Fresh and casual Mantra WEEKEND | P.15 JULY 15, 2011 VOLUME 19, NO. 26
INSIDE: MOVIES | PAGE 18
Parents fed up with school district’s wait list OVERFLOW AT STEVENSON ROILS PARENTS, BUT IS A GOOD SIGN TO OFFICIALS By Nick Veronin
Jose Antonio Vargas sits in the San Francisco Superior Court building, with City Hall behind him.
MV’s Vargas: America’s most famous undocumented immigrant Daniel DeBolt
ollowing his startling personal story in The New York Times magazine, Mountain View’s Pulitzer Prize-winner Jose Antonio Vargas has apparently pulled off the impossible over
the last few weeks, starting a fresh conversation on radio and television about immigration in the U.S. Vargas’ story has now been widely told. Vargas was brought from the Philippines to live with his grandparents in the U.S. by a
coyote posing as his uncle at age 13, and he has not seen his mother since. He realized his situation only when his fake green card was rejected when he tried to get a driver’s license in high school. See VARGAS, page 6
GOINGS ON 19 | MARKETPLACE 20 | REAL ESTATE 22 | VIEWPOINT 14
ore than 170 would-be elementary and middle school students have been placed on the Mountain View Whisman School District’s waiting list for the 2011-12 school year. While parents are complaining, district officials said that this year’s waiting list is not all that unusual compared with past years. In total, 173 incoming kindergartners, first-, second-, third-, sixth- and seventh-graders are on a waiting list. The vast majority of those students — 159 — are hoping for an intra-district transfer. The bulk of that group — 52 — are kindergarteners whose parents are vying for a spot in Stevenson, the district’s PACT school. Only 14 students have been put on a waiting list to get into their “neighborhood schools” — the school the district assigns based upon a student’s home address. “I’ve been very proactive in trying to get things happening and I’ve actually just run out of steam,” said Autumn Meisel, whose daughter starts kindergarten in the fall. Meisel has been pushing to get her daughter into Stevenson to no avail. “It’s extraordinarily frustrating.” Superintendent Craig Goldman said that demand is especially high this year for the PACT — or Parent, Child, Teacher — program, he noted that there is almost always a longer waiting list for Stevenson, as well as for the district’s dual language immersion program at Castro School. “Overall, as a district our enrolment trends are within our projections,” he said. According
to Goldman, there are always some students on the waiting list for their neighborhood schools and the number on the intradistrict waiting list is always higher than that. “I think the fact that there is a wait list at Stevenson is validation that PACT is a strong, choice program.” Parents Marina Dergun and Meisel said they feel that the district has not done enough to See WAIT LIST, page 11
Google: Public could use new bridges By Daniel DeBolt
oogle has responded to an apparent misunderstanding at last week’s City Council meeting that its proposed bridges over Stevens Creek will not be open to the public. Several City Council members expressed strong feelings against Google-only access to the bridges on Tuesday. A spokesperson for Google contacted the Voice Friday to clarify the issue, saying that the bridges, while technically privately owned, would be open to “essentially anyone who wants to use them.” Walkers, bicyclists and those coming through on public transit buses and shuttles would have access over the bridges, the Google spokesperson said, but regular car traffic would not. “We want to minimize impact to the trail,” the spokesperson See GOOGLE, page 13
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Asked in Downtown Mountain View. Interviews and photos by Nick Gonzales
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New Construction vs. Remodeling It’s a big decision so make it an informed one! One question we are frequently asked is “Should I remodel my home, or just tear it down and build a new one?” This workshop will provide you with key factors to help you determine which route to take and provide the answers you need to make the decision that is right for you! Topics will include: n Changes in the real estate market are a huge inﬂuence – why? n What do you need and want in your remodeled or new home? n Can you add another story or additional space? We never forget it’s your home.® n Site conditions, planning or zoning issues n Easements and property lines n Limitations you may have with your current location n Foundation and framing issues n Plumbing and HVAC or electrical considerations Find out more about which direction is the right one for you and your needs by attending this informative workshop!
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Have Have aa question question for forVoices VoicesAround AroundTown? Town? E-mail Email itit to to firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com JULY 15, 2011 ■ MOUNTAIN VIEW VOICE ■