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A treasure from the sea WEEKEND | 12 JANUARY 18, 2013 VOLUME 20, NO. 52 650.964.6300 MOVIES | 15 Surprise lawsuit over flood project By Daniel DeBolt A JAMES TENSUAN The intersection at Castro and Dana streets could be in line for improved crosswalks. City Council narrowly approves pedestrian plan By Daniel DeBolt T he City Council approved Mountain View’s first Pedestrian Master Plan on Tuesday. Though bike and pedestrian advocates said it lacked detail, the plan was nearly voted down by City Council members who said it had too much. In a 4-2 vote with Mike Kasperzak absent, council members approved the plan. John McAlister provided a surprise swing vote. Council See PEDESTRIAN PLAN, page 9 lawsuit has been filed against the Santa Clara Valley Water District over its Permanente Creek Flood protection project, even after district officials apparently tried to avoid such an ordeal. The suit alleging that the project’s environmental report isn’t legally adequate was filed on Christmas Eve by San Franciscobased attorney Thomas Lippe, representing the “Cuesta Annex and Salco Acres Preservation Group.” Salco Acres is the 1950s singlefamily home neighborhood adjacent to the Cuesta Annex, a former orchard-turned city park where a controversial flood basin had been proposed. Citing opposition from residents, the water district removed the Annex flood basin from the project on Nov. 20. “I’m actually surprised about the lawsuit being filed,” said City Council member and lawyer Mike Kasperzak. “It’s my impression that the water district decided not to proceed with the Cuesta Park Annex basin because they were concerned about litigation arising under CEQA from this same lawyer. They clearly thought if they didn’t go that route they weren’t going to get sued.” Lippe did not respond to phone calls by the Voice’s press deadline Wednesday. The lawsuit claims that the Environmental Impact Report for the entire flood protection project is not adequate under the California Environmental Equality Act. The flood project aims to protect over 2,720 properties in the area from Permanente Creek in a 100-year flood, an event that has a 1 percent chance of happening every year. According to the petition filed with the court, the purpose of the suit is to ensure that “the District does not adopt the Project in absence of an environmental document that adequately defines the project and analyzes, mitigates, and disclose the Project’s significant adverse impacts.” The petition does not give specifics as to how the EIR is inadequate. Kasperzak said the suit is an example of “issues a lot of people have with CEQA, how easy it is for a few people to stop someSee FLOOD PROJECT, page 8 Judge: Bullis must reveal info on donors, enrollment By Nick Veronin A judge has ruled that Bullis Charter School must provide records on its enrollment and fundraising practices, despite arguments from the charter school’s legal team that there is no legitimate reason for revealing the information. In her Jan. 7 tentative ruling, Santa Clara County Judge Patricia Lucas rejected two Bullis motions that argued that the Los INSIDE Altos School District has no right to ask for the information. The district has asked for detailed accounts of how much the charter school has raised through private donations and records on its recruitment and enrollment processes — including where students enrolled at Bullis live, their ethnicity and the number of special education students attending the charter school. While LASD lawyer Ray Cardozo maintains that the district needs this information in order to determine how to allocate the legally mandated “reasonably equivalent” facilities to the charter, BCS lawyer Arturo Gonzalez claims that this is just the latest of many legal maneuvers the district has deployed to avoid handing over the facilities to which the charter is entitled. Mark Goines, a trustee with the Los Altos School District, was pleased with the ruling and countered Gonzalez’s assertion VIEWPOINT 11 | GOINGS ON 17 | MARKETPLACE 19 | REAL ESTATE 20 that his district had no legitimate need for the information. Goines said the district wants to understand the charter’s donation practices for a number of reasons. BCS has asked that the court require the district to reimburse them for the money they have spent litigating. But where does the money they use to litigate come from, Goines asked. And have they been significantly hurt by the fees they have paid their lawyers? The trustee notes that many of his district’s wealthiest residents have long been heavily involved in BCS. Bullis board chair Ken Moore, for example, is the son of Intel Corp. co-founder and billionaire, Gordon Earle Moore. Goines said calculating what is a reasonably equivalent allocation requires a better understanding of how much money the charter is able to raise on its own through See BULLIS, page 8

Mountain View Voice 01.18.2013 - Section 1

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