Pluto’s is out of this world WEEKEND | P.16 OCTOBER 1, 2010 VOLUME 18, NO. 39
INSIDE: MOVIES | PAGE 19
Council OKs Google rec facility on owl habitat By Daniel DeBolt
Strings on the upswing NEW PENINSULA UKULELE JAMS ARE DRAWING SINGING CROWDS By Rebecca Wallace
t takes all kinds for a ukulele jam. You’ve got the people sitting up front with their own gleaming ukes and digital clip-on tuners. They know all the songs. They can play while looking up. Then there are the newbies, their brows furrowed as they construct a G7 chord on a borrowed instrument. To sing and strum at the same time in “(How Much Is) That Doggie In The Window,” that’s like a small victory.
The nice thing about these evening jams at Dana Street Roasting Company in Mountain View is that both ends of the spectrum are equally welcome. So far, Ukulele Club Silicon Valley has held only a handful of these second-Monday-of-the-month jams at the cafe, but there are plenty of regulars who greet each other with grins, strum in synchronicity and sing with harmony. Meanwhile, club founder Dave Fichtner also makes ample room for beginners. He offers loaner See UKULELE, page 14
Incumbents battle newcomers in debate By Daniel DeBolt
hree City Council incumbents defended their records against three challengers in a debate hosted by the Chamber of Commerce Monday night The candidates tackled the topics of medical marijuana, the city’s golf course problems and the city budget. But first came the introductions, most notably from the newcomers. After noting that Google pays $90
million in property taxes a year, Google sales account manager Aaron Jabbari said, “If you trust a new idea, or a new candidate, big things can happen.” Longtime resident Greg David said, “I have always enjoyed the quality of life in Mountain View,” adding, “The council is out of touch with the common resident.” Google software engineer Dan Waylonis called himself a “sociable nerd who does have friends,” and
mentioned his desire for what he later called “a more searchable and transparent” city government. Budget concerns In his closing remarks, Waylonis drew ire from incumbents by saying that they “kicked the can down the road” when approving this year’s city budget. “The budget is balanced this year, See DEBATE, page 12
GOINGS ON 21 | MARKETPLACE 22 | REAL ESTATE 25 | VIEWPOINT 15
he City Council unanimously approved a 6.5-acre recreation facility that’s got nearly every activity a Google employee could want. The rub is that it sits on foraging grounds for the rare burrowing owl. The Google Athletic and Recreation field, or G.A.R.field for short, is a private outdoor buffet of recreation activities, including a soccer field, a basketball court, bocce ball courts, a horseshoe pit, a disc golf area and a putting green. The owls, about a dozen of whom live in gopher holes nearby, use the site to hunt for mice, voles and insects at night. Council members expressed concern about impacts on the owls and ended up requiring Google to pay $20,000 to the city’s burrowing owl preservation efforts, among other things. Google must also include signs explaining why dogs aren’t allowed in the area and put timers on the facility’s lights so they do not disturb the owls’ night-time foraging after 11 p.m. City staff had originally proposed that Google pay $10,000 towards burrowing owl preservation, saying it was hard to link the project to a specific cost for the impact on the owls. “Ten thousand dollars is not a lot of money,” said Shani Kleinhaus of the Audubon Society, who seemed to be the owl’s best defender. She has been helping to shape the owl mitigations in the project for months. She said that Google should have its famous weed-eating goats out “every spring to make sure the grass is short so the burrowing owls can live in their burrows happily.” The owls don’t like vegetation blocking their view of predators. The site is on the northeast corner of Amphitheatre Parkway and Garcia Avenue and is currently used as a soccer field by Google employees. Google purchased the
property from pharmaceutical company Alza, which had council approval (now expired) for an 117,000-square-foot office building in 1995. Impacts to burrowing owls were mitigated at the time by setting aside owl habitat to the north east in Shoreline Park. Jay Bechtel, Google’s real estate and construction project manager, said Google’s headquarters across the street from the site is a “world class facility” and that the recreation amenities are part of that as well as being exciting for employees. Bechtel was amenable to all of the requests from the council, even about paying the $20,000, which Google could have easily made a case against, city staff noted. An environmental report for the city by ESA and Albion Environmental describes the project as having a “potentially significant impact” on the burrowing owls, which numbered just over a dozen last year. But it also says mitigation could make the impact less than significant. “The loss of foraging habitat and potential nesting habitat at this site would be a significant impact but this impact has already been mitigated through the creation and management of 19.5 acres of See GARFIELD, page 11
COURTESY DARIUS PRZYGODA
A burrowing owl was captured on film by a Mountain View resident in this 2007 photo.
Community Health Education Programs Palo Alto Center 795 El Camino Real Mountain View Center 701 E. El Camino Real
Lecture and Workshops 650-853-4873 Hypertension, Salt and Chronic Kidney Disease Bay Area Association of Kidney Patients Presented by Toby Gottheiner, M.D., PAMF Nephrology Sunday, Oct. 3, 1 to 4 p.m., 650-323-2225
Lecture and Workshops 650-934-7373 Medicare and You A Conversation With...Connie Corales Wednesday, Oct. 6, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Sunnyvale Public Library, Sunnyvale
Understanding Medicare, Medigaps, Medicare Advantage and the Drug Plans Presented by Don Rush, volunteer counselor for Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) Tuesday, Oct. 12, 7 to 8:30 p.m. Your Baby’s Doctor Thursday, Oct. 14, 7 to 9 p.m.
Preparing for Seasonal Travel Presented by Norma Morrison, M.D., PAMF Travel Medicine Wednesday, Oct. 27, 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Living Well Classes 650-853-2960
HMR Weight Management Program 650-404-8260 Free orientation session. Tuesdays, noon to 1 p.m., and Thursdays, 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Functional Spine Training First Monday of each month, 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Living Well Classes 650-934-7373
Nutrition and Diabetes Classes 650-853-2961 Adult Weight Management Group Thursdays, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Healthy Eating Type 2 Diabetes Third Wednesday of every other month, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Bariatric Nutrition SMA First Tuesday of each month, 10:30 a.m. to noon
Gestational Diabetes Wednesdays, 2 to 4 p.m.
Living Well with Diabetes Tuesdays, 4:30 to 7 p.m., or Fridays, 9:30 a.m. to noon Heart Smart Class Third and fourth Tuesday of every other month, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Prediabetes First Monday of the month, 9 to 11:30 a.m., and third Wednesday of every other month, 4:30 to 7 p.m. Also in Redwood Shores, fourth Wednesday of every other month, 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Mind/Body Stress Management Starts Monday, Oct. 18, 7 to 9 p.m.
Nutrition and Diabetes Classes 650-934-7177 New Weigh of Life: Adult Weight Management Program (Pre-assessment required prior to starting class) Mondays starting Oct. 4 for 12 weeks, 6 to 7:15 p.m. Heart Smart Class Second Tuesday of each month, 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Prediabetes Third Thursday of each month, 2 to 4 p.m. Fourth Tuesday of each month, 3 to 5 p.m. Sweet Success Gestational Diabetes Class Wednesdays, 9 a.m. to noon
Diabetes Class (two-part class) Tuesdays, 9:30 a.m. to noon and Wednesdays, 2 to 4:30 p.m.
Pregnancy, Breastfeeding & Child Care Classes Preparing for Birth 650-853-2960 Saturdays, Oct. 2, 9 & 16, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays, Oct. 6 – Nov. 10, 7 to 9:15 p.m. Thursdays, Nov. 4 – Dec. 16, 7 to 9:15 p.m.
Ash Kickers Smoking Cessation Starts Tuesday, Oct. 12, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Breastfeeding: Secrets for Success Thursday, Oct. 28, 7 to 9 p.m., 650-853-2960 Feeding Dynamics: Raising Healthy & Happy Eaters! (for parents of children aged 0 – 6) 650-853-2961 Introduction to Solids (ages 0 – 1) Feeding Your Toddler (ages 1 – 3) Feeding Your Preschooler (ages 3 – 6) Offered in Palo Alto and Los Altos, please call for dates.
Pregnancy, Breastfeeding and Child Care Classes Breastfeeding Your Newborn Monday or Tuesday, Oct. 4, 5, 11, Nov. 1 or 2, 6:30 to 9 p.m.
OB Orientation Wednesday or Thursday, Oct. 14, 20, 28 or Nov. 4, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Baby Care Oct. 5, 23 – Nov. 2, Tuesday/Wednesday, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon
Introduction to Solids Monday, Oct. 18, 10:30 a.m. to noon
Feeding Your Toddler Tuesday, Oct. 5, 7 to 9 p.m.
Childbirth Preparation Oct. 1, 2, 14 – Nov. 5, 6; Thursday, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Friday, 6 to 9 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon
Infant Emergencies and CPR Wednesday, Oct. 6, 20 & Nov. 3, 6 to 8:30 p.m. Preparing for Baby Tuesday, Oct. 12, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
What to Expect with Your Newborn Tuesday, Oct. 19, 7 to 8 p.m.
For all, register online or call 650-934-7373.
Support Groups Bariatric 650-281-8908 Cancer 650-342-3749
Diabetes 650-224-7872 Drug and Alcohol 650-853-2904
Healing Imagery for Cancer Patients 650-799-5512
Kidney 650-323-2225 Multiple Sclerosis 650-328-0179
Free Appointments 650-934-7373 HICAP Counseling Advance Health Care Directive Counseling General Social Services (visits with our social worker)
Support Groups 650-934-7373 AWAKE
For a complete list of classes and class fees, lectures and health education resources, visit: pamf.org. 2
■ MOUNTAIN VIEW VOICE ■ OCTOBER 1, 2010
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T O W N
Asked in Downtown Mountain View. Pictures and interviews by Nick Veronin.
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OCTOBER 1, 2010 ■ MOUNTAIN VIEW VOICE ■