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A vegetarian oasis WEEKEND | 17 NOVEMBER 29, 2013 VOLUME 21, NO. 44 650.964.6300 MOVIES | 20 Local shops prepare for the holidays ‘SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY’ HELPS, SAY DOWNTOWN RETAILERS By Nick Veronin est years” of 2009 and 2010. But things seem to be back on track. ith less than a month “Compared to then, business to go until Christ- has doubled,” which she views mas, local retailers are as a sign the local economy is looking forward to increasing going strong. sales as they close out 2013, a “Every day I have people year which saw sales increase walking in that just joined a over previous years. company or just started a com“The last five weeks of the pany,” Michel said. “A lot of year are critical,” said Glen people are hiring.” Robbe, store manager of the Both Robbe and Michel said Books Inc. at 301 Castro St. they appreciate the efforts of “We just do way more business American Express, which since than we normal2010 has promotly would.” ed the Saturday According to after Thanks‘People get a Robbe, the Castro giving as “Small Street location of Business Saturmore intimate Books Inc., has day.” been doing well “It’s gotten a lot experience over the past few of traction over years, despite the the last three shopping at a slowed national years,” Robbe economy — a said, noting small store.’ fact he attributes that he believes WAYNE WHELAN to Silicon Valthe event has CO-OWNER OF THERAPY ley’s relative stabrought custombility compared ers into the store. to the rest of the “We definitely country. Still, he see people with noted, the recession did cause their American Express cards.” people to “put their wallets Wayne Whelan, co-owner of away.” Therapy, a clothing and accesOf late, however, Robbe said sory boutique at 250 Castro St., numbers have been up at his said he appreciates the effort the store. credit card company is making, Tamara Michel is the owner but added that he’d like to see of Boutique 4 at 279 Castro St., every day be a “local business which sells clothing and acces- day.” sories. She said the end of the “It would be better if they did year isn’t a “make or break” time that as a part of their daily roufor her business. Nonetheless, tine,” Whelan said. He said he is she does see more customers in concerned that people don’t shop the run up to the holidays, and locally frequently enough, even if that’s a good thing as far as she there is more awareness around is concerned. the movement. Michel said Boutique 4 felt Shopping at locally owned the pinch of the recession — See SMALL BUSINESS, page 10 especially the during the “hard- W MICHELLE LE Katherine, a student in the comic book and illustration class at the Community School of Music and Arts, colors in her pencil drawings. Bringing life to the imagination CSMA MAKES ART AND MUSIC ACCESSIBLE TO THE MASSES By Daniel DeBolt I n a room at the Community School of Music and Arts in Mountain View, a dozen students are hard at work drawing comics. “There’s all different genres, a personal science fiction story, Mountain View Voice 2013 a spy thriller, a folk tale, a good action adventure, a fantasy and monsters kind of thing,” said teacher Andy Gouveia, showing off his middle school-aged students’ work. “I like seeing their creative ideas. This one is a spy thriller, with these super soldiers. One funny detail is there’s a painting on the wall See CSMA, page 12 Rulings deal financial blow to high-speed rail By Gennady Sheyner C alifornia’s proposed high-speed-rail system ran into a legal barrier Monday when a Sacramento judge ruled that the funding plan for the $68-billion project must be rescinded and refused to endorse the selling of bonds for the project. The two rulings by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny dealt what opponents of the project described as “dual body-blows” to the California High Speed Rail Authority, which is charged with building the rail line between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The project received a major boost in 2008, when state voters approved a $9.95-billion bond for the project, and another one in July 2012, when the state Legislature authorized spending the first $2.7 billion from this bond, as well as $3.2 billion in federal grants, on the line’s first segment. See HIGH-SPEED RAIL, page 9 INSIDE VIEWPOINT 14 | GOINGS ON 21 | MARKETPLACE 22 | REAL ESTATE 24

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