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2012 Holiday Gift Guide

NOVEMBER 16, 2012 VOLUME 20, NO. 44




Hospital, from flooding in a 100controversial f lood year flood. detention basin at Cuesta Explaining why the Annex Annex is no longer being basin was removed from the proposed by the Santa Clara Val- proposal, Rouhani said,”The ley Water District and may be on main reasons were just the feedits way off the table entirely. back received though the draft Afhsin Rouhani, project man- EIR process and the fact that we ager for the Water District, said are meeting the original project the Annex is no longer part of the objectives. “ preferred project in the project’s While the City Council voted in environmental impact report support of the concept in January, — which the Santa Clara Valley a vocal group of residents have Water District is set to approve strongly opposed any changes Tuesday. He said the move was to the 12-acre remnant orchard made in response to years of where people retreat to enjoy public outcry and to address a rare view of the mountains, cost overruns of walk among old as much as $6 milorchard trees and lion. sometimes spot ‘They would “The majority some unusual of the comments wildlife, includrather that it on the EIR mening a great blue tioned opposiheron known to not be done.’ tion to the Cuesta hunt there. AFHSIN ROUHANI, annex basin,” “I feel its PROJECT MANAGER FOR Rouhani said. a beautif u l THE WATER DISTRICT “Over a period of resource to have,” years it seems like said resident that’s the majority Mike Hayden, a sentiment — they would rather computer engineer who says he that it not be done.” found discrepancies in the Water The basin would have required District’s flood modeling. “I like the removal of 18 trees, including to walk there myself and a lot of one large enough to classify as a other people do. I’m pleased they heritage tree by city standards. decided not to do it and I think it The Water District Board will was unnecessary from the study vote on the proposal on Nov. 20 I’ve done of the hydrology.” as part of a “final subsequent The proposed project aims to environmental impact report” for fulfill voter approval in 2000 of the project, which now includes the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natubasins only at McKelvey Park in ral Flood Protection Act. Mountain View and Rancho San The proposal includes a $10 Antonio in unincorporated Los million revamp of McKelvey Altos. Rouhani said there is a Park, most of which will be chance that the Annex could be lowered to crate a flood basin. added back to the project by the Local Little League teams were Water District Board in order to promised new ball field faciliprotect an additional 300 to 400 See CUESTA ANNEX, page 13 properties, including El Camino



Julia Goebel leads with the ball as Jannik Moeller, Moritz Tamm, Max Goebel and Eric Roeck try to tag her out during a rugby scrimmage at the German International School of Silicon Valley on Nov. 12.

Rugby league is still kicking By Nick Veronin


n an effort to increase the visibility of the sport he loves so much, the cofounder of the locally based American Youth Rugby Union

has declared this week — Nov. 11 through Nov. 18 — to be the inaugural “Rugby Week.” Mountain View resident and AYRU co-founder Paul Lynch said he has been working hard to build his league into a top-



n a city soon to be flooded with building proposals from Google and Intuit, council members said Tuesday that com-


mercial developers of commercial buildings should pay more towards affordable housing. In a study session Tuesday, Nov. 13, council members showed support 5-2 to double the fees

notch organization since he and fellow rugby enthusiast Tom Trill established the league in 2009. “AYRU aims to be the leading See RUGBY, page 8

commercial building developers pay towards subsidized housing projects, such as the 50-unit family home project under construction at the corner of Evelyn and Franklin streets. Members Tom Means and John Inks were opposed. In a presentation, San Francisco-based consultants from Keyser-Marsten painted a portrait of a growing “affordability gap” between low-wage workers and most office workers in See HOUSING FEE, page 12




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■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■ November 16, 2012



Asked in downtown Mountain View. Pictures and interviews by Ashley Finden.

What have you done to prepare for a natural disaster? “I have one of those little earthquake kits in my car and another one in my house. But what I haven’t done, and should do, is make an emergency plan with my family.” Nancy Wheeler, Mountain View

“Some things that we’re getting prepared for, like a disaster, would be just to make sure we have first aid kits, extra food. Like a first aid kit, like, for stitches.” Helen Craighead, Sunnyvale

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“The things I have prepared for in a natural disaster is to have the most essential items I would need to address what is going on — like flashlight, food, water, tools and things like that. ”

“We have food and water stored in our house and we have to continually replace the water. But also, we have talked about if we ever get separated in a natural disaster that we would go call through our niece in Texas so that we would know, if lines were out here, we could always connect through her.”





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November 16, 2012 ■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■





INDECENT EXPOSURE ARREST A man was arrested on charges of exposing and pleasuring himself in public at a Mountain View apartment complex on Nov. 11, police said. David Luck, a 33-year-old man from San Francisco, was accused of the lewd act by a 45-year-old woman who works in the leasing office of the Shadows apartment complex in the 700 block of N. Shoreline Boulevard, according to Sgt. Sean Thompson, public information officer for the Mountain View Police Department. The woman told police that the man approached the glass door of the leasing office with his jeans unzipped around 10:30 p.m. and began his lascivious display, Thompson said. The woman tried to get him to stop by banging her hand against the desk, but it didn’t work, so she picked up the phone to call the police. The man eventually left, but was later discovered and identified less than a block away, Thompson said. Luck was arrested and booked into jail on charges of indecent exposure.

Photo of Barbara Hourigan and daughter in Paris, France took along the Mountain View Voice to commemorate the trip.


Take a photo with the Mountain View Voice on your next trip and email to

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Offer only good while supplies last. No sales to dealers, restaurants or institutions. Sales in retail quantities only. Plus Applicable Taxes. Not responsible for typographical or pictorial errors. We reserve the right to correct all errors. Not All Products, Offers, Retails And Services Available At All Locations.


■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■ November 16, 2012

A woman who was house-sitting at a home in the 200 block of S. Rengstorff scared off a pair of would-be burglars on Nov. 10, according to police. The incident occurred between 12:20 p.m. and 12:35 p.m., MVPD spokesman Sgt. Sean Thompson said. According to the police report, the woman heard the doorbell ring followed by a knock. She did not answer the door. After she neglected to answer the door one of the two burglars went around to the side of the house, pried open a window into the garage and kicked down the door leading from the garage to the home, Thompson said. The woman observed the man who kicked down the door walk across the living room and open a back window for his accomplice to enter. The woman, who was already on the phone with 911 dispatchers, yelled at the man already in the house, who then fled through the front door. The two suspects were described as Hispanic men in their early 20s wearing dark clothing.



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Bus lanes back on the table

All fired up over ‘Start-Ups’

By Daniel DeBolt



he possibility of a light raillike bus system and new bike lanes on El Camino Real are still on the table for Mountain View after a recent VTA vote. Board members, including Mountain View’s Margaret AbeKoga and Palo Alto’s Gail Price, voted unanimously on Nov. 1 to include two options for the bus rapid transit project in an environmental impact report. It could place hybrid-powered, WiFi-equipped buses on dedicated lanes on the county’s most popular bus corridor, El Camino Real. The buses would be unhindered by car traffic or long waits at stoplights, thanks to sensors on the buses that communicate with traffic signals.

By Nick Veronin


‘It shocks me that local jurisdictions would not jump at this chance.’ CORINNE WINTER

The EIR will study both a “revised” project — dedicated lanes up the center of El Camino Real in the city of Santa Clara only — as well as the “optimal” project, which would mean dedicated bus lanes from Santa Clara to Showers Drive in Mountain View. The street configuration for dedicated bus lanes would make room for the bike lanes long desired by cyclists, who see no other likely hope for bike lanes on El Camino Real. The move means that the Mountain View City Council, with two newly elected members, may vote on the project again next year. Despite majority support from residents and bike and transportation advocates who spoke, the current council voted 5-2 against dedicated lanes in Mountain View in January, citing concerns about increasing See BUS LANES, page 10


Police investigators examine an apartment with a suspected drug lab on Bush Street.



total of six people have been arrested in connection to last week’s massive drug bust in Mountain View, which uncovered various drugs, a small cache of firearms, a lab for manufacturing a pow-

erful hallucinogen, and even an illegal fish. Three men and one woman arrested on Nov. 8, the day of the raid, and two more men were arrested the next day. Around noon on Nov. 8, the MVPD’s Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team descended

upon four units in two apartment buildings in 200 block of Bush Street, near the corner of Bush and Villa streets, according to Sgt. Sean Thompson, public information officer for the Mountain View police. The See DRUG LAB, page 11

new reality show centered around the lives of several young Silicon Valley entrepreneurs has got locals buzzing. Two of the people profiled in the show “Start-Ups: Silicon Valley” say that they, and their business, are serious, but Silicon Valley denizens are expressing doubts. The show, which kicked off Nov. 5 on the cable network Bravo, has Randi Zuckerberg as executive producer — she’s Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s sister. The show features a main cast of six attractive young men and women working to get their fledgling, tech-oriented businesses up and running. In addition to vignettes intended to introduce the cast members, the first episode follows brothersister duo Ben and Hermione Way as they attempt to secure a half million dollars in start-up money for their company, Ignite Wellness, in a pitch meeting at Mountain View’s 500 Startups. Ignite makes a small piece of hardware that users stand on while it links to accompanying smart phone apps, which may run the user through a series of exercises, Wii Fit-like video games or just weigh them and help them keep track of their fitness goals. “It’s definitely our experience of trying to make it in Silicon Valley,” Ben Way told the Voice. He and his sister said none of the show was scripted and that they were handed no favors from being on the show. In fact, Ben said, when it came to raising capital he estimated that half of the venture firms they approached said no simply because he and Hermione had cameras following them around. Local reaction “When I first heard of a reality show coming out on Silicon Valley, me and most of the people I know were a little apprehensive about it,” said Priyanka Sharma, product marketing manager for See START-UPS, page 9

November 16, 2012 ■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■



Hospital mulling Measure M response

Are you a holiday volunteer? Tell us your story. Do you celebrate the holidays by giving back to the community? Does your family have a tradition of volunteering during the holiday season? The Mountain View Voice wants to hear your story. Practices could be anything from ringing the Salvation Army bell to volunteering at a soup kitchen or encouraging your children to perform a random act of kindness. Submit short write-ups (100-400 words) on your personal/family tradition, which will be published in the Voice at the end of November. Please email Online Editor Tyler Hanley at or contact him by phone at 650-223-6519.

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Khaled Hosseini Author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns

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â– Mountain View Voice â– â–  November 16, 2012



l Camino Hospital officials have been tight-lipped in the wake of the passage of the salary capping initiative, Measure M — even after a union steward and employee at the local health care organization told a reporter that the measure was a “bargaining chip in the negotiating process� between the union and the hospital. Union representatives have dismissed his statement. As the Voice went to press Wednesday afternoon, the El Camino Hospital board was scheduled later that evening to consider approval of yearly performance incentives for top administrators and CEO Tomi Ryba, as well as discuss Measure M and possibly take action to respond to its passage. Though no hospital official has said exactly what El Camino would do in the event of Measure M’s approval, many have hinted that a legal challenge would ensue. All official hospital statements have condemned the measure, saying it would make hiring and maintaining qualified administrators difficult, if not impossible. Asked whether the hospital was planning to take the measure to court, El Camino spokeswoman Chris Ernst repeatedly said it was too soon to say. If the hospital does choose to challenge the measure in court, the union that pushed to get the initiative on the ballot is unlikely to defend it, according to Kary Lynch, a psychiatric technician at El Camino and a steward with the hospital’s chapter of the Service Employees International UnionUnited Healthcare Workers. Lynch was quoted in the Nov. 8 edition of The Daily News saying, “Truthfully, the measure was initially proposed as a bargaining chip in the negotiating process. We picked salaries because it was something that resonated with voters.� Chris Ernst, a spokeswoman for the hospital, said she did not wish to comment on Lynch’s statement. Measure M caps executive and management salaries at the district hospital to no more than twice the governor of California’s salary. Officials from both the SEIUUHW and the South Bay AFLCIO Labor Council emphasized that while Lynch has spoken

to newspapers on union issues in the past, he is not an official spokesman for the union. A bitter dispute over contracts would be the reason the union could have used a bargaining chip. The hospital board imposed a contract upon the union, which union leaders and many members found unsatisfactory. One major complaint was it took away an option for a healthcare plan with no-cost premiums for employees. “Despite a published report, Kary Lynch is not an official of SEIU-UHW,� said a statement issued by the SEIU-UHW. “He is not an elected member of the union’s executive board and does not hold any other official position. His statement does not reflect the current or past position of SEIU-UHW.�


After all was said and done, 24,650 votes (51.91 percent) had been tallied in favor of the Measure, while 22,833 (48.09 percent) had been cast in opposition. The final ballot count has yet to be certified, but the outcome is unlikely to change. Gov. Jerry Brown currently makes $173,987 annually. Twice his salary, $347,974, is still less than half El Camino CEO Ryba’s proposed 2013 salary of $714,460. The hospital’s chief financial officer, Michael King, and its chief medical officer, Dr. Eric Pifer, also make more than twice the governor’s salary at $420,000 and $450,000 respectively. Lynch did not respond to repeated requests to comment, nor did he respond when the Voice attempted to reach him in early October to ask if the union’s decision to back away from pushing Measure M was the result of a long-disputed contract issue being settled. That dispute began in 2010 when the hospital board imposed a contract on hospital workers. In May of 2012, Measure M qualified to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot, thanks in large part to a push from the SEIU-UHW which sent people out into the community to gather signatures for the initiative.

In the early stages of Measure M, Lynch and others supporters said the salary cap was about creating parity between the top administrators and the lowestpaid workers at the hospital. Lynch even drew ties between Measure M and the national “Occupy� movement. “I think among the general public people are really upset that all these executives make such extravagant salaries,� he said. But it appeared that Lynch’s union backed off of their support for Measure M after it was announced in September that the SEIU-UHW had reached an agreement with the hospital on a new contract, which restored the free health care plan option. As the Nov. 6 election drew near, campaign reports showed that the SEIU-UHW had spent no money promoting the measure. When asked whether the union decided to stop backing the measure after more favorable contact negotiations concluded, union representative Carlyn Foster replied: “No. Our priorities shifted.� Responding to the recent news story, Foster said in a statement: “SEIU-UHW members placed Measure M on the ballot solely to rein in executive salaries at the El Camino Hospital District, which is partially supported by taxpayer dollars. At the time SEIUUHW members filed signatures to put Measure M on the ballot, El Camino hospital management was taking the position in contract bargaining that they could not afford to maintain employee benefits, even as they paid millions to a small number of their top executives. The measure was designed to bring a balance to the way the District allocates its resources and free up more funding for frontline workers, and came at a time when the Occupy movement had created a national conversation about wage and benefit inequality.� The priority shift for the union came from state Propositions 30 and 32, Foster said, due to “the immediate and massive impact of those measures on working people across the state and the future of education in California. The focus by SEIU-UHW members on those two initiatives helped pass Proposition 30 and defeat Proposition 32.� Check for updates on the hospital’s response to Measure M. V


Peninsula School

‘Unplug your kids,’ psychologist advises


We believe education can be engaging and joyous. Ä‘Ĺ?Ĺ?!(!.0%*#Ĺ?.0/Ĺ?* Ĺ? !)%/


nplug your kids.� That was the message Friday, Nov. 9, of psychologist Robert Russell, who spoke in the fourth “Town & Gown� presentation by Palo Alto University. Russell, who directs clinical training for the university that offers degrees in counseling and psychology, spoke at the Stanford Faculty Club to about 75 students and counselors. Today’s children average nine hours a day of engagement with media, Russell said. “Given that media exposure, you have to wonder about who is out to control the development of your child’s consciousness. Consumerism and media have led some to conclude that corporations are really now constructing the view that we, and children themselves adopt,� he said. “This raises the specter of the vulnerability of childhood itself.� Society’s perception of children has changed radically since 1900, when they were viewed as hardy, courageous, sturdy, wholesome, self-sufficient and capable,� Russell said.

Today, he said, kids are seen as fragile, precious, vulnerable, sickly, dependent and incapable, with more than 20 percent living in poverty and high levels

of obesity and diabetes. Kids are firmly entrenched in a “consumer culture where we’re bombarded by messages to ‘buy, buy, buy,’� Russell said. “You have an uphill battle as adults to engage children in a developmental stage� free from the escalating electronic competition. Russell said parents should “get your children off the couch and back into nature. Engage them in rational conversation. “Create challenges from them that are difficult but solvable.

Don’t level adversity, encourage adventure,� he said. “Helicopter parents� make the mistake of trying to micromanage their children and shield them from failure, stunting autonomy and independence. “Take some control,� he said. “I talk to parents who ask me questions such as, ‘Is it a bad thing for my 7-year-old to sleep with their cell phone?’ “Yes, it is, actually,� he said. “Unplug your kids and control it.� Palo Alto University, founded in 1975 and known until 2009 as the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, has a campus on Arastradero Road and cooperative arrangements with the Foothill-De Anza Community College District and Stanford University. This past June it awarded 39 PhDs, 29 doctorates in psychology, five masters degrees, 31 undergraduate degrees in business psychology and 32 undergraduate degrees in psychology and social action. The university offers low-cost mental health services to the community through slidingscale fees at a clinic known as the Gronowski Center. V



home on Sonia Way is a “total loss,� after a fast-moving fire Sunday morning. Mountain View firefighters quickly extinguished the two-alarm blaze, and there were no injuries. A neighbor described the burned building as a “total loss.� Firefighters rushed to the scene of the blaze in the 700 block of Sonia Way after the owner of the home called 911 at about 3:30 a.m. on Nov. 11, said Jaime Garrett, spokeswoman for the MVFD. The Palo Alto and Moffett Field fire departments, the Santa Clara County Fire Associates and local law enforcement assisted the MVFD in battling the flames.

The home’s owner was told to evacuate by emergency dispatchers when he called them to tell them about the fire. “The fire department arrived on scene at 3:35 a.m.� — only five minutes after the initial 911 call — “to find the home fully engulfed in flames,� Garrett said in a press release. Jean Myer, who lives next door to the house that caught fire, said her neighbor might be described as a “hoarder.� “The firefighters said that’s why they had trouble knocking down the fire, because there was so much stuff in there,� Myer said. Myer said she was awakened by her cat around the time the fire was starting to grow large.

She heard the hissing and crackling of the flames, she said. Soon after that an officer knocked on her door and told her she needed to evacuate. Though Myer said she didn’t know her neighbor well, she said she felt for him. “Losing your home and everything is a terrible tragedy,� she said. The homeowner was displaced by the fire and the Red Cross is helping him in find a short-term shelter. Investigators said they are still trying to determine the cause of the fire, but multiple local news sources reported that the man initially started the fire in his fireplace, but that the flames accidentally spread into his home.

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By Chris Kenrick

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November 16, 2012 â– Mountain View Voice â– â– 



Continued from page 1

movement in the rapidly expanding world of youth rugby,” Lynch said in a statement. “We have initiated the inaugural rugby week in our locality to raise awareness of the benefits of the sport of rugby for our youth.” Over the course of the week, AYRU has hosted several free rugby events in order to introduce the community to the sport, which is often described as a combination between American-style football and soccer. From day to day, the AYRU events were held at different schools across Mountain View, including Huff Elementary School, the German International School of Silicon Valley and Graham Middle School. Prizes were awarded to individuals for completing challenges, such as solving clues that led them to a hidden “golden rugby ball,” or kicking a rugby ball a given distance into a plastic bin. Lynch is originally from Belfast, Ireland, where he grew up playing rugby. The sport isn’t as popular in the United States as it is in his homeland, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be more popular than it has been, he said. Since founding the league, he has worked hard to increase participation. Lynch has established one local rugby club, the Mountain View Bobcats, which allows children of a variety of age groups to play against other rugby teams in the Bay Area. He aims to start another club in Sunnyvale in 2013. More information on the AYRU can be found at or by contacting Lynch at V


Jake Weppner leads with the ball alongside Matt Sherman, the head coach of Stanford’s rugby team.


■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■ November 16, 2012


Above: Paul Lynch teaches Linda Koehler how to kick; Top: Sabrina Dahlen, left, tries to tag Cintia Bajkaat at the German American School of Silicon Valley.


Inspirations a guide to the spiritual community

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 Phone: 650-967-2189

To include your Church in COURTESY BRAVO NETWORK

Hermione and Ben Way, siblings, are working to launch a fitness app while Bravo cameras follow their every move.


Continued from page 5

Outright, a Mountain View-based financial management applications company, which began as a start-up and was recently acquired by Sharma said she has lived the start-up life, and said there is nothing glamorous or all-too entertaining about it. That’s why she said she was disappointed with the premiere of Start-Ups. While Ben and Hermione set out to seek venture funding in the first episode, they did so only after a long-night of drinking at the glitzy mansion they share with other techies in San Francisco. “I have to tell you, I couldn’t even complete the episode,” Sharma said. Hermione said the mansion — which they call The Villa — isn’t a perk of the show but an emerging trend. If she is going to pay the notoriously high San Francisco rent, she wants to get more out of it than a one-bedroom. She and Ben decided to rent a much larger house with four roommates. The arrangement means they have a yard and laundry facilities, while having the added benefit of bouncing ideas off of their techminded roommates. Sharma, who is currently on the hunt for a place to live in the city, agreed that it is not uncommon for people to look for a house and bring together a load of roommates. Even so, The Villa and the costume party Ben and Hermione threw during the first episode seemed very “Beverly Hills,” she said. As someone who has lived and worked in Silicon Valley for seven years, Sharma said the entire episode seemed “fantastical and unrealistic.” At times it even seemed scripted, she said. She said she worries that some may get the wrong idea about the tech industry, thinking it’s a place where anyone can waltz in with a

half-baked idea, score some venture funding and then get rich. “Somebody working in manufacturing in the Midwest might get the wrong idea,” she said. Inspiring others Ben and Hermione see things differently. “Unfortunately all the drama is actually real,” Ben said. “Everything you see on the show — it’s not scripted in any way. It couldn’t be scripted if they tried.” They all work hard, he said, and there are very stressful aspects to their lives. But there are also social aspects — “going out and enjoying yourself,” as Ben put it. “What Bravo wanted to show was both sides of that.” Hermione said she would be pleased if the show inspired someone from Middle America give it a serious go in Silicon Valley. She said she has received messages from some of the show’s fans who may end up doing just that. “I’m a woman in a maledominated industry,” Hermione said. She has been getting lots of emails since the show first aired from women saying they’ve been inspired by the work she has done, she said. “There is a worldwide interest in what is going on out here right now,” Hermione said. If she or anyone on the show can help someone find the courage to reach for their goals here in the Bay Area, then that is a good thing, she said. Sharma said it is good for those who have the requisite drive to try their hand at starting a business in Silicon Valley, but she worries the show makes everything look too easy and is less likely to produce serious tech entrepreneurs and more likely to bring out people who aren’t sufficiently prepared for the tough reality of the start-up scene. Ben actually tends to agree

with Sharma on at least one score. “There’s not that much glamor” in what he does, he admitted. But he doesn’t worry that the show is going to cause a mad rush of unqualified people to pack up and head for Silicon Valley. “A lot of people have been saying, ‘Oh my God, we’re going to have so many wannabe entrepreneurs coming to Silicon Valley.’ But there is no such thing as a wannabe entrepreneur. If you don’t have what it takes, you just won’t make it,” he said.

Inspirations Please call Blanca Yoc at 650-223-6596 or e-mail

Backlash expected Network officials aren’t entirely surprised by the pushback that Start-Ups has encountered, according to a Bravo spokeswoman. The network has produced a lot reality shows about industries and subcultures, and whenever it does, there is almost always some backlash from the community the show is focusing on. One of the most pointed criticism of Start-Ups is about the way the cast looks — the show’s three men and three women all appear young, attractive, physically fit, and white. Sharma said thought this was the most ridiculous aspect of the show. “Silicon Valley is an incredibly diverse place,” she said, adding that many of the people working hard at a startup have neither the time nor the inclination to stress too much about their appearances. Ben and Hermione said they never expected everyone to love the show, and they fully expected that some within the industry would be critical of it. The backlash has added extra stress to their already stressful lives, the two said, but they aren’t going to change who they are because of it. “We’re not trying to pretend to represent all of Silicon Valley,” Ben said. “We’re just trying to represent our experience.” V

November 16, 2012 ■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■



CITY OF MOUNTAIN VIEW NOTICE OF BICYCLE/PEDESTRIAN ADVISORY COMMITTEE MEETING NASA AMES BAYSHORE LIGHT RAIL STATION PEDESTRIAN ACCESS STUDY The City of Mountain View is conducting a study that will evaluate alternatives for improving the accessibility for pedestrians and bicyclists between the Bayshore/NASA Light Rail Station on the north side of Highway 101 and the North Whisman Area via Ellis Street on the south side of Highway 101. The community is invited to attend a Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee meeting to provide input and comment on the project at the following time and location: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2012—6:30 P.M. (or as soon as the item can be heard) MOUNTAIN VIEW CITY HALL PLAZA CONFERENCE ROOM, SECOND FLOOR 500 CASTRO STREET MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA Comments received at this meeting will be considered in the development of the improvement alternatives. If you have any questions about this project, please contact Joy Houghton, Project Manager, at (650) 903-6311 or

CITY OF MOUNTAIN VIEW CITY ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING COMMISSION* APPOINTMENTS Applications will be accepted until November 26, 2012 at 5:00 p.m. for Mountain View citizens wishing to serve on the following: r&/7*30/.&/5"-1-"//*/($0..*44*0/ (up to 2 positions)** (Meets on the first and third Wednesday evenings of the month)

**FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING COMMISSION APPLICANTS ONLY: Supplemental Questionnaire (Preinterview Application): Candidates are required to submit, along with their City application form, a typewritten response, limited to 350 words, to the following questions: 1. What qualifies you for this position? 2. What do you think are the major issues for land use planning in the City of Mountain View? 3. Give some Mountain View examples of successes and failures in planning.


Continued from page 5

5IFCPBSE DPNNJTTJPOT BOEDPNNJUUFFTBSFWPMVOUFFSQPTJUJPOT BOETFSWFJOBOBEWJTPSZDBQBDJUZUPUIF$JUZ$PVODJM Appointments are available on an equal opportunity basis. Call the City Clerk’s Office at (650) 903-6304 for further information and an application. An application can be downloaded at * Dependent on Certification of 2012 General Election results.

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â– Mountain View Voice â– â–  November 16, 2012

traffic on side streets. Members Margaret Abe-Koga and Mike Kasperzak voted in support. Proponents of the system say that traffic on El Camino Real will only get worse without alternatives to car travel, while opponents say traffic will get worse from removing a lane in each direction to accommodate bike and BRT lanes.

Corinne Winter, director of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, called it “a unique and unprecedented opportunity to have dedicated bike facilities paid for by the county’s transit agency.� “It shocks me that local jurisdictions would not jump at this chance to revitalize their business districts along El Camino Real,� Winter said. “Having dedicated bicycle facilities on this corridor will expose the businesses there to a large number of

clients that are more likely than motorists to stop and shop.� The EIR will provide more information for decision makers in Mountain View and Sunnyvale, VTA officials say. The Mountain View City Council voted 4-3 against dedicated lanes earlier this year. VTA officials say Caltrans, which has jurisdiction over El Camino Real, won’t allow the dedicated lanes in cities where it is opposed. V

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Continued from page 5

local police received help from the California Department of Justice, the Santa Clara County Specialized Enforcement Team, as well as officers from the Los Altos and Sunnyvale police departments. Two people were arrested on the spot, and three were detained that day. By day’s end, David Strang, Jerrod Kensil, Guadalupe Villador and Richard Rosen under arrest. Owen Johnston and Thomas Lear were arrested the following day. All of them lived in the apartment complex. Johnston, 31, is charged with manufacturing a controlled substance, possession for sale of a controlled substance, possession of an assault weapon and possession of a piranha (which is illegal); Kensil, 29, was charged with possession of a controlled substance; Lear, 39, was charged with manufacturing a controlled substance; Rosen, 32, was charged with manufacturing and possession for sale of a controlled substance, and possession of a piranha; Strang, 40, was charged with possession of LSD; and Villador, 42, was charged with manufacturing and possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.


Two apartments were targeted in a police raid that netted drugs, weapons and an illegal fish.

‘A very small amount (of DMT) is very powerful.’ SGT. DAN VICENCIO

Thompson said more charges may be pending, but no other arrests are expected. During the raid, police found a DMT manufacturing laboratory, and a number of other illegal drugs, including marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, LSD and heroin, police said. Investigators also found a small cache of weapons, including two shotguns, several semiautomatic firearms and a fully automatic AR-15 assault rifle. Sgt. Dan Vicencio said it was not immediately clear if the weapons had been obtained legally or not. He said it was possible that even the AR-15 could have been owned legally. Although it is now illegal to buy or obtain fully automatic weapons in California, those who owned such weapons prior to the ban may still legally possess them. The DMT lab was the focus of the raid, Thompson said, and the


SWAT team members prepare for the raid.

total number of doses of DMT discovered greatly outnumbered that of the other drugs found during the raid. Police discovered the lab over the course of a lengthy investigation, which involved the use of undercover officers and other intelligencegathering methods. DMT, short for Dimethyltryptamine, is a hallucinogen — the same class of drug as LSD or “magic mushrooms” — according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. DMT produces “intense

effects” in the user but does not last as long as other hallucinogens, such as LSD, according to the DMT page on the DEA’s website. “A very small amount is very powerful,” Vicencio said. “Even a gram of DMT can be used many times over and affect a lot of people.” Both Vicencio and Thompson said the drug is not commonly encountered by law enforcement officials and that DMT manufacturing operations are also rare.

Though the drug may not be popular among recreational drug users in the U.S., the DEA notes it has a long history of human use and is associated with a number of religious practices and rituals. “As a naturally occurring substance in many species of plants, DMT is present in a number of South American snuffs and brewed concoctions, like Ayahuasca.” It can also be synthesized in a laboratory. Vicencio said that DMT-containing plant materials were found in the apartment, along

with other flammable fluids and hazardous materials investigators believe were being used to distill the chemical into a more pure form for distribution and use. A man who lives near the apartment that was raided said he was “surprised” to learn of the drug lab. The man, who asked to remain anonymous, said he did see a lot of people come and go from the apartment and that they sometimes threw loud parties, but he never smelled anything or saw any indication that drugs were being manufactured there. He never felt like he was in danger, he said. “Everyone always thinks of, like, violent drug-related stuff, but we never had any instances like that here.” The one thing he said he was concerned about was that the people were working with volatile chemical mixtures so close to his home. However, unlike a methamphetamine laboratory, Thompson said, the risk of explosions is much lower with the manufacture of DMT. Nonetheless, some of the investigators wore full-body protective suits. The man said he felt the police conducted themselves well during the investigation — letting him know to leave the area shortly before they began the raid and allowing him back into his home when it was all finished. “You don’t want that kind of thing in your neighborhood,” he said. V

November 16, 2012 ■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■





Continued from page 1

November 22, 2012

Since 1957, “Home for Thanksgiving” has always meant ‘Mountain View’ to us. Family, friends, community, and the comfort of good people and a good place. We’re still thankful for all of that. From our Family to yours. We wish you A Very Happy Thanksgiving. The Cusimano Family Colonial Mortuary 96 W. El Camino Real Mountain View, CA 94040 (650) 968-4453 “Independent, serving families with Dignity and Respect Since 1957” SHERRI CUSIMANO

FD 941

FD 1041


Email Daniel DeBolt at

The online guide to Mountain View businesses


the city. Consultants said their 25-year-old model showed justification for some maximum fees that were quite surprising, most notably a hike from $2.47 to $243.61 per square foot for the development of retail and entertainment buildings above 25,000 square feet. They said it was because such workers’ wages had risen the least amid rising costs of housing in Silicon Valley, creating a higher need than ever for low-income housing. “All of us who prepared this asked ourselves, ‘How did this come out so high?” said Kate Funk, senior principle for Keyser Marsten. “We don’t recall anything like this in the past.” Despite a big increase in median income, from $74,000 to $105,000 since 2000, the wages of low-income workers in Silicon Valley remained relatively stagnant, and are the same as those who live in lower rent areas like Sacramento and Los Angeles. “You are in the Silicon Valley and you have two to three families living in one bedroom — that is some of my neighbors,” said Elaine Pacheco, a teacher and member of Rengstorff neighborhood group Community Action Team. “It is pretty sick to think we are in such an incredibly wealthy place and we have people that are so poor.” Despite the numbers supporting higher fees, council members expressed support for merely doubling existing fees in light of what cities like Palo Alto and Menlo Park were charging. The study said the council could justify a jump from $7.43 to $59.32 per square foot for most office development and a hike from $2.47 to $44.69 for hotel buildings. Members supported $15 per square foot for office and tech development over 10,000 square feet and $5 per square foot for retail, entertainment and hotel buildings over 25,000 square feet. Palo Alto charges a housing fee of $18.44 a square foot for all commercial development, while Menlo Park charges $14.71 a square foot for office and $7.98 a square foot for retail, hotel and

hotel buildings. The new revenues would add to funds generated by fees paid by housing developers. “To me, it make a lot of sense to do this fee on the commercial side,” said member Margaret Abe-Koga. “The commercial side is creating buildings that create more jobs and create a need for more housing.” In light of the numbers, council members and affordable housing developers admitted that they could never meet what council member Jac Siegel called an “insatiable demand” for affordable housing. “In my career I’ve never seen a jurisdiction that could produce as much affordable housing as it needed,” Funk said. Former Mayor Matt Pear spoke against the fee, saying that the solution was to allow the development of “micro apartments” that would be “very affordable.” Also expressing support for such housing was outgoing council member Means, an economics professor at San Jose State University. “We always have a shortage of affordable housing,” Means said. “There’s always a shortage of things that are price controlled. You could say there’s a shortage of affordable Ferraris. If people think there is a shortage of housing, the solution is to let people build those houses.” Means expressed impatience with the consultants and grilled them on their methodology and what he saw as their proposed fees, which they insisted were not proposals. “You are suggesting we should,” Means said about charging the maximum fees supported by the study. “I don’t think there’s anything in this analysis that says ‘should,’” Funk replied. A vote on a new fee on rental housing development was set for Tuesday, but was delayed to Dec. 11 so that it could be considered along with the commercial development fee in the same meeting. Council members have supported a new fee equal to 3 to 6 percent of the assessed value of an apartment building.

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■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■ November 16, 2012

Good for Business. Good for You. Good for the Community.


Avenidas Rose Kleiner Center presents a FREE

“How To” Series for Family Caregivers

Tues, Dec. 4, 6:30 pm - 8 pm Palliative Care Join us for this free event. Enjoy light refreshments and a chance to connect with others in similar circumstances.

RSVP to (650) 289-5498

Quality Daytime Care for Older Adults COURTESY CITY OF MOUNTAIN VIEW

A view of the Annex in a rendering showing the area after a flood basin is installed.

* Free on-site care of your aging loved one available while you attend the workshop. 48-hour notice required.

CUESTA ANNEX Continued from page 1

ties, including new bleachers, a new snack shack, artificial turf and improved lighting, among other amenities. The park would also have a new mini park and playground for the neighborhood. The latest proposal uses all of the project’s $40 million budget, Rouhani said. The Annex basin would have cost an additional $6 million, he said, to dig and landscape the 8- to 12-foot deep, 4.5-acre basin and run pipelines to and from Permanente Creek. Even without the Annex, Rouhani said the project would meet its original goals of protecting 1,664 properties north of El Camino Real, including four schools, during a major “100year flood,” the name for a major flood that has a one percent chance of happening every year. The latest proposal goes further by protecting another 1,000 properties south of El Camino


Eighteen of the Annex’s trees would have to be removed for the flood basin.

Real in Mountain View and Los Altos, Rouhani said, although there may still be some flooding in a 100-year storm. “That area would still get some flood benefit, just not the full 100 year flood protection,” Rouhani said. “The flood depths are quite a bit less but not the full protection.” Rouhani said an additional

50 properties would remain in FEMA flood zones without the Cuesta Annex flood basin and would have to buy flood insurance. The Mountain View City Council is set to vote on the McKelvey Park basin on Dec. 11, along with the Annex basin if the SCVWD board approves it Tuesday. V



OPEN HOUSE, Mountain View: Saturday, November 17, 2012 from 11am to 1pm


Student Quote:

“I feel comfortable talking to him. We play golf, which Iʼve never done.”

Partners for New Generations Providing volunteer mentors & tutors for our community youth

OUR KIDS NEED YOU: BE A MENTOR OR TUTOR Join us to volunteer in the Los Altos and Mountain View Schools

Please Contact: Carole Dorshkind 650-641-2821 or email us at

Phone: 650 254 0748 | Web: | Email: November 16, 2012 ■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■



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NOB HILL STRIKE ENDS After little more than a week on strike, over 7,000 grocery store workers, including those at Mountain View’s Nob Hill, can breathe a sigh of relief. Union and company officials announced that they had come to an agreement Tuesday and the strike has been called off at Raley’s and Nob Hill grocery stores in California and Nevada. While details were not immediately available, the UFCW represented workers will be able to keep their union-controlled health plan, a major sticking point during 15 months of negotiations that broke down on Nov. 4. Striking employees protested outside the Mountain View Nob Hill last week. —Daniel DeBolt

IMMIGRATION TALK WITH VARGAS Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas will be returning to Mountain View to speak about the future of immigration at Los Altos High School’s Eagle Theatre on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. His talk, ÏNot Legal. Not Leaving,Î will be 90 minutes long, followed by a questionand-answer session. Admission is free. Dick Henning, the founder of Foothill Collegeís Celebrity Forum Speaker Series, will moderate the presentation. In addition to being a renowned journalist, Vargas is an undocumented immigrant and activist for immigration reform. He’s the co-founder of the non-profit Define American, an organization seeking

to expand the current debate on immigration. Vargas is a graduate of Mountain View High School and a former intern at the Mountain View Voice. —Ashley Finden

SUPERSTORM SANDY SCAMS The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office is warning people to beware of con artists soliciting donations to help aid the victims of Superstorm Sandy. The culprits reach out to people claiming they are working for a community organization or well-known charities — either by phone, email or in person, according to the district attorney’s office. Some red flags to be aware of include a solicitor pressuring for a donation, asking for cash, offering to come to a home to pick up a check or being unable to explain how a donation will be used, prosecutors said. Instead, the district attorney’s office said to donate directly to an established, major nonprofit organization, such as the American Red Cross or Salvation Army. When contacted by anyone asking for donations, do not give out any personal information and do not click on any links when solicited for money through emails. Anyone with questions or who believes they may be a victim of a scam is asked to call the consumer protection unit of the district attorney’s office at (408) 792-2880. —Bay City News Service

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The online guide to Mountain View businesses


Good for Business. Good for You. Good for the Community. Visit today 14

â– Mountain View Voice â– â–  November 16, 2012


Plea for food bank donations Food banks around the Bay Area are asking for more donations as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches. Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties said that with Thanksgiving less than a week away, it is still only half-way towards its goal of collecting 12,000 donated turkeys to distribute to needy families. “Turkey is an important tradition for many local families,” said spokeswoman Caitlin Kerk. But collecting turkeys is only one of the food bank’s holiday goals. “Since Thanksgiving is next week, turkeys are our immediate need...but our monetary goal is $12.4 million and 2 million pounds of non-perishable foods that will feed many needy families throughout the coming year.” According to Kerk, turkey donations to Second Harvest are slightly behind what they were at the same time last year. Kerk said she suspected the lag had been caused by national attention on the November elections. Turkey donations can be dropped off at Second Harvest’s San Jose center at 750 Curtner Ave. or its San Carlos center at 1051 Bing St. Cash donations can be made online at www.SHFB. org. The website also has more information about the donation center’s hours of operation. —Bay City News Service

I LIVE MY LIFE. Offering new hope for lung cancer HOSPITALS NATIONAL CANCER

Every day, patients facing the challenge of fighting lung cancer come to the Stanford Cancer Center for help, hope, and healing. The multidisciplinary lung cancer team at Stanford has extensive

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experience in treating both early stage and complex cases of lung cancer. With new knowledge about the genetic makeup of tumor types, our team of specialists provides personalized treatment plans that match individual patient needs. Learn how the Stanford Thoracic Cancer Program can help you.

For more info, call 650.498.6000 or visit November 16, 2012 ■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■





   Sam Bertken and Rasika Raghavan in Dragon’s “March.â€?





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â– Mountain View Voice â– â–  November 16, 2012

By Kevin Kirby


n February of 2006, Dragon Productions took up residence in a newly converted theater space on Alma Street in downtown Palo Alto. Its first offering in the space was “The Heidi Chronicles� by Wendy Wasserstein, a production that I had the honor to review. Now, nearly seven years later, I find myself reviewing “March,� the final show that the company will present in its narrow, 42-seat black box theater before moving to a new, larger home in Redwood City next year. In the intervening years, Dragon’s fans (I include myself among them) have followed the company on many a journey. Dragon’s shows have taken us to small-town Texas, Disney World, New Orleans and the Alaskan wilderness. We’ve visited a juvenile-detention facility, a terrorist’s hideout and a peasant village in the Caucasus Mountains. We’ve made several

trips to New York and the U.K., and spent an evening on a cruise ship in the north Atlantic. Along the way, Dragon’s productions have explored everything from college politics to Gothic horror, from the evolution of humanoid lizards to the age-defying whimsy of children’s author Shel Silverstein.

THEATER REVIEW In their current offering, Sharyn Rothstein’s “March,� the company transports us to a location seldom seen on stage: cyberspace. In many ways, “March� is a perfect example of the work that Dragon has presented over the past seven years. Like most of the plays chosen by Dragon founder and artistic director, Mountain View resident Meredith Hagedorn, it is a lesser-known, contemporary show featuring strong

roles for women and inhabiting a middle ground between comedy and drama. And, like many of Hagedorn’s choices, it is slightly more ambitious than the company can comfortably handle. I hasten to add that this is in no way a bad thing. Hagedorn’s grasp-exceeding reach has kept Dragon’s seasons interesting, and I believe it has helped her draw a certain caliber of talent to the theater: namely, performers who enjoy a challenge. Certainly, the eight actors who make up the cast of “March� have several challenges before them. For Sam Bertken and Rasika Raghavan, who play Michael and Eva, two semitroubled teens who meet in a simulated online world reminiscent of Second Life, the primary challenge is in playing not only the human characters but their pixel-world avatars as well. Anyone familiar with Second Life Continued on next page

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will appreciate their attempt to capture the limited repertoire of stiff poses that these avatars adopt. Bertken and Raghavan could have used more dedicated rehearsal time to hone their avatar schtick in front of a mirror, but the idea comes across. Bertken has an added challenge. The actor is at least eight years too old for his role, and he’s playing opposite Raghavan, who might plausibly be 14. Bertken is smart, energetic and wholly likable, and he makes Michael’s exasperation at his dysfunctional family evident. But he never quite captures the sense of desperation that comes with being trapped in this family’s home for at least three more years. Challenges are also faced by Leticia Duarte and David Madwin, who play Eva’s mother and Michael’s older brother, respectively. Both characters suffer from some sort of mental illness, but playwright Rothstein never pins down a diagnosis for either. Madwin’s character is most likely schizophrenic with a strong dose of paranoia thrown in, and Madwin is at his best when in the grips of a particular delusion. As for Duarte’s character, her family behaves as though she has a temper that keeps them living in fear, but we rarely see any hint of danger. Like Madwin, she is a strong performer when given a specific rant to deliver, but her overall performance has too much irony, too much selfawareness to justify her family’s walking on eggshells. (Duarte also has the happy problem of being far too slim to play a character who, we are given to believe, is so obese that she is loathe to leave the house.) These issues aside, the cast (which also includes George Mauro and Glenn Havlan as the teens’ fathers, Janine Evans as Michael’s mother, and Katie Zeisl as various real and virtual girls) rises to the task at hand, playing their roles with honesty and compassion, and landing enough of the key moments to solicit real laughs and tug on real heartstrings. It’s a feat that I have watched numerous Dragon casts pull off over the years: finding the emotional heart of a piece despite difficulties in casting, staging, etc. The technical elements, too, are typical of Dragon’s work. Longtime collaborator Ron Gasparinetti returns to design the play’s minimal set. Constrained by the small stage, Gasparinetti has produced a handful of abstract set pieces that can be rearranged to form all of the play’s locales. To create the

Preschool - 4th Grade 2 0 13 - 2 0 14

Nurturing Minds and Hearts Come grow with us

Ventana is an Episcopal school taking its inspiration from the schools of Reggio Emilia and other progressive models which encourage artistic expression, critical thinking and hands-on investigative learning.

Elementary School Information Night November 29, 2012 Kindergarten: 6 – 7pm Elementary: 7– 8pm

Kindergarten Readiness Discussion Panel January 10, 2013, 6:30 – 8pm

Elementary School Open House January 17, 2013, 7 – 8:30pm

Limited spaces available for current year. Young 5s, Grades 1-3

To RSVP, or schedule a tour, call 650.948.2121 or 1040 Border Road, Los Altos


JOB FAIR! Mountain View resident Meredith Hagedorn is the founder and artistic director of Dragon Productions.

online fantasy world inhabited by Michael and Eva’s avatars, he uses rear-projected slides of virtual forests and pixel fortresses. (Rear projection has been a common element in Dragon scenic design ever since “The Heidi Chronicles.”) As usual, the minimal approach is effective and the scene changes drag only slightly. With limited props and set pieces, sound design is extremely important to this production. Actor George Mauro doubles as sound designer for “March,” and he has done a splendid job of creating effects — everything from car doors to laser blasters — than enhance both the real and virtual worlds. The uncredited individual (stage manager Solia Martinez-Jacobs, perhaps?) who pushes the buttons in the booth deserves a nod as well; the timing of sound cues was spot-on at Friday’s opening. My only objection to the sound design was the irritating, synthesized scene-change music, which was more reminiscent of early Atari video games than of the lush, multi-timbral orchestrations for modern computer games and simulations.

The cast and crew of “March,” including director Lennon Smith and producer Hagedorn, have much to be proud of with this show. It is yet another example of what can be achieved by a committed group of artists willing to work on a shoestring. It’s worth making one last visit to the Alma Street storefront theater. As for the future, Dragon’s new home is outside the newspaper’s coverage area, so I am unlikely to ever review another Dragon production. But will I make the drive to Redwood City in January to see what this resourceful company can achieve in a larger venue? You bet I will. And so should you. V

INFORMATION “March,” a play presented by Dragon Productions, Dragon Theatre, 535 Alma St., Palo Alto. Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., through Dec. 2. $25 general admission, with discounts for students and seniors. For more information, or for ticketing online, go to For 24/7 box office help, call 800838-3006.

>“«œÊ*ˆââiÀˆ>ʈÃÊ>Ê`iˆVˆœÕÃʘiÜÊ `iÃ̈˜>̈œ˜Êˆ˜Ê`œÜ˜ÌœÜ˜Ê*>œÊÌœ]Ê vi>ÌÕÀˆ˜}Êthin-crust artisan pizza, handmade pasta, >˜`Ê freshly stretched Mozzarella vÀœ“ÊœÕÀÊœââ>Ài>Ê >À° Stop by our job fair – open interviews for all positions.



11am - 4pm


185 University Ave, Palo Alto November 16, 2012 ■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■





N S TA F F Editor & Publisher Tom Gibboney

Editorial Managing Editor Andrea Gemmet Staff Writers Daniel DeBolt, Nick Veronin Editorial Intern Ashley Finden Photographer Michelle Le Contributors Dale Bentson, Angela Hey, Sheila Himmel, Ruth Schecter, Alissa Stallings

Design & Production Design Director Shannon Corey Designers Linda Atilano, Lili Cao, Diane Haas, Rosanna Leung, Paul Llewellyn, Scott Peterson

Advertising Vice President Sales and Marketing Tom Zahiralis Advertising Representatives Adam Carter Real Estate Account Executive Rosemary Lewkowitz Real Estate Advertising Coordinator Samantha Mejia Published every Friday at 450 Cambridge Avenue Palo Alto, CA 94306 (650) 964-6300 fax (650) 964-0294 Email news and photos to: Email letters to: News/Editorial Department (650) 964-6300 fax (650) 964-0294 Display Advertising Sales (650) 964-6300 Classified Advertising Sales   s   fax (650) 326-0155 Email Classified Email Circulation The Voice is published weekly by Embarcadero Media Co. and distributed free to residences and businesses in Mountain View. If you are not currently receiving the paper, you may request free delivery by calling 964-6300. Subscriptions for $60 per year, $100 per 2 years are welcome. Copyright ©2012 by Embarcadero Media Company. All rights reserved. Member, Mountain View Chamber of Commerce

NWHAT’S YOUR VIEW? All views must include a home address and contact phone number. Published letters will also appear on the web site,, and occasionally on the Town Square forum.

TOWN SQUARE FORUM Post your views on the Town Square forum at EMAIL your views to Indicate if it is a letter to be published. MAIL to: Editor Mountain View Voice, P.O. Box 405 Mountain View, CA 94042-0405 CALL the Viewpoint desk at 223-6507


Future of hospital’s salary-rollback in limbo


espite its clear victory in the Nov. 6 election, it isn’t entirely certain what the future holds for Measure M, the union-led initiative that says salaries of El Camino Hospital’s top executives shall be limited to no more than twice the governor’s pay ($347,974). Last week, the true purpose of the measure came into question after Kary Lynch, a shop steward for the Service Employees International Union at El Camino, told another newspaper that the initiative was merely a “bargaining chip” for the union and he predicted it would not be defended in court. Hospital CEO Tomi Ryba, whose current annual salary of about $700,000 a year, as well as several other high-ranking staff members, would face substantial pay cuts if the measure is allowed to stand. Union officials were quick to discount Lynch’s story, claiming the rollback was still important. Repeated efforts by the Voice to reach Lynch were not successful. All of this raises even more of a question over just how far the SEIU wants to go in defending the initiative in court against what we suspect will be a vigorous effort by the hospital to strike it down. So far, no decision on challenging the measure has been announced. Hospital officials contend that CEO salaries at hospitals the size of El Camino are set by the market, and that a reduced salary would severely handicap their ability to hire the best people to do the job. It has long been known that union members were irate when the hospital board slashed their health care benefits when they imposed the 2010 contract. It was only after the imposition of that contract that the petition drive to put Measure M on the ballot began. When Lynch characterized the measure as a “bargaining chip” in the ongoing battle between the SEIU and the hospital over wages and benefits, he provided evidence of what some have long NLETTERS VOICES FROM THE COMMUNITY

DISAPPOINTED WITH HOSPITAL MANAGEMENT The directors and managers of El Camino Hospital are probably wondering why some of us voted for Measure M. It’s simple. To replace the existing facility for both earthquake and technology issues, you convinced us we needed to pass a bond issue and spend years paying it back. You said there wasn’t money in the reserves to help pay for the project. After the new building was built, we still have the old one because there was not enough money to complete the project. However, you took money and

■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■ November 16, 2012

purchased a facility miles outside our district. Money that could have saved our families from having to pay as much for the bond in these tough times. After you spend a fortune on purchasing the Los Gatos facility and bring it up to date, you gave yourselves raises because you were now managing two facilities. Don’t you understand that Los Gatos is not part of our district and it’s not part of the area we are giving our tax money to support? We don’t want one penny of our tax money to have anything to do with this facility outside of our district nor any of Continued on next page

suspected — that Measure M has less to do with lofty principles of wage fairness and more to do with ensuring that the union gets what it wants from the hospital. If Measure M was indeed a retaliatory move, it was one that worked. The latest SEIU contract included a health care package that apparently satisfied the union. Now, it appears that the easiest way out for all parties is for the hospital to attack Measure M in court and for the SEIU to tactfully pull back from defending it.


Unions supported new board members

n prior years the unions rarely had a say in how the hospital was managed. But that will not be the case this time around with the election of two new members to the board who received substantial support from the South Bay Labor Council, an AFL-CIO affiliate. The council dished out more than $100,000 to back the three challengers, with winners David Chiu and Julia Miller each receiving $36,040 and Bill James, who finished out of the running, $35,813. In addition, Chiu and Miller each took in $2,500 from the SEIU. Incumbents John Zoglin, the top vote-getter, and Wes Alles, who failed to retain his seat, received $20,000 for their joint campaign from conservative Palo Alto resident Charles Munger, Jr., who is well known for his failed effort to halt Gov. Jerry Brown’s state Proposition 30. Chiu, an attorney who is knowledgeable about the regulations governing the hospital’s elected board and the operating board that actually conducts the hospital’s business, has said he will push for the district to share more of the taxes paid by local residents with local nonprofit groups. Although it is too soon to tell whether the newcomers will find allies on the full board, it does not appear that the next two years will be business as usual for El Camino.


the operating revenue from our facility used for it. Let’s figure out a way to get rid of that facility and protect the hospital we have and are paying for.

four-peat! With 25,000 runners expected this Thanksgiving, the Turkey Trot promises to be a festive morning. Please join me at the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot and run for health, hope and a home. For more information and to sign up please visit

Robert Hearn Los Altos

Margaret Abe-Koga City Council member

Continued from previous page



For the last four years, I’ve enjoyed starting Thanksgiving Day running the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot in San Jose. It’s been such a fantastic way to get some exercise before the great feast and to support wonderful local charities at the same time. Funds raised from the Turkey Trot are distributed to Second Harvest Food Bank, the Housing Trust of Santa Clara County, and Santa Clara County Children’s Health Foundation. These charities connect those in need with nutritious food, help provide more affordable housing opportunities, and help children access quality healthcare. Along with some of my colleagues on the City Council and city staff, I have participated in the Mayor’s Cup Challenge, a competition among cities. The City of Mountain View Team has prevailed as champions of the mid-sized cities for the last three years, so it’s time to

My 22-year-old son is one of the Iraq War vets being treated for severe PTSD at the Palo Alto VA. I cannot say enough good things about the staff helping my son. They are all great, dedicated and caring professionals. However, during my Veteran’s Day visit with my son I learned from one of the staff that the VA’s budget has been so severely cut that the VA cannot even afford to provide toothpaste, shampoo, socks, and basic T-shirts for the in-patient vets, especially those who will be long-term at that facility. If any given vet does not have family or friends nearby to see the vet on a regular basis, that vet will not get toothpaste, shampoo, socks, or T-shirts unless some Good Samaritan volunteer brings the items. My son is lucky because I am a devoted advocate for him. My son is not one of those vets who will be deprived of either his

basic needs or his medical and psychiatric needs there at the VA. I have a connection to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s office too, so my son is in good hands. But I feel very badly for all those vets at the Palo Alto VA who do not have someone from the outside taking care of their basic needs that the frustrated VA staff are unable to provide because their budgets have been chopped. I am planning to do a donation drive for those vets. Not money donations, but toothpaste, shampoo, socks (for winter), and basic T-shirts in all sizes. I call upon those in this community and neighboring communities — individuals, Google, Apple, HP, and so on — to join in to raise these inexpensive but greatly needed and greatly appreciated items for our deserving Iraq and Afghanistan vets at the Palo Alto VA. I heard President Obama give a speech today for Veteran’s Day, and he said we owe it to our war vets to make sure they have jobs, homes, and all the medical and psychiatric care they need. Well, Mr. President, how about some toothpaste, shampoo, socks, and T-shirts for our vets? Please contact me at my business email if you are interested in helping out with this drive: inventiondynamicsinc@gmail. com.






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■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■ November 16, 2012

Mountain View Voice 11.16.2012 - Section 1  

Section 1 of the November 16.2012 edition of the Mountain View Voice

Mountain View Voice 11.16.2012 - Section 1  

Section 1 of the November 16.2012 edition of the Mountain View Voice