Summer Class Guide PAGE 25 MAY 10, 2013 VOLUME 21, NO. 16 www.MountainViewOnline.com 650.964.6300 MOVIES | 22 Lush property could become city park UNANIMOUS VOTE TO BUY 1.2 ACRES ON NORTH RENGSTORFF AVENUE By Daniel DeBolt T VERONICA WEBER Mark Hoerber, left, Manu Sharma and student Jay Alexander check out Hoerber’s graduate project for studying bacteria growth in space at the Hacker Dojo’s workshop for “space hackers.” Not your grandfather’s space program By Daniel DeBolt W ith the promise of more affordable space flight on the horizon, “citizen scientists” are eying the possibility of conducting inexpensive research experiments in space. Dozens of “space hackers” participated in a two day work- shop at Mountain View’s Hacker Dojo last weekend, with companies presenting various technologies that promise to make it easy and cheap to do research in space, from learning how fluids mix in microgravity to measuring the effects of outer space on plants and animals. A group of community college students made the drive he City Council approved the purchase of a 1.2 acre property Tuesday night, offered by its longtime resident, who wants to see the wooded property turned into a park. City officials say they received an unsolicited offer to buy the property from owner Frances Stieper for the land at 771 North Rengstorff Ave., near Old Middlefield Road. Council members on Tuesday unanimously approved the $3 million purchase price. It includes a garden, a 1953 home and 125 trees, half of which are fairly large “heritage trees” according to the city. John Miguel, retired Mountain View firefighter, said he had come to know Stieper well after meeting the elderly woman on a medical call. He said he volunteered to help her maintain the property when he realized she was “doing things I didn’t want her to do, like getting on the roof and taking leaves off.” “It’s an amazing piece of property,” Miguel said. “It is an amazing thing she’s come to you to say she wants it turned into a park. I hope we will consider her wishes in this. I want to publicly thank Frances for being a dear, dear friend and for giving back to the city.” Stieper kept a file “three inches thick on developers that want to develop that property for profit,” Miguel said. “She See FUTURE PARK?, page 15 from Sacramento’s American River college, hoping to become the first group of community college students to do research in space. Conducting an experiment in space “would be beautiful” for students of a community college and “completely unheard See SPACE PROGRAM, page 6 Council split over union wages MEMBERS AGREE TO MORE STUDY OF COMPENSATION FOR CITY JOBS By Daniel DeBolt A fter deliberations that highlighted differing values among its members, the City Council voted on Tuesday to study a “prevailing wage” for workers on the city’s affordable housing projects. INSIDE The discussion pitted members of local construction unions against council members Mike Kasperzak, John McAlister, Chris Clark and John Inks, who questioned or hesitated to support a prevailing wage for affordable housing projects, though only Inks opposed the study. Prevailing wage requirements allows union construction contractors to competitively bid on projects, but increase project costs. See UNION WAGES, page 16 VIEWPOINT 17 | GOINGS ON 23 | MARKETPLACE 30 | REAL ESTATE 32 COURTESY CITY OF MOUNTAIN VIEW Neighbors hope a park will be built on a largely undeveloped 1.2-acre property the city is buying.