Huge hearty breakfast WEEKEND | P.13 JANUARY 14, 2011 VOLUME 19, NO. 2
INSIDE: MOVIES | PAGE 16
Funds for schools or jobs downtown? GOVERNOR’S BUDGET CUTS THREATEN CITY’S PLAN FOR NEW GROCERY STORE By Daniel DeBolt
Cheryl Burke, an Atherton resident who vaulted to fame on TV’s “Dancing with the Stars,” leads local teens in a salsa dance class Jan. 10. The event at Burke’s newly expanded Mountain View studio was a fundraiser for the Police Activities League.
Mixing it up with some salsa By James Tensuan
heryl Burke’s dance studio hosted a strange mix of guests on Mon-
day, Jan 10. Teenagers, city council members, dancers and police were lingering along the mirrored walls of the newly expanded studio on Shoreline
Boulevard, owned by Burke of “Dancing with the Stars” fame. This is The Dance Club See BURKE, page 11
Council approves controversial WiMAX tower atop church, near preschool By Daniel DeBolt
he City Council on Tuesday approved a wireless data tower atop First Presbyterian Church, despite claims from neighbors that it is illegal under the city’s zoning code. A group of neighbors concerned with possible health effects oppose the cell tower like structure in a
new church steeple at Miramonte and Cuesta streets. They said that a “common sense” reading of the code showed that such a tower is not allowed in the city’s residential areas. The tower for Clear Wire LLC would use new “WiMAX” technology to transmit data to WiFienabled computers and phones. The City Council disagreed, voting 4-1 to approve the tower,
with Margaret Abe-Koga opposed. Mayor Jac Siegel recused himself because he owns a home nearby, while Vice Mayor Mike Kasperzak recused himself partway through the meeting when he realized that Sprint, which he owns stock in, owns 51 percent of Clear Wire. Councilwoman Laura Macias See WIMAX, page 6
GOINGS ON 18 | MARKETPLACE 19 | REAL ESTATE 21 | VIEWPOINT 12
ome City Council members would like to subsidize a grocery store downtown, but Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget, announced Monday, might pose a problem for that. Brown’s proposal to tackle the state’s $25 billion shortfall with budget cuts and tax increases includes the elimination of redevelopment agencies across the state. Brown wants to permanently shift the taxes that flow to the city’s redevelopment funds to schools and other local services, but Mountain View City Council members may object to that in their meeting next week. The council happens to be voting on whether to extend the downtown redevelopment agency (RDA), which is one of the oldest in the state — it’s set to expire after 40 years this June. Last year the council discussed extending the downtown RDA for two years to subsidize a long-desired grocery store on a cityowned lot at California and Bryant streets. Mayor Jac Siegel said that extending the downtown RDA would help create jobs downtown through its funding of future projects, including the “neighborhood serving” grocery store downtown. But with funding for basic state and city services scant these days, Brown proposes to get rid of redevelopment agencies altogether. The agencies, for the purposes of economic development, have shifted property taxes away from school, city and county services for decades. If Brown’s proposal is approved by the legislature Mountain View would lose the downtown RDA, its only redevelopment agency and one that has funded improvements
since 1969. By concentrating property taxes on parking, sidewalks and lights, it helped increase downtown property from a total assessed value of $22 million in 1969 to $418 million last year. Had the downtown RDA gone away entirely last year, there would have been another $700,000 in property tax revenue for core city services such as police and the See BUDGET, page 9
K-12 spared, colleges slashed in Brown’s budget By Nick Veronin
ov. Jerry Brown’s state budget proposal drew positive reactions from school officials in local elementary, middle and high schools. However, representatives from the Foothill-De Anza College Community College District, as well as from the Community College League of California, were far less enthusiastic. While the governor announced that primary and secondary schools would not be cut under his plan, community colleges, along with both state university systems, will take cuts of $400 million and $500 million respectively. Brown has been nothing if not blunt in his attempt to slash $12.5 billion in state See SCHOOLS, page 9
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â– MOUNTAIN VIEW VOICE â– JANUARY 14, 2011
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Have a question for Voices Around Town? E-mail it to email@example.com JANUARY 14, 2011 ■ MOUNTAIN VIEW VOICE ■
-PDBM/FXT N CRIMEBRIEFS
WOMEN FEND OFF PURSE-SNATCHERS A pair of women fended off a group of men who tried to steal their purses as they were walking in front of the Hampton Inn and Suites at 390 Moffett Blvd., police said. At about 2:15 a.m. on Jan. 9, the women, a 41-year-old from Rocklin and a 46-year-old from Visalia, were approached by three men who attempted to grab the pair’s purses, said Liz Wylie, public information officer for the Mountain View Police Department. Both women suffered minor injuries to the face and extremities in the ensuing scuffle, Wylie said. One of the women was struck in the face and fell to the ground in the struggle. She got up and ran into the Hampton’s lobby for help. The suspects fled without the purses, which
were found laying on the sidewalk and street when police arrived. The strap of one of the purses was torn off, Wylie said, but nothing was missing from either woman’s bag. Both victims had small cuts and scratches from the dust-up but they both declined medical attention. The assailants were last seen running southbound on Moffett Boulevard. Police detained two men shortly after the incident, but released them because “it all happened so fast,” the two women were unable to tell whether the detainees were the would-be robbers, Wylie said.
PAIR THREATENS MAN A man and a juvenile were arrested on Jan. 6 after allegedly threatening a man with a metal pipe and a hand gun as he walked
on Latham Street toward Chiquita Avenue at around 6:45 p.m., police said. The victim was not injured. The victim told police that he saw a group of men approaching him, said Liz Wylie, a spokeswoman for the Mountain View police. The man crossed the street, and the group began yelling at him, she said. One member of the group crossed the street and came up to the man and held a pipe in a threatening manner, getting close enough to strike. The second assailant approached the victim, pulled a pistol on him and threatened to kill him, Wylie said. The victim later identified two men whom police located in front of the Tropicana Lodge, Wylie said. Police arrested 21-year-old David Villasenor of Palo Alto, charging him with brandishing a firearm and making terrorist threats. The juvenile, a 15-year-
old from Mountain View, was charged with brandishing a weapon and violating his probation. Villasenor was taken to the main jail and the 15-year-old was taken to juvenile hall. Wylie said the police do not know why the men decided to threaten the man.
PUZZLING BURGLARY Police are puzzling over how a burglar managed to get into an apartment located in the 2000 block of W. El Camino Real on Jan. 5.
The apartment, which was locked when its tenants left it at 9:45 a.m., was found ransacked when they returned at around 5:45 p.m., police spokeswoman Liz Wylie said. The victims, a husband and wife, along with a friend who was staying with the couple, reported that more than 50 items of jewelry were stolen, along with an iPhone, four laptops, a Sony Playstation, a Nintendo Wii, numerous games for both systems, two digital cameras, clothing and a gym bag. See CRIME BRIEFS, page 11
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■ MOUNTAIN VIEW VOICE ■ JANUARY 14, 2011
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■ CITY COUNCIL UPDATES ■ COMMUNITY ■ FEATURES
City names interim city manager
Sarge’s new lease on life BINKLEY GETS JOB WITH HIS LAWYER, DECLARED LEGALLY SANE
By Daniel DeBolt
By Daniel DeBolt
he City Council has asked the city’s freshly-hired assistant city manager, Melissa Stevenson Dile, to take over as interim city manager when Kevin Duggan retires in April. “I’m honored that they asked me to do this,” Dile said. “My role is going to be helping us as an organization keep moving forward on key issues. I think the public is going to see very little change in the next few months, until a new city manager is hired.” Dile, a 41-year-old San Jose resident, was hired by Mountain
Computer scientist Frances Allen speaks at the preview of the Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing exhibit at the newly renovated Computer History Museum.
Exploring a digital ‘Revolution’ RENOVATED COMPUTER MUSEUM CAPTURES TWO MILLENNIA OF COMPUTING ight flooded into the spacious 5,000-square-foot lobby of the Computer History Museum on Tuesday, Jan. 11, bouncing off of the pristine white terrazzo tile floor and stainless steel surfaces, and illuminating the already brightened faces of the curators and guests of honor who gathered two days in advance of institution’s grand reopening. The new 25,000-square-foot exhibit, “Revolution: The First 2000 Years of Computing,” guides visitors through a series of rooms filled with artifacts, photography, video, audio and interactive dis-
plays — all of which are related to computers and high technology. It opens to the public Thursday, Jan. 13. After viewing an introductory film, visitors to the new exhibit are ushered into an area filled with antiquated computing tools, such as an abacus and a device known as “Napier’s bones.” Elaborate computing charts are replaced by punch-card and tape-driven analog computers; machines the size of a sport utility vehicle give way to silicon wafers the size of a Belgian waffle; soon enough, visitors to Revolution are peering through a microscope at a chip the size of a lady bug,
as a placard reminds passersby of Moore’s Law. “The number of transistors and other components on integrated circuits will double every year for the next 10 years,” it proclaims. Moving through the exhibit, as the chips get more compact, the devices in which they are used become more recognizable as common household items. What begins with gargantuan machines that would be difficult to fit into a two-car garage ends with a slew of devices that most people use every day — perhaps without ever giving a second thought to the decades of
“The finance director and is working closely with Kevin to bring a budget strategy to council before he leaves,” Dile said. “Hopefully council will be prepared to endorse a budget strategy a little earlier.” Before coming to Mountain View, Dile had last worked as assistant city manager in Fremont for four years. Before that she worked for the city of Morgan Hill for 15 years in various capacities, including assistant to the city manager and human resources manager. Much like her predecessor Nadine Levin did in 1990, Dile is being asked to run the city temporarily only months after being hired. Dile
is not seeking the city manager job herself, she said. “I would love to be city manager at some point. It’s not the right time for me personally,” she said. Dile got her start in city government in Morgan Hill as an analyst in the city manager’s office, after college. Of all the things a future city official could chose to study at Mills College in Oakland, Dile chose Medieval European History, with a minor in government. She was thankful to be hired by a city manager that was willing to train her, she said. She eventually earned a master’s degree in public administration from San Jose State
University in 1996. With a father in the U.S. Air Force, Stevenson said she was born in Sacramento but grew up various places, including the Central Valley, Maine, Nebraska and Okinawa, Japan. She attended high school in Omaha. Now that she’s landed in Mountain View, “I hope to be here quite a long time,” Dile said. “I was sorry to hear about Kevin’s retirement because I’ve really enjoyed working with him,” she said. “But there are great staff here and great services. There has been a strong history of respectful
By Nick Veronin
View in September for a new job that combines the role of assistant city manager with employee services director. Combining the two roles was a cost-saving measure after former head of employee services, Kathy Farrar, retired last year after 38 years. When Dile takes the helm in April, her biggest challenge will be helping the council approve a city budget by June, which will likely require some difficult budget cuts. The city manager usually plays a major role in the budget process, giving presentations and fielding difficult questions from the council. It’s a job that Duggan is famously good at, but Dile said she’s got a number of years of experience working on city budgets. In order to get through the budget and the city manager transition smoothly, Dile said city management is working to get a budget strategy together earlier than usual.
See MUSEUM, page 10
See CITY MANAGER, page 10
ormer Army Ranger Sargent Binkley is well on his way to a new life since he robbed a Mountain View Walgreens five years ago for painkillers to numb his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and pain from a hip injury. After serving a 10-month sentence at Atascadero state mental hospital last year, 35 year old Los Altos resident got a job in his defense attorney’s office, and last Friday a Santa Clara County judge declared him legally sane. “Friday was very big day for Sarge,” said his attorney, Chuck Smith, who gave Binkley a job in his office last summer. “This thing has worked out so well for him. He was facing more than Sargent Binkley a dozen years in state prison.” In 2006, Binkley robbed the Walgreens pharmacy at El Camino Real and Grant Road for painkillers with an unloaded gun. His father, who found the stash of painkillers, had Binkley turn himself in. Binkley faced 12 to 15 years in prison for the crime, but was able to serve 10 months in a mental hospital instead because a jury found him guilty but legally insane. Though he had completed his sentence last year, he was still “technically insane,” at least in a legal sense. A Santa Clara County judge changed that last Friday, and wished him well in his new life as a legally sane citizen. Smith said he got to know Binkley well during the landmark court battle, and Binkley seemed a good fit for the job when he needed to replace his file clerk. “Obviously, for what I accomplished for him, I knew he was going to be loyal to me, quite frankly,” Smith said. “If I said ‘Get your ass Sunday morning at 9 o’clock to do something,’ I knew he was going to be here because I’m the reason he’s not in prison,” Smith laughed. “He works hard for me.” Binkley agreed. “Chuck Smith was very gracious. I owe that man See BINKLEY, page 9
JANUARY 14, 2011 ■ MOUNTAIN VIEW VOICE ■
Continued from page 1
said that the zoning code paragraph in question may not be clear or â€œelegantâ€? but it is â€œadequate.â€? The Council also decided to clarify the zoning code to show that WiMAX and cell towers are legal in residential areas, a process which will take several months. City Attorney Janie Quinn said it was the councilâ€™s â€œquasi-judicial roleâ€? to figure out how a â€œreasonable personâ€? would interpret the code. The council had the option to interpret the zoning code the way neighbors have and reject the towerâ€™s application, said Zoning Administrator Peter Gilli. Illegal towers? In the appeal of Gilliâ€™s approval of the tower last year, opponents noted that â€œcommunication facilitiesâ€? were listed as an allowed use in commercial zones, but not in residential zones. They believed that was enough to make the tower illegal. But the zoning code also says that â€œland uses not listed in a particular zoning district are not allowed in that district except where otherwise provided by section D,â€? which is a paragraph that caused further disagreement. The question was whether Section Dâ€™s final sentence allowed the
WiMAX tower: â€œSatellite and cellular telephone antennas are subject to Section A36.52 (Design Review) in those zone districts requiring such review for new structures.â€? Opponents said it clearly did not, but council members disagreed. Council member Ronit Bryant said she had asked several people to read Section D to gather opinions on its clarity, and she came to the conclusion that it was clear enough that such towers were allowed. Abe-Koga was the only member who appeared to support neighbors, saying, â€œI get it,â€? about their concerns. Quinn said existing towers in residential area would be considered â€œlegal nonconformingâ€? if the council decided to interpret the zoning code the way neighbors had. The city has approved six cell towers in residential areas since 1996, including several at Saint Francis High School. Over 100 others are in commercial and industrial pockets throughout the city, Gilli said. There are also over 100 Google WiFi antennas on light poles in residential areas. Everyone at the meeting agreed that the language in the zoning code was outdated. â€œI know a piece of broken code when I see it,â€? said one neighbor who is an attorney. It refers to satellite dishes and cellular towers, but makes no reference
to newer technologies. Gilli said it was fair to interpret it as allowing the WiMAX tower, which is â€œfunctionally similarâ€? to those listed. Health concerns While the neighbors and city officials argued over what the zoning code, the real concern for many is that such a tower may have radiation-related health effects on the neighborhood, 200 feet away, and the Little Acorn preschool that houses 70 children at the church, only 50-75 feet away. Even if that were untrue, such fears would lower property values, neighbors said. But health effects were not discussed Tuesday because the Federal Communications Commission does not allow the city to reject a cell tower for concerns over radiation, unless radiation levels are demonstrated to be over FCC limits. A study by applicant Clear Wire showed that radiation would be well below those limits, and city officials said they see no reason to doubt that study. As a concession, Clear Wire has promised to monitor radiation levels before and after the tower is constructed, and parents of children at Little Acorn preschool, which is subsidized by the church, would not be financially penalized if they decided to withdraw their kids. V
Continued from page 1
spending, saying there would be lots of ugly cuts, with on exception. â€œSchools have borne the brunt of spending reductions in recent years, so this budget maintains funding at the same level as the current year,â€? Brown said in a press release. Donna Campbell, president of the teachers union in the Mountain View Whisman School District, said she was pleased with the announcement. â€œIf he can get through this budget crisis without any additional cuts that would be absolutely fabulous,â€? Campbell said. Scott Lay, president and CEO of the Community College League, acknowledged Brown for his forthrightness, but nonetheless insisted that the League will resist the proposed cuts of $400 million to community colleges in California, which he said were unfair. â€œThis will have the effect of reducing math and science classes, particularly at our colleges serving the most vulnerable students,â€? Lay said. The League hopes to help â€œrework this proposal so that we can focus on the important task of informing the
public of the impact of the overall balanced approach the governor has identified,â€? he said. If the proposed budget were to be implemented without changes, Foothill-De Anza would stand to lose about $10.9 million in funding, and it would force the district to drop enrollment by about 4,400 students at time when the University of California and California State University systems â€œare likely to further tighten admissions and direct more students to community colleges,â€? said district spokeswoman Becky Bartindale, In his memo, Erik Skinner, the executive vice chancellor for programs at the California Community Colleges Chancellorâ€™s Office, reminded his colleagues that at this point proposed budget is just that â€” proposed. The proposal is built on the assumption that voters will approve $12 billion in taxes in a special June election. Striking a glass-half-full tone, Skinner wrote that while the cuts come on top of $520 million in cuts to California community colleges last year and that â€œcommunity college districts are already wrestling with brutal budget choices,â€? if Brown succeeds in moving the state toward a balanced budget, â€œit may be worth the pain.â€?
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Incision-free cancer surgery at 91 By Nick Veronin
itting on a faded champagnecolored loveseat — decorated with a floral pattern and a variety of well-worn throw pillows — Jean Stuetzle and her husband Al speak in absolutes, without the slightest hint of apprehension, about what the future holds. Although Jean doesn’t have the energy to dance just yet, Al explains, that is only temporary. The couple will dance “when she gets better.” To hear the two discuss Jean’s rehabilitation, you might assume they are talking about a sprained ankle. In fact, at the age of 91, She is making a strong recovery from a non-invasive type of lung cancer surgery. Stuetzle, who has lived in Mountain View with her husband for more than 16 years, was diagnosed with cancer in April and treated in June. And while the cancer was discovered at a fairly late stage, especially for someone her age, she is currently getting around fine with a little help from her cane and Al’s surprisingly strong 92-year-old arms. A stack of papers rests in the seat of the wheelchair, which is gathering dust in the corner of the Stuetzle’s home.
The Stuetzles have been married for 71 years. They met as teenagers living on the same block in Queens Village, Long Island, N.Y., and were introduced after Al, who had taken a liking to Jean, continued to deliver free papers to her house on his route as a paperboy. “My father asked, ‘Why do we keep getting the paper?’” Jean recalls with a smile, as her family did not subscribe to the periodical Al delivered. “It worked,” Al says, shrugging and smiling. The two were married in 1940 when they were both 21. After bouncing around the country a bit, they settled in California and raised four children — two boys and two girls. Al worked as a stained glass maker, Jean worked as a homemaker, occasionally taking a job in retail. Jean was diagnosed with cancer, quite by accident, when she went in for a computerized tomography scan of her stomach at El Camino. The couple could have gone to Stanford for treatment right away, but decided to wait for a few months for a new machine that would be at El Camino Hospital soon. “It was the newest and the best,” Al says of the couple’s decision to
Jean Stuetzle, at home with husband Al, is recovering from CyberKnife surgery.
wait for the CyberKnife — the name brand for a non-invasive surgical technique, which uses beams of highly concentrated electromagnetic radiation to zap cancer cells in patients deemed too fragile to undergo traditional surgery. Dr. Bob Sinha, president of Western Radiation Oncology, is a CyberKnife operator at El Camino. He pilots the machine, composed of a large robotic arm — the very same type of robotic arm used in automobile assembly lines — and a linear accelerator, which generates powerful, cancer-ablating photons. A computer, which is synced with X-ray monitors and the photonblasting robot arm, tracks the
minute movement of cancerous growths as a patient breathes in and out — adjusting its algorithm accordingly. If a patient coughs, Sinha says, the robotic arm adjusts, keeping its cancer killing beam trained on the tumor. Patients remain awake during the procedure, which Stuetzle says is painless. Doctors have been using photons to fight cancer since the 1960s, Sinha says, but in the past decade they have become incredibly advanced. Prior to the ‘60s, Sinha says, the only recourse available to someone suffering lung cancer was to undergo traditional surgery. Doctors would cut a patient open
and physically remove the tumor. Traditional surgery is still the most effective and preferred method for younger, more resilient patients. However, for elderly patients such as Stuetzle, or those with heart conditions, opening up the chest cavity is extremely risky. Beginning in the 1960s, surgeons discovered that they could treat certain kinds of cancer — lung, liver and pancreatic, for example — using photons. “Cancer does not like photons,” Sinha explains. Early forms of this treatment exposed a lot of tissue to electromagnetic radiation, however, which meant the process took as many as 30 sessions to complete. Over the past decade, these techniques have improved, and their “effectiveness has gone way up,” Sinha says. Advancements in the field have allowed doctors to focus their photons with “sub-millimeter” precision, which, in turn, has made it possible to more than double the power of the beams used without impacting non-cancerous tissue. And the more powerful the beam, the shorter the treatment. Stuetzle’s treatment was done in three 30-minute bursts. The Stuetzles, who grew up during a time when having a radio was a novelty, say they were amazed See CYBERKNIFE, next page
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“ J o i n U s ! M e m b e r s h i p i s o p e n t o i n d i v i d u a l s w h o l i v e , w o r k o r a t t e n d s c h o o l i n S a n t a C l a r a C o u n t y. ” 8
■ MOUNTAIN VIEW VOICE ■ JANUARY 14, 2011
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library, while the city’s elementary and middle schools would have received another $832,000 in property tax revenue. Siegel said the council needs to consider whether extending the RDAs life makes sense for the community. “What else do we need to do or what should we do before this is totally gone,” he said. The downtown wouldn’t be left completely high and dry by Brown, however. He proposes an amendment to the state constitution that would allow the city to continue funding economic redevelopment and infrastructure projects through more easily attainable voter-approved bonds. Those bonds would only require a 55-percent approval from voters instead of the twothirds vote now required. City officials say that would mean a time consuming extra step in economic redevelopment projects when it’s often the case that “time is of the essence,” said economic development director Ellis Berns. But it could also mean a new funding source for projects in other areas of the city.
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my life and working for him is an honor.” “I enjoy it to a degree,” he added. “If anyone is telling you they like their work they are lying,” he laughed. Binkley, who attended Los Altos High School, played for the Mountain View Marauders football team and graduated from West Point military academy, was held up by other veterans as a poster child in the landmark case for soldiers with PTSD in the criminal justice system. Psychiatrists testified at the trial that Binkley developed PTSD during his time in Bosnia, haunted by the smell of the mass graves. He developed an addiction to painkillers after suffering a hip injury in Honduras that he said “never healed quite right.” When asked what he was thinking when he decided to rob Walgreens, he said he had few other options besides suicide. His hip
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with the CyberKnife treatment. “I think it’s marvelous,” Jean says. That sense of wonder is not lost on Sinha, who says that even when he was in medical school in the early 1990s, he “had no expectation that we would be able to advance this quickly.” Back when he was in school, Sinha says, only about 20 percent
Brown’s plan would eliminate RDAs in June, but cities would continue to receive funds to pay off RDA debts. If all of the RDA money went to paying off the downtown’s debts if would take about eight years to clear, city officials say. City officials remind everyone that the improvements made possible by the downtown district has raised the entire city’s property values, and hence, property tax revenue for schools. But in his budget proposal, Brown told cities that “RDAs were not intended to become a permanent source of business subsidies” and that their original intent was to “relieve blight” in a “limited amount of time.” If the council decides not to extend the downtown RDA, the city’s core services, schools and the county could begin receiving additional property taxes in 2019, when bond payments finish, city officials said last year. But that may be delayed under Brown’s proposal. Brown proposes to use the funds “freed up” from RDAs in 2011-12 to fund the state’s general fund services, including schools and MediCal. Since last year the council has
pain, increasing anxiety and PTSD were causing a “complete lack of sleep,” he said. He said he also felt that he wasn’t getting any help from the VA. It all boiled down to: “’Maybe I should do this to try and help myself,’” he said. While Binkley’s story has been told many times in the media, he says, “I hope it hasn’t defined me as a person.” “In March of 2006 I thought I was all alone,” he said. “I truly thought that. But going through this process I saw hundreds of people speak on my behalf. That was so positive. It enabled me to get through the process.” Binkley still sees a therapist at Palo Alto’s VA hospital because his PTSD “hasn’t magically disappeared,” he said. But he’s grateful for his new lease on life. After working in Smith’s offices for several months, he’s thinking about going to law school. Smith recently promoted him to be his legal assistant. V
been considering an extension of the downtown RDA for up to two years. That extension is currently allowed by the state because it borrowed nearly $2 million from the downtown RDA this year and last year, said finance director Patty Kong. Other than the impact on the downtown RDA, city officials said their preliminary analysis of the governor’s proposals has yet to find any other significant impacts on the city. While there has been lots of talk about shifting funds and responsibilities to local governments, that appears to mostly have to do health and human services, which the county would take on, Kong said. While the downtown RDA would go away under Brown’s proposal, it is unclear whether it would end another special tax district, a much more lucrative one of the city. Shoreline tax district untouched? “The governor has a tough nut to crack,” said Vice Mayor Mike
Kasperzak. “Everybody is going to have a sacred cow.” If Mountain View has a sacred cow it’s the Shoreline Community Fund, which functions like an RDA to pay for Shoreline Park maintenance and improvements to the surrounding area, now home to Google. It was created by special state legislation with no sunset clause, meaning it could exist forever. Whether Brown would do away with the Shoreline Community is uncertain, but so far city officials are pointing out that his budget proposal specifically mentions RDAs, which would exclude the Shoreline Community. However, last year the state took $1.7 million from the Shoreline Community, along with raiding the state’s RDAs, to help meet its obligation to schools. Finance director Patty Kong said the Shoreline District was addressed by the state as a unique authority, not an RDA. Elementary school officials
have been eyeing the Shoreline Community, which pulls in $5 million in taxes that would otherwise go to the city’s local elementary and middle schools annually. City officials have defended the Shoreline Community however, saying that has created a neighborhood that is now the city’s “economic engine.” It has funded the Stevens Creek and Permanente Creek trails, the creation and maintenance of Shoreline Park and a new fire station on Shoreline Boulevard to be constructed this year, among other things. But it appears that the new governor has a different view. “The expansion of redevelopment agencies has gradually shifted property tax away from schools, counties, special districts, and city general purposes,” Gov. Brown’s budget proposal states, adding that “the state’s investment in local economic development and redevelopment agencies is less critical than other activities.” V
656 Lytton Avenue Palo Alto, CA 94301 (650) 617-7384 INDEPENDENT SUBSIDIZED SENIOR HOUSING WAITING LIST TO OPEN MONDAY, JANUARY 24TH, 2011 THROUGH FRIDAY, JANUARY 28TH, 2011. Lytton Gardens is pleased to announce the opening of our Single & Couple Waiting Lists for our Lytton I and Lytton II Facilities. Lytton Gardens offers subsidized housing for extremely low and very low-income seniors and mobility impaired applicants. TO BE ELIGIBLE: Single and couple applicants one must be 62 years of age or older, or 18 years of age or older and mobility impaired. Maximum annual income for single applicant must be less than $36,250.00 Maximum annual income for couple applicants must be less than $41,400.00 Rent will be 30% of your adjusted monthly income. Assets (Real Estate, CDs, Stocks, and Bonds, etc.) will be converted to income at 2% or actual % of income. You or a close family member *must live, or work, in the designated area of Palo Alto, Redwood City, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Stanford, Portola Valley, Woodside, Atherton, Mountain View, Los Altos or Los Altos Hills. TO APPLY: Applications will be distributed at Lytton Gardens Senior Communities, 656 Lytton Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301, on January 24th, 26th, and 28th, 2011 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and on January 25th, and 27th, 2011 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Applications must be returned by mail to Lytton Gardens, P.O. Box 51907, Palo Alto, CA 94303, no later than February 18th, 2011. Applications postmarked after February 18th, 2011 cannot be considered and will be returned to sender. Selection will be made by a lottery process to determine applicants’ order on the waiting list. Names will be chosen between March 14th, 2011 and March 18th, 2011. Copy of your Social Security card must be attached to your application.
of lung cancer tumors were ever fully ablated by photon treatment. Today that number is around 90 percent, and the tests so far indicate that Stuetzle falls within that percentile. “It’s hard to even say how gratifying it is,” Sinha says. The Stuetzles, it seems, would agree: since her surgery, Jean exercises on a stationary bike several days a week and, according to Al, “She eats as good a meal as I do.”
APPLICANTS’ AUTHORIZATION AND CONSENT FOR RELEASE OF INFORMATION, SECTION 214, AND HUD FORMS 9887 & 9887A, MUST BE FILLED-OUT, SIGNED AND ATTACHED TO YOUR APPLICATION, OR WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ACCEPT YOUR APPLICATION. *Family Member includes: Grandparent, Parent, Children & Siblings. Grandparent in Law, Parent in Law, Children in Law & Siblings in Law. Lytton Gardens Senior Communities does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, familial status, handicap, ancestry, medical condition, veteran status, sexual orientation, AIDS, AIDS related condition (ARC), in the admission or access to, or treatment or employment in, its federally assisted programs and activities. Gery Yearout, Executive Director and HUD Housing Administrator, 656 Lytton Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94301 (650) 617-7372 has been designated to coordinate compliance with nondiscrimination requirements contained in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s regulations implementing Section 504 (24 CFR Part 8 dated June 2, 1988). TDD/TYY 1-800-735-2922
JANUARY 14, 2011 ■ MOUNTAIN VIEW VOICE ■
Shooting won’t keep Eshoo from public By Sue Dremann
eeting face to face with the public is “the one of the most basic functions relative to democracy,” U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, said by phone on Monday, Jan. 10. Her district includes Mountain View. And although she will remain cautious, the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona on Saturday, Jan. 8, won’t stop her from meeting with her constituents, she said. Eshoo condemned the polemics in today’s politics, which she said has contributed to a climate of violence that resulted in the shooting of 18 people, including Giffords.
Six people died after a 22-year-old man, Jared Loughner, fired 31 shots at Giffords, her staff and members of the public who had gathered for a “town hall” meeting with the congresswoman at a Safeway supermarket. Giffords remains hospitalized in critical condition following brain surgery after she was shot through the head. “Leaders can either lead or mislead. ... When you have candidates’ faces as a target for shooting, we’ve gone too far. ... I hope this tragic event causes people to think — and to think hard,” she said. Eshoo said her office has reported many suspicious incidents during her tenure in Congress, which have been investigated by the Capitol
police. At times, local law enforcement has been involved when applicable. The decision as to what is a credible threat is up to the Capitol police, she said. But members of the U.S. House of Representatives are not provided with security — something that surprises many of her constituents, she said. Top House leaders do have some security, but “rank-and-file members are not protected, whether we are in the airport or standing in line at the supermarket,” she said. Eshoo said that lack of security in today’s vitriolic political climate has given her pause. She thinks about her vulnerability every time she walks from the parking lot across
Actor Rainn Wilson hits the book circuit By Daniel DeBolt
ctor Rainn Wilson, who plays an egomaniacal paper salesman in the TV show “The Office,” spoke at a packed Books Inc. on Castro Street last Thursday to pitch his new book, “Soul Pancake.” Unlike his character in the Office, Wilson displays a major interest in art, philosophy and
spirituality with the new book which probes life’s big questions. Part of his message is that people may not always be able to achieve happiness, but they can achieve “deep soul satisfaction,” he said. “Don’t even get me started on happiness,” Wilson said to the crowd at Books Inc. “Cotton candy and Disneyland, that’s happy.” While happiness may not always be achievable, “I do think you can
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MOUNTAIN VIEW CENTRAL SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH Sabbath School: 9:30 a.m. Saturday Services: Worship 10:45 a.m. Wednesday Study Groups: 10-11 a.m. Pastor Kenny Fraser, B.A.M. DIV 1425 Springer Rd., Mtn. View Ofﬁce Hrs. M-F 9am-1pm www.mtviewda.adventistfaith.org Phone: 650-967-2189 10
■ MOUNTAIN VIEW VOICE ■ JANUARY 14, 2011
achieve deep soul satisfaction.” He said he wanted the book’s name to irreverently include the name of a food that would make you want to “dig in and chew on life’s big questions.” Because he also wanted to make a website, he looked for domain names not taken. “Spirit Taco” was in use, unfortunately. Other possibilities included “Transcendent Tapas.” Wilson’s presence itself seemed to be almost enough to make the crowd laugh. One man yelled out, “Will you have dinner with me?” His answer, in an ironic tone, was: “Definitely, we’re definitely meet-
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toil that made them possible. “Our world runs on computers,” said John Hollar, president, CEO and curator of the museum. Hollar hopes a wide range of visitors will come to the museum. “It’s an exhibit not just for techies; it is an exhibit for the general public.” Museum officials hope that those who attend the museum, fan boy or not, will see just how much of a role computers play in our everyday lives. Hollar compared the invention of computers to the creation of the printing press and the cotton gin, calling them “the amplifier of the mind.” That sentiment — that computers are an outgrowth of humans and meant to work symbiotically with everything humans do — was echoed by other museum officials, as well as seen in the multimedia displays found throughout the museum. Jim McClure, who led a tour for members of the media on Jan. 11, made a point to remind the group that “up until the 1950s, the term ‘computer’ was reserved solely for people who did computing.” McClure, who calls Revolution
the street to the Capitol steps, she said. “I’ve always thought that members of Congress were sitting ducks,” she said. But separating herself from the public is counter to the function of political leaders in American democracy, she said. “It’s a slippery slope. What Gabby Giffords was doing is what every one of us does. ... When I look at the Capitol after 9-11 and at the masked, official gunmen with machine guns at the ready, it’s a very unpleasant feeling. We struggle with this,” she said. “We need to do common sense. I don’t think it’s time to hunker down. ... I’ve commuted every week for 18 years to be with my constituents. I don’t want anything to come between us,” she said.
JAMES LAWRENCE PARTLOW James Lawrence “Parsh” Partlow, a retired El Segundo fire captain, died unexpectedly the morning of Dec. 24 at his home in Mountain View. He is survived by his fiancee, Mary Patricia Hill; his children, Bryan Matthew Partlow, Danielle Nicole Partlow and Jacqueline Rose Partlow; his father, Carl James Partlow; his stepfather, Robert Boaz; and an aunt and uncle. Arrangements are by Cusimano Family Colonial Mortuary.
ing up after this. I’m definitely having dinner with you.” Wilson said he grew up in a “bohemian family” in 1970s Seattle who believed in the Bahai faith. His father was an abstract painter and sewer truck dispatcher who wrote science fiction in his spare time. “I’m not making this up,” he said. For a while he ditched the spiritual focus instilled in him as a child when he moved to New York after high school to become an actor, foregoing a chance to travel to India in order to attend acting school. “All I saw in religion was hypocrisy,” he said. His new gods were Shakespeare, Chekov and Brecht. He said that he realized that he wasn’t rejecting morality alto-
gether. “Even Hitler had morals,” he said. “There were certain things he would not do.” Wilson said he has come to believe that “we aren’t human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience,” quoting Teilhard de Chardin, a French philosopher and Jesuit priest. He admits his co-authors wrote much of the book. He also has help with the soulpancake. com website, where people can discuss life’s big questions. He advised readers to take it all with a grain of salt. After all, “I’m just an actor in a TV show,” he said.
“our new toy,” says that to witness the history of computers linearly in such a small space is to see the gradual transference of tasks once done by humans to machines. That is, of course, not all computers are good for. As Hollar pointed out, computers also do things humans could never do — like track satellites in outer space and crunch impossibly complex equations at breakneck speeds. Assembling the collection of roughly 1,100 artifacts on display and raising the $19 million used for the renovations and additions took some doing, according to Dag Spicer, senior curator for the Computer History Museum. The museum has a “very modest” acquisition budget, Spicer said, noting that most of what is on display at Revolution was donated. The money was raised mostly from private contributions, which included a $15 million “gift” from Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Once funds were found, the project took about two years to complete. The museum broke ground on renovations in January 2009. Spicer, who worked as an engineer for 10 years before going back to school, was working on a doctoral degree at Stanford on the history of science when the museum reached
out to him. He said he is proud to work for the Computer History Museum, where he has been for the past 15 years. He said his favorite object in the Revolution exhibit is an original Enigma, which several countries, including Nazi Germany, used to create coded messages during times of war. The museum’s design, created by Mark Horton Architecture, gives the impression that the visitor is inside a computer chip. Its sharp lines and shiny surfaces are austere — visitors shuffle through the exhibit like electricity over copper wire, coming to rest in little alcoves of silicon before darting down the next hallway.
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relationships between council and staff and there has been an emphasis on being more conservative financially.” This year’s budget process may be difficult, but “I feel like were in a better position to move through this than has been the case elsewhere.” V
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Cheryl Burke helps Ashley Vergara with some salsa moves on Monday, Jan. 10.
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Mountain View, a new offering of the Mountain View Police Activities League. Roughly 30 teens excitedly learned to salsa dance from Burke. â€œIt was fun, I would come back and do it again,â€? says Estrella Tejada of Crittenden Middle School. â€œI enjoyed it a lot.â€? â€œItâ€™s important to influence teens with something positive that their school doesnâ€™t offer or they canâ€™t afford,â€? says Burke, who grew up in Atherton. Besides teaching dance moves, she performed at the fundraiser with several of her fellow cast members from the popular musical â€œForever Tango.â€? The teens were all smiles as Soul Con Dance Company stepped in and assisted with teaching. â€œThis program allows us to bring our love of dance to share with the kids,â€? says Corinne Leon of Soul Con Dance Company. The dance company was one of several sponsors of the event, including WILD 94.9 radio station, Creation Technologies, The Cantankerous Fish and the
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No signs of forced entry were discovered, Wylie said, and the second-floor apartmentâ€™s only entrance, the door, was locked when the couple returned. Police have no suspects and say they have no idea how the apartment was broken into, Wylie said.
GAS LEAK A gas leak brought fire engines and police to Comstock Queen Court on Wednesday, Jan. 5, at
Artisan Wine Depot. Funds raised at the event will help support the program, which aims to expand PALâ€™s reach to an audience that may not be interested in boxing or tennis. Participating youths will learn dances ranging from hip-hop to Latin and swing. Classes begin Thursday and will take place at the Mountain View Sports Pavilion on Castro Street. Mountain Viewâ€™s PAL program was resurrected in 2006 by police Chief Scott Vermeer and is in full swing. The program offers a wide variety of activities and leadership opportunities for kids ages 5 to 18, including paintball, bike rides, and trips to San Jose Sharks games are some examples of the wide variety of opportunities offered by the organization. PAL membership costs $5 and for children 11 or older, includes access to The Dance Club. When asked why MVPAL is now offering dance among their other programs, Officer James Guevarra says, â€œItâ€™s something different. It builds social skills, boosts confidence and self esteem while having fun.â€?
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