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A spirited local business WEEKEND | 16 JUNE 28, 2013 VOLUME 21, NO. XX 650.964.6300 MOVIES | 19 Couple ‘elated’ by gay marriage rulings By Nick Veronin B MICHELLE LE John Miguel, a Mountain View firefighter, led the clean-up effort on Frances Stieper’s property, which the city has bought and to use as a park. New city property a future ‘food forest’? By Daniel DeBolt I t may be hard to imagine walking into a park in the heart of Silicon Valley and being able to eat freely from an abundance of fruit trees — but that may soon become a reality with the city’s purchase of a lush, one-acre property on North Rengstorff Avenue. When the City Council recently approved the $3 million purchase of the land at 771 North Rengstorff, it may have unwittingly set the city on a course to have one of the first “food forests” in the region. While the city’s planning process has yet to begin for the property, its numerous fruit trees may very well be saved if the City Council decides to stick to its goal this year of maintaining the city’s tree canopy. Cities around the world are beginning to see the value of using park space to grow orchards, vegetable gardens and berry patches, turning parks into sources of food free for the taking. The largest example is in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, where residents will soon be able to forage from 7-acres See CITY PROPERTY, page 7 rian Fiorino and Duke Khuu say they are elated to know that their daughter will be born into a world where her parents have the same legal rights as heterosexual married couples. The Mountain View couple expressed excitement over two Supreme Court rulings handed down Wednesday, June 26, which reversed California’s controversial Proposition 8 and overturned a key provision in the federal Defense of Marriage Act that denied certain rights to same-sex married couples. “It’s a great day for us,” Khuu, who runs a dermatology practice on Castro Street, told the Voice. “We’re very pleased. We’ve been waiting for a very long time.” According to Fiorino, he and Khuu have considered themselves married for many years, but they haven’t been able to officially and legally tie the knot. That should change in short order. Fiorino, a lawyer, said that he expects they may have to wait for a bit longer for the official order to come down and the marriage licenses to be made available. FILE PHOTO Duke Khuu and Brian Fiorino have been waiting for years to get married. The decision comes at an especially exciting time for the couple, who after a number of tries are expecting a baby girl. Their daughter is being carried by a surrogate and is due in December. “Baby girl is going to be born into a world where her parents can be married,” Fiorino said. When it’s all said and done, Fiorino said the ruling won’t change much about he and Khuu’s day-to-day lives. “PerSee GAY MARRIAGE, page 9 Union janitors to return to City Hall, but with less pay By Daniel DeBolt T he janitors who lost their jobs cleaning the city’s buildings this year may be rehired by a surprisingly cheap union contractor this summer. City Council members on Tuesaday declined to require that their wages and benefits be restored. The council was asked to weigh in on the issue of pay after janitors picketed City Hall in INSIDE November. After a fallout with the previous contractor, GCA, over the city’s willingness to pay for rising healthcare costs, the city had switched temporarily to a non-union janitorial services contractor, IMS, which significantly cut pay and hours, and eliminated healthcare benefits for the five city janitors it rehired. One city janitor told the council on Tuesday that the cuts felt like “a slap in the face” and asked members to “correct these wrongs that have been to me and others that have kept your buildings clean for 10 years.” “I am proud of my work here,” she said. “Please respect our hard work.” Voting 5-1, council members passed a motion to hire a janitorial services contractor within a year or two. Mayor John Inks was opposed and member Mike VIEWPOINT 15 | GOINGS ON 21 | MARKETPLACE 22 | REAL ESTATE 24 Kasperzak was absent. The city may hire a unionorganized janitorial service even sooner, as city officials mull over seven bids for a new janitorial services contract to be awarded in July. Three of the seven bidding contractors are union and provide health benefits. At least initially, using a union contractor doesn’t cost more than a non-union contractor, city officials said. Five of the seven bidders said costs for the city would not change to comply with a Service Employee’s International Union contract for Bay Area janitors. Six of the seven bidders have higher minimum wages than the lowest rung on the SEIU’s Bay Area pay scale for janitors, which pays first-year janitors $8.50 an hour. Council members declined a See UNION JANITORS, page 14

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