View Buddhist Temple. Participants chanted and performed traditional dances in preparation for the temple’s largest festival of the year, set for Saturday and Sunday, July 21 and 22. Members of the temple will honor their ancestors in the temple’s 59th annual Obon Festival and Bazaar this weekend, inviting the public to celebrate the Japanese holiday with dance, art, food and games. The festival will run from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. See OBON FESTIVAL, page 6 Fighting the law with free foie gras CHEZ TJ CHEF BELIEVES LOOPHOLE IN LEGISLATION PUTS RESTAURANT IN CLEAR By Nick Veronin A nimal rights activists are up in arms over a local chef’s decision to continue serving foie gras despite a new state law banning its sale. They can quack all they want about it, as far as officials at Chez TJ are concerned. “We’re not doing anything wrong,” said an unapologetic Joey Elenterio, executive chef at Mountain View’s only Michelin-rated res- INSIDE taurant. Elenterio said he believes the “bird feeding law,” as it is sometimes called, is a governmental overreach. The law, which went into effect July 1, bans both the production and sale of the fattened duck or goose liver dish in California. Beyond Elenterio’s personal views on the matter, he said he is certain that he found an entirely above-board way around the legislation, which he called “watered down” and “vague.” The Cupertino-born chef reasons that as long as he is giving the the traditional French delicacy away — “for free” — the restaurant is in the clear. The language of the law states “a person may not force-feed a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird’s liver beyond normal size, or hire another person to do so” and that “a product may not See FOIE GRAS, page 9 VIEWPOINT 13 | GOINGS ON 17 | MARKETPLACE 18 | REAL ESTATE 20 alifornia State Assemblyman Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) see like a man who really could tell you his life story in three minutes flat. He demonstrated his mastery of the elevator pitch before a crowd of about 35 people at a forum hosted by the Menlo Democrats club. Also in the spotlight was Mountain View’s former Assemblywoman Sally Lieber, who represented District 22 in the legislature from 2002 to 2008. The two candidates face off in November for a seat in the newly formed state Senate District 13, which includes most of San Mateo County and portions of Santa Clara County such Palo Alto and Mountain View. The pair took turns answering four questions fielded by club president John Woodell over the course of 30 minutes in a back room at the Menlo Hub on Tuesday (July 17) night. First up, high-speed rail. Hill said he refused to support the newly passed high-speed rail bill until it incorporated electrification of Caltrain, provided standalone value to the Central Valley where the first segment will be constructed, and guaranteed a two-track design. He voted in favor of the bill, although rail watchdogs question whether the guarantee really exists. Lieber had a different perspective. “It’s a bad bill,” she said. “It’s a bad deal for the Peninsula.” She suggested that given the state’s economic struggles, there are higher priorities like education and the environment. The discussion then turned to restoration of the Hetch Hetchy reservoir. An offshoot group of the Sierra Club wants to put an initiative on the November ballot that would create a plan eventually leading to draining the reservoir to restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park. San Francisco draws heavily upon the reservoir and supplies its water to other parts of the Peninsula. “I understand why they want to, but the Bay Area relies on water from the Hetch Hetchy,” Lieber said. She suggested a focus on levees instead, commenting that levy failure Jerry Hill could lead to salt water intrusion that could wreak havoc on the Bay Area’s water supply. Hill voiced concerns over San FrancisSally Lieber co’s getting to decide what happens to the water supply serving residents all along the Peninsula. “Do we have a voice in that? Yes,” he said. “But we don’t have a say.” He said one of the first pieces of legislation he would author, if elected, would be a bill guaranteeing that all Bay Area communities who rely on the reservoir would get a say in its future. Job creation was up next. Both candidates agreed that jobs are good, but had different approaches. Hill, who chairs the state Assembly’s biotechnology committee, advocated streamlining regulations for the biotech industry by removing redundancies, for example, to stimulate an innovative economy. People need “the right education and the right environment for job See STATE SENATE, page 8

Mountain View Voice 07.20.2012 - Section 1

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