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The next generation to Asian Fusion WEEKEND | 18 AUGUST 15, 2014 VOLUME 22, NO. 29 650.964.6300 MOVIES | 21 Candidates see housing crisis solutions in North Bayshore MOST CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES SAY NEW NEIGHBORHOOD IS NEEDED By Daniel DeBolt I MICHELLE LE Peter Strauss listens to the response from EPA officials to his proposal for improving monitoring and cleanup of TCE in Mountain View’s MEW Superfund sites. Lots left to do in massive toxic cleanup EPA SEEKS COMMENTS ON FIVE YEARS OF EFFORTS TO TREAT TCE CONTAMINATION By Daniel DeBolt O n Monday evening a watchdog group offered ways to improve the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to clean up and monitor the toxics left behind by early computer chips makers in northeastern Mountain View. The EPA has released draft a five-year review of efforts to manage and clean up the portion of the area’s 1.5 mile long underground plume of toxic trichloroethylene (TCE) bordered by Middlefield, Ellis and Whisman roads (a collection of Superfund sites known as the MEW), spurring a meeting at Water district candidate challenges ‘unfair’ tax By Kevin Forestieri G ary Kremen isn’t pulling any punches. The founder of kicked off his race for a seat on the county water district board with a harsh critique of the district’s performance, and claims the water district has “stonewalled” local property owners on what he says is an unfair tax. INSIDE Kremen is the sole challenger running against incumbent Brian Schmidt for the District 7 seat on the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors. District 7 includes Mountain View, Palo Alto, Los Altos and Los Gatos. One of Kremen’s top issues is water district taxes. Kremen said property owners in Palo Alto, Mountain View and Los Altos City Hall seeking public comments Monday night. TCE is a carcinogenic cleaning solvent, once heavily used by early chip makers, that was dumped and/or leaked into the groundwater in large quantities. Over 100,000 pounds of See TCE, page 12 Hills pay millions in California State Water Project taxes every year, but don’t see the same payoff as the rest of the county because they don’t receive state water. Unlike most of of Santa Clara County, Palo Alto, Mountain View and Los Altos receive a majority of their water from the Hetch Hetchy water system, operated by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Only 10 percent of Mountain View’s water comes from state water sources, and Palo Alto receives none at all. As a result, property owners in these cities subsidize other areas VIEWPOINT 16 | GOINGS ON 22 | MARKETPLACE 23 | REAL ESTATE 24 f their support for a new residential neighborhood north of Highway 101 is any indication, Mountain View’s City Council candidates appear to represent a shift in public opinion toward allowing more housing development in Mountain View, balancing the explosive job growth at LinkedIn, Google and other Mountain View tech companies. The filing period for council candidates ended last week, and there is now a field of nine candidates running for three open seats in the November election: environmental oversight executive Lenny Siegel, civil engineer Pat Showalter, family financial planner Ken Rosenberg, tech executive Lisa Matichak, planning commissioner Margaret Capriles, government policy aide Ellen Kamei, systems administrator Jim Neal, family practice attorney Mercedes Salem and retired electrical engineer and lieutenant colonel Greg Unangst. of the district without getting “material benefits,” according to Kremen’s campaign website. Though Santa Clara Valley district officials argue that the north county area receives other, smaller benefits from the tax, Kremen argues that the only benefit worth mentioning is access to state water. Kremen is passionate about the inequitable tax, and said it’s crazy that anyone would defend the tax. “It boils my blood that people could support this tax,” Kremen said. Helen Wolter, who had declared her intention to run, pulled out of the race. In December the City Council is set to approve a precise plan, a blueprint for allowable development in North Bayshore affecting Google, LinkedIn and others. It would allow 3.4 million-square-feet of new offices, possibly bringing as many as 20,000 new jobs, but no housing to the 500-plus acre North Bayshore area which stretches north from Highway 101 to the city limits. Given the positions each candidate revealed this week, the odds are that there will be a City Council majority in support of North Bayshore housing in January. Lisa Matichak and Margaret Capriles are the only candidates who clearly oppose new residential zoning in North Bayshore, while Unangst, Neal, Siegel and Showalter expressed the clearest support. Rosenberg, a self-proclaimed housing advocate, said See NORTH BAYSHORE, page 13 Crunching his own numbers, Kremen estimates that Mountain View foots the bill for an annual $1.2 million every year in state water project taxes. The Santa Clara Valley Water District could not confirm the tax dollar amounts by the Voice’s press deadline Wednesday. If elected, Kremen said he would fight to get more water conservation funds for areas that receive little to no state water to compensate for the inequity. He said he would look for ways to get See WATER DISTRICT, page 8

Mountain View Voice August 15, 2014

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