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Commission wants to track jobs-housing ratio PLANNING PANEL HEARS PLENTY OF SAD STORIES AS IT TAKES UP NEXT HOUSING ELEMENT By Daniel DeBolt


ountain View’s plans to sharply widen the gap between job growth and housing growth, even while in the midst of a housing crisis, has spurred quite a bit of media coverage and public discussion in recent days.

On April 14 an article on went viral, linking the jobs-rich and housing-poor growth pattern seen in Mountain View and other Bay Area cities to the gentrification of San Francisco. It was titled “How Burrowing Owls Lead To Vomiting Anarchists (Or SF’s Housing Crisis Explained)” — referring

to how Mountain View City Council members refused to build housing in North Bayshore for Google employees two years ago, citing potential impacts to the rare burrowing owl — and how a protester drew attention to the situation by vomiting on the windshield of a Google employee shuttle.

Mountain View — as the article points out while citing the Voice’s reporting — is on track to develop space for more than 42,000 tech jobs in the coming years, and only a few thousand new homes. Writer Kim-Mai Cutler blames a striking lack of housing for Valley employees on the “NIMBY” culture (not in

my backyard) among politically powerful homeowner organizations who have blocked housing development in cities such as Mountain View and Palo Alto. She calls on Peninsula homeowners to “stop sitting in the background while the city’s See JOBS-HOUSING, page 13

Council to ask voters for a raise COUNCIL MEMBER PAY COULD GO FROM $600 TO $1,000 A MONTH, STILL SUB-MINIMUM WAGE By Daniel DeBolt


Thida Cornes embraces Nakoma on the front porch of her house on April 15. She says having a service dog changed her life.



akoma wagged her tail and wrapped her teeth around the pen. She passed it to Thida Cornes, who handed it back to this reporter. “Good girl, Komie,” Cornes said. “Sorry if it has a little bit of


spit on it now,” said her 11-yearold daughter Kerensa. Cornes, a member of the Mountain View Parks and Recreation Commission, has a rare movement disorder called myoclonic dystonia. Her new service dog, Nakoma, was given to her by Canine Companions for Independence.

Having a service dog has changed her life, she said. Canine Companions provided her with her first service dog, Tovi, in 2008. Since then, Tovi has retired, and she’s had Nakoma, a labrador-golden retriever mix, for three months. See SERVICE DOG, page 14


ity Council members voted Tuesday to trim down a proposed raise in pay for themselves, expressing fear that residents wouldn’t approve of a boost that would bring it up to minimum wage. At the April 22 meeting, the council decided to have city staff draft a measure for the November ballot to raise council member pay from $600 a month to $1,000 a month — not the previously proposed $1,200 — effective January 2015. For the first time, council pay would rise annually to reflect rising costs of living, tied either to the consumer price index or city employee cost of living adjustments, whichever is lower. Because of a 1984 ballot measure, the city’s charter prevents council members from approving a raise themselves, so the city’s voters must decide. Council members want what is effectively a decrease in pay compared to years past. If adjusted for inflation, Mountain View’s 1968 council pay of $250 a month would be $1,697 today; the $500 a month that voters approved in 1984 would be $1,137, according

to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ online calculator. Though they will leave the council before the raise goes into effect, members Jac Siegel, Margaret Abe-Koga, Ronit Bryant joined John Inks (who will remain) in blocking a higher raise for the council, including the three new council members to be elected in November. Siegel was the swing vote in the compromise amount of $1,000 a month (a raise to $800 was also discussed.) Citing concerns that those who work regular jobs cannot afford to be on the City Council, council members had previously said they want a pay raise to make the job attractive to a wider range of candidates. In November of last year, members voted 6-1 to begin drafting the raise, which John Inks opposed. “A group visiting us from Italy a few years ago asked how much we were paid and I told them — they were shocked,” said Bryant last November, advocating for the pay raise that she ended up wanting to trim down. “They said, ‘How do you get anyone See COUNCIL PAY, page 16 EXPLORE THE NEW

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The City of Mountain View Recreation Division’s 36th annual Downtown Family Parade will be held this Saturday, April 26, at noon. The parade will start on Castro Street at Villa Street and march into Pioneer Park, just behind City Hall at 500 Castro St., where there will be food and live entertainment. More than 50 local groups will be marching to this year’s theme, “Sail Into Summer!” The event coincides with Healthy Kids Day, and the El Camino YMCA will provide free children’s activities.

MEDICATION TAKE-BACK Too many old medications laying around? The Mountain View Fired Department has you covered. On Saturday, April 26, the department will be hosting a Prescription Drug Take Back Event in cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Residents will be able to dispose of prescription drugs that are expired, unused or otherwise unwanted. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., residents can drop off medications at the Police/Fire Administration Building at 100 Villa St. Both solid and liquid medications will be accepted. To reduce the amount of non-medication materials being incinerated, consolidate medications into one disposable bag and recycle the bottles at home. Intravenous solutions, injectibles and syringes See COMMUNITY BRIEFS, page 15


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■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■ April 25, 2014



Council OK’s plan to allow dogs in parks By Daniel DeBolt



EARTH DAY FOR BURROWING OWLS ... AND SPIDER-MEN There were some notable volunteers helping with a project to restore burrowing owl habitat at Shoreline Park on Monday, April 21, including Jamie Foxx, who chatted with Mayor Chris Clark, and fellow cast members from the new Amazing Spider-Man movie. Roughly 100 people from Google volunteered for the early Earth Day project, according to Google spokeswoman Veronica Bell. That’s not including the contingent from Hollywood: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan and Marc Webb.

Superintendent: Reopening WhismanSlater area school ‘a given’ HUGE RESIDENT TURNOUT SUPPORTS BRINGING BACK A WHISMAN-SLATER SCHOOL By Kevin Forestieri


arents and kids alike came out in big numbers Thursday night to show support for reopening an elementary school in the Whisman and Slater neighborhoods. Well exceeding the 50 seats provided, and likely breaking a maximum occupancy rule, neighborhood residents showed up at the April 17 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting in a show of public support for bringing back a school to what they say is an under-served area of Mountain View. They got a good response for their efforts. After the presentation, Superintendent Craig Goldman told parents that opening a school in the area is not just on the table; it’s going to happen. “From my perspective, the opening of a school in the SlaterWhisman neighborhood is a given. It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when,” Goldman said. Since the closure of Slater elementary school in 2006, the northeastern “quadrant” of the

city, roughly the area between highways 85, 237 and 101, has gone without a neighborhood elementary school. The area is instead sliced up so parents have to drive their kids to four different elementary schools across the city. And while the the closure of both Whisman and Slater schools was an important sacrifice to stay within the budget for the school district, representatives from the Whisman and Slater neighborhood associations say the district has the money, the elementary student population is rising fast, and it’s high time an school be brought back into the neighborhood. Greg Coladonato, president of the Slater Neighborhood Association, said he was thrilled with the turnout, and that the board seemed to show interest in the ideas they had for reopening the school. “We really brought reality to the board, and showed we had the support,” Coladonato said. Parents from the neighborhood spoke to the board stressing the need for a school in their

neighborhood, and assured the board that they would switch to an elementary school their area. “If a neighborhood school was to reopen in the Slater-Whisman area, I would sign up both of my boys today,” said Greg Chapin at the meeting. Others voiced concern to the board about the impacts of not having an elementary school in the community. “We have a cul-de-sac in our neighborhood that literally has three families with children that don’t know each other,” said Soosh Gandhi, former president of the North Whisman Neighborhood Association. “They don’t go to school together, they don’t play together. It’s really tough to build the community.” The board mulled over the idea of hiring a professional demographer to update the studies on student population across the district, and considered a survey for whether parents would send their kids to a school in their neighborhood. Jessica Gandhi, president of See SCHOOL RE-OPEN, page 15

ity Council members decided to let dogs go off-leash in numerous city parks Tuesday, legalizing something that many residents at Tuesday’s council meeting confessed that they were already doing. “I’ve been studying this issue for about eight years and I have found that it works very well,” said council member John McAlister, who said he used to bring his dog to Cooper Park every morning where a group of residents said they haven’t had any conflicts or issues with letting their dogs off-leash during a regular time every morning, from 8:30 a.m. to about 10 a.m., despite the fact it wasn’t legal. “I used to be part of the group but my dog passed away last Wednesday,” McAlister said, his voice breaking up. “I can no longer enjoy the crowd but I see great benefit in this.” The council ended up voting 5-2 to allow dogs off leash at several parks for a one year trial: at Cooper, Bubb, McKelvey and Eagle parks Monday through Friday from 6 a.m to 10 a.m.; at Whisman park seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 5 p.m. to a half a hour past sunset; at the Cuesta “dog training area” seven days a week from sunrise to sunset; and at the Cuesta Annex seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Council members Chris Clark and Ronit Bryant opposed the plan, proposed by McAlister, because of the inclusion of the Cuesta Annex. It’s a place where

Bryant noted that a rare great Blue Heron hunts, and that she’d prefer if the city consulted with wildlife preservationists before allowing off-leash dogs there. A representative of the Audubon Society said there wouldn’t likely be an issue, but declined to go on record about it. Council members said that having posted times for dogs to run off-leash could prevent conflict with residents who would like to avoid dogs. “I’m also a dog owner and I have the cutest dog imaginable but not everyone likes him,” Bryant said. “We do need to respect that fact that not everyone” wants to be around dogs. Dogs do bite, members said. Council members rejected a recommendation from the Parks and Recreation Commission to build two new fenced parks, one at a parcel along Shoreline Boulevard near Eagle Park (costing up to $40,000), and another at Rengstorff Park costing $30,000. Both would have been be simple, fenced-in areas with a water fountain. Council members balked at the cost and at using up more space at Rengstorff, and residents complained that it wasn’t a good idea to have dogs along busy Shoreline Boulevard. The Parks and Recreation Commission recommended only two new off-leash areas, one at Whisman Park and another at Cuesta Park. A resident complained that many more parks were originally proposed for off-leash areas, such as Thaddeus Park in the Monta Loma neighborhood, but the See DOG PARKS, page 9

Vote for the Best of Mountain View Mountain View Voice readers have great taste, and that’s why we seek their expertise every summer as we search for the best our city has to offer. From book stores to bakeries, boutiques to body shops, we’re asking you to single out the best restaurants, the best retailers, the best services and the best places to have fun. Easy online voting starts Friday, April 25. To find the online ballot, go to our home page, Vote for at least five categories by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 1. Be sure to activate your ballot by responding to a confirmation email, and you will be entered into a prize drawing. Prize winners will be contacted via email after voting ends. If you can’t find your favorites in the drop-down menus, submit them as write-in votes. Write-in votes help new businesses qualify for next year’s ballot.

April 25, 2014 ■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■



Council worries about Google’s terms for fiber network By Daniel DeBolt


ouncil members expressed concern Tuesday about some unusual requests from Google as it proposes the logistics for building its highspeed Google fiber network in Mountain View. The city’s largest employer is proposing a relatively inexpensive and fast Internet service for Mountain View residents which is already being rolled out in Kansas City and Provo, Utah. While it sounds like a nice idea, council members weren’t so pleased with a number of requests Google has made for the network as its proposal was laid out by city staff Tuesday, including a rigid timeline, a potentially unfair process for determining where to build the network, numerous “box” structures around town, and a request to submit “plans with less detail than normally required” for such a project, such as “no site specific traffic-control plans.” “This is a ‘take it or leave it’ approach, rather than saying, ‘Let’s work together, tell us what your concerns are,’ and come up with a mutually acceptable solu-


tion,” said council member Jac Siegel said of Google. “I don’t like their modus operandi at all.” After wrestling with the possible consequences, the council voted 6-0 with Margaret AbeKoga absent to move ahead with the project, and have city staff respond to a 17-page checklist Google wants by May 1. With 33 other cities doing the same thing, Google may or may not decided to build the network, negotiations for which were part of an announcement that Google would turn off most of its free WiFi system in Mountain View, leaving only an improved downtown setup. “If the City Council decided to pass on fiber in MV, there would be hell to pay with residents,” said council member Mike Kasperzak, who blamed the city’s dismal Internet service on a lack of competition. AT&T happened to announce this week that it would roll out a similar service in Mountain View soon, among other places. Google Fiber could bring residents a speed similar to what most enjoy now (5 megabyte a second) for no monthly fee (Comcast now charges anywhere

■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■ April 25, 2014

from $30 a month to more than $70 for that) but there would be a one-time $300 construction fee. Ultra-fast Internet (1 gigabyte per second) would cost $70 a month or $120 a month if it includes TV services. One resident complained at the meeting about suffering from Comcast’s “terribly slow Internet” for seven years.

‘If the City Council decided to pass on fiber in MV, there would be hell to pay.’ COUNCILMAN MIKE KASPERZAK

It was also revealed that if Google follows practices in Provo or Kansas City, Mountain View would be divided into “fiberhoods” of 200 to 250 residents, said Mayor Chris Clark. The fiber-hoods that have residents that speak up in public meetings (in Mountain View, that has traditionally been neighborhoods of homeowners) will get access

to the new Internet service first, Clark said. It was unclear whether that would mean whole apartment complexes, homes and streets could go without Google fiber if property owners didn’t act in time. City Manager Dan Rich said he believed apartment complexes would see an “all or nothing” situation but Clark disagreed, saying the service would be run to every complex and that residents could then choose to use it, like cable access now. A Google representative wasn’t there to answer which scenario was correct. “The fact that Google isn’t here tonight makes me wonder if this is worthwhile pursuing,” said council member John Inks. It is expected that Google will install up to three “network huts” around town to distribute the “network ring” that will run around the city. Each of the windowless, 1,400-square-foot huts would go on yet-to -be selected piece of public land, which Google would lease (Google wants the lease agreements in advance, though no sites have been selected). There would also be about 100 smaller network

boxes placed along the city’s streets, which are silent, require no electricity and could be painted different colors. Google would also run most of the network on overhead wires, except on streets where utilities are underground, said public works director Mike Fuller. “I always have concern about big boxes and endless wires hanging from our poles,” said council member Ronit Bryant. Google has said “this is ideal,” Jensen said of their entire proposal, but “if there is something we can’t meet or is unreasonable to let them know. It hasn’t been an all-or-nothing process.” Council candidate Jim Neal said “I can’t believe the city is (considering Google’s proposal) for one second. In Provo (Google) cut down trees and ruptured a gas line. We are going to have stumps allover Mountain View if they get their way.” The project may be subject to California’s environmental law, CEQA, which could delay the project if an environmental impact report is required. Email Daniel DeBolt at


Schools, police work to make a safer commute for kids SCHOOL PROGRAM ENCOURAGES CHILDREN TO BIKE AND WALK TO SCHOOL By Kevin Forestieri


typical commute to school can be a hectic scene. Parents, often on a tight schedule, swerve through traffic two minutes before class so they can double or triple-park and send their kids to school just in time to head to work. Drivers plow right through intersections and crosswalks at pick-up and drop-off times everyday across elementary schools in Mountain View. And while the kids might make it to class before the bell rings, this all happens at the cost of child safety, according to leaders of a traffic safety group in Mountain View. “It’s like trying to cross 880 at the busiest time of day,” said Pat Hines, founder and executive director of Safe Moves, a nonprofit organization dedicated to traffic safety education. That’s why Hines, working with the Vehicle Emissions Reductions Based at Schools Program (VERBS), developed maps to show parents the safest routes their kids can walk or bike to school, including the location of cross walks, stop signs, and stop lights. Hines said they walked and biked every possible route to schools across the city for months to develop the maps, Monday through Friday in good and bad weather, and took into account traffic at intersections and the number of trucks on the road. The maps were reviewed by the Mountain View Police Department, parents, and a city engineer. While the maps are a result of rigorous testing, Hines said they will continue to change, and should be updated as routes change with construction and development. At the Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting, she told parents to take part in the map-making process and take the routes themselves. “It is a work in progress. We want to be receptive to new changes and new traffic patterns as development continues in the city of Mountain View,” Hines said. The map will be available online and in hard copy in English, Spanish and other languages, and will also be on the Mountain View Police Department website. Hines said she plans to hang large, “oversized” printed maps in school offices across the district for parents to come in, look at the routes and

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This map of Castro School shows the safest routes, locations of crossing guards and crosswalks, and green clocks signifying meeting points where groups of walkers and cyclists can go to school together.

make suggestions. “We’re really proud of the maps. We hope that it gives parents some confidence to let their children walk and ride their bikes to school, and be a part of the community again,” Hines said. Hines said the program has worked closely with the Mountain View Police Department in the effort to beef up traffic safety around schools. This week the police department is participating in “Operation Safe Passage” 2014, a week-long campaign where police focus on increased traffic enforcement around schools during pick-up and drop-off hours. The police department website will also have safety tips for drivers as well as students who walk home from school. Operation Safe Passage runs from Monday, April 21, through Friday, April 25. Hines said these kinds of campaigns are effective for public outreach, and notifying the public that law enforcement is watching can curb poor driving habits. The Mountain View Police Department is dedicated to safety around schools, she said. The maps for safe routes to school and the traffic enforcement are just two of the ways Hines and the “VERBS” program are encouraging parents and students to bike or walk to school instead of driving, which would cut down on the number

of cars during pick-up and dropoff times and reduce the risk of collisions. Hines said there’s safety in numbers when it comes to kids’ commute — the more kids that walk and bike to school, the safer it will be for them. Hines said one of the biggest reasons parents drive their kids to school is because everything turns into a time crunch in the morning, and there’s such a rush to get kids to school on time that there’s no window of opportunity to bike or walk to school. Often the most crowded, scary time to commute to school is the four or five minutes before the bell rings. Hines said the solution is a behavioral change. She said parents need to leave a 15 to 20 minute window to get to school, and make a concerted effort the night before to get things ready ahead of time to eliminate crunch time. May 7 is the official Bike to School Day, but Hines said schools in Mountain View will be celebrating during the entire month of May. Schools will choose different days to designate their own “Bike to School Day,” and the class at each school with the most bicyclists will be rewarded with a party with treats from a bike-powered smoothie machine. Other events include the “Anything But a Car Day,” at Graham Middle School on May 13. Email Kevin Forestieri at

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Continued from page 5


commission removed them from the proposed trial program. All but two of the approved parks (Whisman and Eagle) are south of El Camino Real. One resident used expletives to describe the city’s only official dog park, far removed from residences at the north end of Shoreline Boulevard, saying that the crushed granite surface hurts dogs paws. The city also has a new dog park at the Merlone Geier’s “Village at San Antonio� development on San Antonio Road, which is open to the public. National statistics indicate that Mountain View should have two dog parks, while a survey of 30 Bay Area cities found that most cities have “at least one dog park, and the vast majority are fenced,� said parks and open space manager Bruce Hurlburt. Menlo Park, San Carlos and Foster City all have off-leash dog programs in city parks. Council members asked if the new time limits would be enforced and City Manager Dan Rich said that, like most things, it would be on complaint basis. “We don’t have the resources to be out there every day,� he said.

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Diego “Jimmy� Gomez, a lifelong resident of Mountain View, died on April 21, at the age of 88. He enlisted in the United States Navy at the age of 17 and was stationed on the USS Enterprise during World War II. He was a firefighter for the city of Mountain View, retiring after a 25-year career. He coached baseball for the city for 10 years in Little League, Babe Ruth and Sr. Babe Ruth, and was a member of the Palo Alto Elks Lodge, F.O.E. and the Western Anglers, his family said. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Frances; son Frank and daughters Jamie Dillon, and Carolyn Alban; siblings Annie Morales and John Gomez; grandchildren Barry, Shannon, Matt, Jimmy, Jeff, Mary, Samantha, Jamie and Erin; and great-grandchildren Lilly, Brian, Sophia, Isabella, Evan, Natalia, Maeve and Cheyenne. A vigil service will be held on Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m. Visitations begin at 6 p.m. at Cusimano Family Colonial Mortuary, 96 W. El Camino Real, Mountain View. A funeral service will be held on Monday, April 28 at 10 a.m. at Cusimano’s mortuary chapel. Interment will be at Santa Clara Mission Cemetery, Santa Clara. Please view/sign guestbook at Mountain View Voice ■ ■ 9

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■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■ April 25, 2014


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High school wrestling program a no-go SCHOOL, DISTRICT CITE LACK OF INDOOR ATHLETIC FACILITIES By Kevin Forestieri


local effort to bring the wrestling program back to Mountain View High School looks to be a no-go, at least for now. While school administrators showed interest in renewing the high school wrestling program, the school does not have the indoor athletic facilities required to make it happen, according to Bob Capriles, a parent who spearheaded the campaign to bring back wrestling. “We simply do not have the safe and appropriate space to accommodate wrestling,� Capriles said. Mountain View High School is the only high school in Santa Clara County that does not have a wrestling program. On top of that, the two feeder schools for Mountain View High School — Blach and Graham — have some of the most robust wrestling programs in the district, making it a difficult transition for students who want to continue wrestling. Capriles started his effort to bring back wrestling by talking to parents, teachers and coaches at Blach and Graham Middle Schools. He got feedback from the wrestling coaches at both the schools, as well as the principal at Graham, to see if there was a real interest to start a wrestling program at Mountain View High School. Capriles said he got a lot of support from the Sports Boost-

ers club that promotes and helps fund athletic programs at the high school. He said Mike Johnson, president of the Sports Boosters, has been instrumental in the effort to bring back wrestling, and pushed him to make a dedicated effort to bring back the program. To bring back wrestling, the school needs to do two things: get funding for the equipment to start a wrestling team, and find a facility to house it. Capriles estimated they would need about $12,000 to $13,000 to get the program up and running, and from there the costs would be minimal. But even though the athletic budget at Mountain View High School is tight, the real problem was still finding an indoor facility. Capriles said he met with Dave Grissom, the principal at Mountain View High School, as well as Barry Groves, the superintendent of the Mountain View Los Altos School District, to look at the different options and see how feasible it was to start a wrestling program. They considered a wide range of possibilities, from using the Alta Vista Multipurpose Room, and even the cafeteria at Mountain View High School. Capriles said the cafeteria posed a number of safety issues, like the large glass windows that wrestlers could easily crash into. They also had to consider where they could store the equipment and wrestling mats. Capriles said it was clear after

meetings with the school and district administrators that a wrestling program at Mountain View High School was not going to happen anytime soon. The wrestling program has been discontinued for a long time, which is part of the problem. Capriles said he estimates that wrestling was discontinued at Mountain View High school as far back as the late 1980s. Mountain View High School isn’t the only school struggling to find the athletic facilities for its teams. Capriles said Los Altos High School doesn’t have the field space for a lacrosse team, and there’s only one gymnastics facility in the entire district. In his meeting with the superintendent, Capriles ruled out the possibility of funding for new athletic facilities through a bond measure. Groves said a bond measure to improve athletic facilities is not likely to pass. Measure A, a 2010 bond measure to improve academic facilities, was successful because it helps all students on the campus rather than just the students participating in sports programs. It also had an academic focus, which Groves said is a priority for the district. And Capriles said he understands that academics should come first. He said that he was disappointed, but that the school is taking the right course of action at this time.

May Day march for immigration reform By Daniel DeBolt


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â– Mountain View Voice â– â–  April 25, 2014

n preparing for what is becoming an annual event, organizers of Mountain View’s May Day march for immigration reform are seeking to ride a wave of momentum. “More people are convinced that immigration reform is really badly needed,� said Day Worker Center director Maria Marroquin. “There is more awareness about needing to stop deportations.� Last year’s event drew 600 participants through a network of churches concerned about the issue. Organizers include residents Sylvia Villasenor, Job Lopez and Lupe Garcia, and the event is backed by several Catholic Church leaders, the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center and several elected offiicals. The march starts at Rengstorff Park at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 1, and ends with a rally in front of City Hall. Marroquin said there is now an effort to have President Barack Obama sign a second executive order to give temporary relief to

undocumented immigrants, this time to parents of the “DREAMers� who were given temporary relief by a 2011 executive order allowing immigrants age 30 or younger who were brought here before they were 15, to go to college and apply for citizenship, among other things. Executive orders, however, don’t allow undocumented immigrants to vote, Marroquin said. “We are part of this community and we should be able to vote on local issues,� Marroquin said. Resident Desmond Brand recently wrote to the Voice to highlight the frustration residents like himself have with not being able to vote. He pointed to a set of numbers that the group includes a a surprising number of Mountain View residents. According to the U.S. Census data from 2008 to 2012, 37.9 percent of the city’s population was foreign born. If the national average rate that immigrants become citizens (45 percent in 2011) holds true for Mountain View, it could mean that 15,600 of Mountain

View’s 75,000 residents are not citizens and can’t vote. That is of consequence to residents including Brand, who said he was interested in seeing the city’s housing crisis corrected. Brand and others won’t be able to vote for City Council candidates in November or vote for a minimum wage increase (if the City Council choses to put such an initiative on the ballot in November) both of which will have disproportionate impact on undocumented residents. This year’s council election could tilt the council towards finally allowing adequate housing growth in the city, reducing rent hikes that are now displacing lower income residents in disproportionate numbers. Marroquin noted that there is one city that has decided to stop disenfranchising immigrants, Maryland’s Takoma Park, which enacted legislation 20 years ago allowing non-U.S. citizens to vote in city elections. Email Daniel DeBolt at

-PDBM/FXT Continued from page 1

workers, the poor, the elderly and its young duke it out in this ugly charade. While there are some tech workers who do strike it rich, most just have salaries and would love to raise families in the Bay Area just as you did when you came here years ago. The Bay Area risks becoming a victim of its own success if it can’t make more room (for homes). At this point, blocking individual housing developments to protect your views is tantamount to generational theft.� While San Francisco’s gentrification protesters have yet to lay siege on Mountain View’s City Council for refusing to build housing for Google workers, there was an observable shift in the public discussion of the issue at last week’s Environmental Planning Commission meeting. The commission voted unanimously to come up with a set of indicators to track the city’s housing-jobs imbalance, and to conduct another nexus study in order to raise housing impact fees on commercial and residential development. Skyrocketing rents Instead of the usual protests of housing development and its effects on traffic and parking, at the commission meeting there were many pleas from residents for the city to do something about skyrocketing rents. The comments came as commissioners considered a new housing element for the city, a document that serves as a blueprint for meeting the city’s housing needs from 2015 to 2022. Bubb elementary school PTA member Ravit Ortiz detailed the effects on her daughter’s first grade class at Bubb. “There are two families whose children are sleeping on the floor just to be part of our school system, which really just isn’t acceptable,� Ortiz said. “We are losing two nurses at El Camino hospital (parents of kids at Bubb) who will be leaving because at the end of the school year they will not be able to afford to live here. Our teacher is going to be leaving as well due to the commute and because there is no housing that is available for teachers or police officers or people who give to the community.� Ortiz added, “We just lost our neighbors because their rent went up by $1,000. I don’t know how that’s legal.� The affects of the housing crisis on the middle class are significant, residents say. Ortiz told the Voice that she and her Google-employed husband were also considering leaving the city

because of housing costs. John Scarborough, a 12-year resident, told the commission, “I’m one of the lucky ones who makes a fairly good salary but it’s not enough to buy a house here. We need to do something. It’s a question of sustainability.� “Prop. 13 gave stability to home owners; we need to provide stability to renters,� said Edie Keating, reading a list of comments from residents surveyed at a local Unitarian church. Shifting public sentiment Commissioner Kathy Trontell noted the shift in the public sentiment compared to the last time the city discussed a new housing element in 2006, when council members cried foul that they were given an F grade for not meeting the city’s “Regional Housing Needs Allocation� — a number set by the Association of Bay Area Governments that must be met in every Peninsula city’s housing element. The city was asked — not required — to approve zoning to potentially allow the construction of at least 3,423 units between 1999 and 2006 — but only 1,267 received permits. “There was time not that long ago when folks believed we needed to argue against the ABAG numbers,� Trontell said. “There’s been such a change that reality has caught up to us.� People aren’t complaining this time that “no one can tell us how densely we can build our community. We have a terrible imbalance in our community. ABAG is not the point. It’s about what do we do to make it feasible to maintain the diversity and

the vitality that we have in our community.� Given the number of new jobs anticipated for the city, ABAG’s “regional housing needs allocation� for Mountain View was underwhelming this time around. Mountain View is being asked to allow the construction of 2,926 homes in the next seven years for residents of various income levels, including 819 homes for very low income households, 492 for low income households and 527 for moderate income households. EPC chair Robert Cox agreed with the sentiment expressed by most at the EPC meeting, saying, “This is the key issue that we have that we’re facing here in the city of Mountain View.� “We have a crisis on our hands and we need to move as quickly as we can,� said Commissioner Todd Fernandez. Cox noted day worker Job Lopez’s remarks that it would be more meaningful if the commission were called the “environmental planning and social justice commission.� “As Mr. Lopez said, social justice is important,� Cox said. “Even our biggest employer has said they aren’t here to do any evil. So they can be part of the solution, too.� EPC member Lisa Matichak, who is now also running for City Council, raised a common criticism about the city’s jobshousing imbalance that has been raised many times in the past — “(It’s) a regional issue, it’s not a city by city issue. I think it’s kind of unrealistic to come up with a goal there.� Resident Aldona Marjorek

disagreed, saying “I still don’t understand how we can have such an imbalance. I don’t think it’s fair to the whole Bay Area community.� Subsidized housing At the EPC meeting, residents called for the city to up its efforts to build subsidized housing for the service industry employees. It’s said that between two and five such employees are created for every office tech job, depending on which expert you ask. To that end, residents said they wanted higher housing impact fees charged to apartment developers who are likely making a big profit on rents as high as $8,000 a month for a two-bedroom apartment, as seen at Mountain View’s new Madera complex. The city is now asking only 4.6 percent of a proposed apartment project’s value go towards such fees to pay for subsidized housing, which is “really behind the times� compared to other cities, said Dona Yobbs of the local chapter of the League of Women Voters. “The only way you make housing affordable to people earning under $50,000 a year is by subsidizing it,� said Kevin Zwick, CEO of the Housing Trust Silicon Valley, in an interview with Seth Shostak for the online talk show “Silicon Valley Buzz� on April 2, in which Palo Alto council member Liz Kniss and Mountain View council member John Inks also discussed the housing crisis. “In the last year, Silicon Valley created about 42,000 new jobs but we only permitted 7,500 housing units for all income lev-

els. And that’s been going on for 20 to 30 years and that’s what’s creating the unaffordability,� Zwick said. Lenny Siegel, the leader of the Campaign for a Balanced Mountain View, was skeptical of the housing element, and not just because it says Mountain View had only 47,800 jobs in 2010. According the Employment Development department and previous reports from city staff, the number is now closer to 68,000, while the city has about 34,000 homes. “You can’t solve a problem if your data is way off.� he said in an email. “The programs in the housing element are going to be washed away in a tsunami of new employment unless we do a better job of putting our jobs and housing into balance,� Siegel said at the EPC meeting. While some would like to see the city’s 2:1 ratio of jobs to homes come down to a 1:1 ratio, “I’m not that optimistic,� Siegel said. “ I’d just like to see the city adopt a ratio, say from 2010 or 2011,� and make it a goal of not going beyond it. “Mountain View needs to set a goal to prevent our jobs-housing balance from getting worse, and if we don’t, more people will be driven out of town, more (adults) will be living with their parents and more kids will be sleeping on the floor.� City staff said they would come up with several “indicators� to help track the problem for the commission and the City Council to consider. Email Daniel DeBolt at

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April 25, 2014 â– Mountain View Voice â– â– 



-PDBM/FXT SERVICE DOG Continued from page 1

2014 Sat. & Sun. May 3 & 4 Downtown Mtn. View Volunteers are needed for 3½ hour shifts to pour wine, beer, sodas, margaritas and sell tokens and glassware. Volunteers receive a free t-shirt and non-alcoholic drink coupon. Teams of couples, families, and friends are welcome.

Call 650-964-3395 or email


COUNCIL NEIGHBORHOODS COMMITTEE Neighborhood Meeting with the SAN ANTONIO/RENGSTORFF/ DEL MEDIO AREA Mariano Castro Elementary school 505 Escuela Avenue May 1, 2014 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. The City of Mountain View Council Neighborhoods Committee will be hosting a neighborhood meeting for residents in the San Antonio/Rengstorff/Del Medio area on May 1, 2014, at 7:30 p.m. (area designated on the map below). The Neighborhood Meeting will be an open forum to discuss: s7HATWOULDYOULIKETOSEECHANGEDINYOURNEIGHBORhood? s(OW CAN THE #ITY WORK WITH YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD TO MAKEITABETTERPLACETOLIVE 4HISISANOPPORTUNITYTOMAKEADIFFERENCEINTHEFUTURE of your neighborhood and express your thoughts about WAYSTOIMPROVEOURCOMMUNITY&ORFURTHERINFORMATION PLEASECALLTHE#ITYS.EIGHBORHOOD0RESERVATION$IVIsion at (650) 903-6379.

San Antonio/Rengstorff Area/Del Medio


â– Mountain View Voice â– â–  April 25, 2014

Eight years ago, Cornes was seeking out a service dog for her son, Torin Fu, who was 2 years old and had unrelated special needs. She contacted Canine Companions, an organization dedicated to providing people with disabilities with free service dogs. She soon found out that her son was too young to apply for one. The minimum age is 5. However, after speaking with a representative from Canine Companions, Cornes realized that

she could benefit from having a service dog herself. Her struggle with the disorder made it difficult for her to walk and pick things up, so she applied for a dog. “Being a mom, I was thinking about my son and not about what a dog would do for me. I just didn’t realize how much a dog would change my life,� Cornes said. Before getting a service dog, Cornes said she would sprain her ankle about once a year, fall over weekly and occasionally even break her toes. Cornes said she has suffered from myoclonic dystonia since birth. Dystonia causes muscles to

Attention: Google Mountain View WiFi Users Mountain View has been a great home to Google, and to the thousands of Googlers who live here. That’s why we’re working with city leaders to provide better WiFi in several outdoor locations throughout Mountain View. The original Google WiFi network is old and doesn’t work well. So, on May 3rd, we are going to shut down the old network and start building a brand new public, outdoor WiFi network along the Castro Street corridor. We appreciate your patience while we build the new network.

contract and spasm involuntarily, and a myoclonus is an involuntary jerking of muscles. Her condition makes it hard for her to walk and pick things up. Originally, she thought that she just had weak ankles, but soon found out that this was not the case. Now, Nakoma assists Cornes with proprioception, or the sense of the relative position of different parts of the body,†and is able to assist her in walking. Nakoma stays only six inches away from Cornes when she walks, and keeps her from falling over like she used to when changing surfaces. Nakoma picks things up for her, opens and closes the refrigerator door and is being taught to press crosswalk buttons. “Having an assistance dog has changed my life. I have a movement disorder and it’s not always obvious what my needs are,� Cornes said. People have also become more aware that that she has a disability and are kinder to her after she received her service dog, Cornes said. “People would stare at me and wonder if I was on drugs or something. Now that I have a dog, people are much more understanding,� she said. On top of being life-changing for Cornes, Nakoma also brings joy to her whole family. Nakoma takes her job very seriously and avoids other dogs when she knows she is working, but loves to play with Cornes’ two children when she is off-duty. “(Canine Companions) thought that the people might want more work-focused dogs, but they realized that people actually like (playing with the dogs). So, they taught the next generation how to play fetch. Now I can play fetch with Nakoma. It’s really fun,� Kerensa said. “They’re an amazing organization. I’ve been with them for seven years, and they’re really very caring. They’ve really enabled me to figure out not only how I can use a dog but supported me as my needs have changed and my dogs have changed,� Cornes said. Canine Companions relies on individual donors, foundation grants and corporate giving for funding. “The best part of working for Canine Companions is seeing the amazing ways that our dogs impact our graduates Being a part of helping someone achieve greater independence is very special,� said Angie Schacht, Canine Companions’ Development Associate. Canine Companions will be participating in Silicon Valley Gives, a 24-hour charity event taking place on May 6, and attendees can make donations to the organization. For information on Canine Companions, go to or call (707) 577-1700.

-PDBM/FXT SCHOOL RE-OPEN Continued from page 5

the North Whisman Neighborhood Association, said the board should keep in mind that kids in second grade and above are likely too old to benefit from a reopened school. Gandhi said the focus should be on kids in first grade and below, and that there are big incoming numbers to watch out for. According to a district demographer study, the Whisman and Slater neighborhoods have 611 elementary students, and that number is expected to grow to 723 by 2017-18. But Ellen Wheeler, a board member for the Mountain View Whisman School district, said they want to know more than just the number of students. “Of those 600 people, how many of them would choose to go to a neighborhood school?” Wheeler said. “If it’s 100 people, that’s not a neighborhood school. If it’s 400 people, that is a neighborhood school.” Goldman said he has been in support of opening a school in the Whisman neighborhood for some time, and that his announcement during the meeting that it was “just a matter of when” is not a sudden change in attitude. He said if the board and the district administration consider opening a new campus, they need to take into account the number of elementary school students in the neighborhood, which sits at 611 as of 201213, as well as the district-wide numbers. “District-wide enrollment has been fairly flat,” Goldman said. “There’s not a lot of growth.” Goldman also agreed with Wheeler that they need to assess what impact re-opening a school will have on neighboring schools. He said opening a school may provide some relief for schools at or over capacity, but a big change in attendance could result in another school closure. Email Kevin Forestieri at


The Mountain View City Council has scheduled a study session for Tuesday, April 29, 2014 to consider the Fiscal Year 2014-15 recommended budgets for the General Operating Fund, Building/ Development Services, Shoreline Golf Links, Shoreline Regional Park Community, Water, Wastewater and Solid Waste Management Funds, including recommended utility rate adjustments, City Reserves and related fee recommendations. The study session is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. or as soon thereafter as the matter can be heard, in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 500 Castro Street, Mountain View. If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like the City Council and staff to know your views, please send a letter to the City Council at P.O. Box 7540, Mountain View, CA 94039 or an e-mail to city. by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 28, 2014. The report will be available on Friday, April 25, 2014 on the City’s website at aspx?dbid=0 Copies of the report will be available for review by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 25, 2014 at City Hall in the City Clerk’s Office, 500 Castro Street, 3rd floor, Mountain View, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and during public hours at the Mountain View Public Library, 585 Franklin Street, Mountain View. City of Mountain View Fiscal Year 2014-15 Budget Schedule remaining (tentative): April 29 Study Session: Fiscal Year 2014-15 Narrative Budget Report – General Operating Fund, Other General, Special and Utility Enterprise Funds, Reserves, and General Operating Fund Long Range Financial Forecast May 18

REGIONAL WATER BOARD AND EPA BEGIN FOURTH FIVE-YEAR REVIEW OF CLEANUP AT TWO SUPERFUND SITES: TELEDYNE SEMICONDUCTOR 1300 Terra Bella Avenue; Mountain View, California and SPECTRA-PHYSICS, INC. 1250 Middlefield Road; Mountain View, California The California Regional Water Quality Control Board San Francisco Bay Region (Regional Water Board) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are conducting a review of cleanup actions at the Teledyne Semiconductor and the Spectra-Physics Superfund Site, both located in Mountain View California. The review will evaluate whether the cleanup actions for the Site remain protective of human health and the environment. This is the fourth Five-Year Review for the Teledyne Semiconductor and the Spectra-Physics Superfund Site. During this upcoming review process, the Regional Water Board and EPA will study site-specific information for the period between 2009 and 2014, and will evaluate the Site’s remedial protectiveness. The Regional Water Board and EPA’s project managers conducted facility inspections and will talk with company representatives, other regulatory authorities, and interested members of the public. The methods, findings and conclusions from the review will be documented in the FiveYear Review to be issued by Fall 2014 and will be placed in the information repositories listed below. The major chemicals of concern are trichloroethene (TCE) and its breakdown chemicals. To remediate the soil-TCE contamination at the Spectra-Physics properties, the responsible party excavated the source area and operated a soil vapor extraction system until TCE removal rates were too low justify continued operation, To clean up groundwater-TCE contamination at the Teledyne property, the responsible party operated on- and off-property groundwater pump and treat systems. The on-property was shut down to accommodate an innovative remedial technology. To address potential vapor intrusion impacts on indoor air, indoor air evaluations are currently ongoing at certain residential and commercial properties near the Site. The Regional Water Board and EPA invite the community to learn more about this review process and provide input about progress of the clean-up. One way to get involved is to contact Regional Water Board Project Manager Roger Papler at (510) 622-2435, or or Alejandro Diaz, Community Involvement Coordinator, at (415) 972-3242 or You can obtain further site information at the following Regional Water Board’s website at: http:// Enter the unique Case/Global ID numbers for this Site, which is SL721281224 and 721201221. Then click on “Report”, then on “Geo Report/Site Documents” link under the Electronic Submittals heading. You may also review the report and other Site documents at the Regional Water Board offices at: 1515 Clay Street, Suite 1400, Oakland, CA 94612 – phone (510) 622-2300.

Study Session: Fiscal Year 2014-15 Proposed Capital Improvement Program

June 10 Public Hearing: Proposed Budget June 17 Public Hearings: Proposition 218 rate hearing, CIP Adoption and Budget Adoption

NCOMMUNITY BRIEFS Continued from page 4

will not be accepted. The event will be completely anonymous and no questions will be asked. If you are unable to attend the event but wish to dispose of prescription drugs, visit www. savesf —Kayla Layaoen April 25, 2014 ■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■



Mary S. Brabant June 24, 1931 – April 17, 2014


Mary Sullivan Brabant passed away peacefully on April 17. She was born Mary Teresa Sullivan on June 24, 1931, in Detroit. Her parents, Michael Joseph Sullivan from Lacca, County Kerry, and Cecelia Elizabeth Moran from Roskeen, County Mayo, had emigrated from Ireland in the 1920s and settled in Detroit. Mary had an older brother, John, and a younger sister, Noreen. A child of the Depression and the WWII boom years, when Detroit served as FDR’s “great Arsenal of Democracy,” Mary graduated from Northwestern High School in Detroit, Class of 1949, and later took classes at Northwestern University. She started a career as an executive secretary at Bell Telephone and boarded at a residence downtown with other independent young women. During these single years, she enjoyed going on ski trips, seeing Broadway musicals on tour, riding horses, and enjoying other adventures with friends. In 1958, she married Charles Edouard Brabant, a Shell Oil engineer from Montreal. They lived for several years on Stahelin Avenue in Detroit, and then moved to Springfield, VA, where Charles worked for the U.S. Geological Survey. In 1963, when Charles took a job at Stanford Research Institute, he and Mary moved their growing family to the Monta Loma neighborhood in Mountain View, CA. In 1964, they settled in Los Altos. They divorced in 1986, at which time Mary moved to the Rex Manor neighborhood in Mountain View with her youngest child. A devout Roman Catholic, she was a member of several local parishes: St. William in Los Altos, St. Nicholas in Los Altos, and St. Athanasius in Mountain View. In California, Mary learned to drive and to swim. She was a great reader and library patron; she also loved music, plays, and classic movies. She liked to go on long walks outdoors, especially at the Shoreline Regional Wildlife Area in Mountain View, West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz, and the San Antonio Open Space Preserve in Los Altos. In San Francisco, her favorite places were the Palace of the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park and the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. Closer to home, she attended water fitness classes faithfully for many years at Reach Fitness in Los Altos and later at the Ross Road YMCA in Palo Alto. Her family kept her extremely busy, but she managed to serve as President of the St. William Parish CCD program for one year and as joint leader of her daughter’s Bluebird troop another year. Mary raised her family with great love and devotion. From her, we learned the true meaning of unconditional love. Once her youngest child started kindergarten, she started a new career at Syntex Pharmaceuticals in Palo Alto, from which she retired in 1993. After retiring, Mary enjoyed volunteering at the American Cancer Society Discovery Shop in Los Altos. In her spare time, she earned an Associate Degree from Foothill College, Los Altos Hills. Mary enjoyed traveling with the Elder Hostel organization. Over the years, she also made several trips with family to Ireland, where she toured her parents’ native country and visited her Irish relatives, including her cousin Mary P. Moran of Roskeen, County Mayo. In 2010, Mary moved from California to Pinedale, WY, where she met many new friends. While living at Sublette Center, she was able to spend precious time with the family of her loving daughter, Nora Farrand, and also with her grandson, Patrick Rookus, who lives in Pinedale. Mary is preceded in death by her son, Charles Edouard Brabant, Jr. Survivors include her sister, Noreen McCormick (Gerald) of Dearborn, MI; daughter Suzanne Schrader of Woodinville, WA; daughter Michelle Rookus (Timothy) of Paso Robles, CA; son Marc Brabant (Annelies) of Ulm, Germany; daughter Nora Farrand (Daniel) of Pinedale, WY; son Matt Brabant (Kristina) of Los Altos, CA; son Joe Brabant (Lori) of Pleasanton, CA; twelve grandchildren (Patrick, Kaitlin, Haley, Mitchell, Quinn, Finn, Riley, Catherine, Sofia, Eleanor, Logan, and Arlo); and four nieces and nephews. She is greatly loved and missed by them all. Mary’s funeral Mass will be held at 10am on Friday, April 25, at Our Lady of Peace Church in Pinedale. A Rosary will be said at 6pm the night before. PA I D



■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■ April 25, 2014

Continued from page 1

who doesn’t either have money or is retired to run for City Council?’ I said that’s a very good question — my husband supports me.” Council members have complained that they are paid less than minimum wage, but the raise to $1,000 a month would mean a jump from $5 an hour to $8.33 an hour, based on an average of 30 hours of work per week. That’s how much work council members Ronit Bryant, Jac Siegel, Margaret Abe-Koga and Chris Clark told the Voice that they do in a typical month. Council pay would still be less than the state’s minimum wage, which increases to $9 an hour in July and $10 an hour in 2016. Council pay would have been $10 an hour at $1,200 a month. Council members cited the fact that voters rejected a tripling of council pay to $1,500 a month in 2006 by a 4-percent margin, though there was no campaign to explain why it was needed. Resident Don Letcher pointed to an editorial in the Daily Post questioning why the council deserved a “doubling” of their pay, a sound bite some members may want to avoid. Council candidate Jim Neal also spoke against the raise, saying that “asking for a 100 percent increase, I think, is unconscionable.” “We didn’t run for City Council because of the pay,” said council member John McAlister. “I’m not trying to make money, I’m just trying to

cover my costs. Look at what we do, look at the time we put into it before you say you don’t deserve this.” Bryant said she had “lost a lot of money” by giving up work as a technical writer to focus on being a council member, but said another $600 a month “would not make a difference for someone who absolutely needed to have the income.” Mayor Chris Clark disagreed. “It does give someone a little more ability (to be on council) if they wanted to have some sort of part-time position or have a spouse with another income stream,” Clark said. “It does make it a little more doable.” The lack of compensation may be why renters make up the majority of the city’s population (58 percent in 2010) but have not been reflected in the council’s makeup for many years. Mountain View’s City Council is composed of a business executive (Mayor Chris Clark), two retired business executives (John Inks and Jac Siegel), two members supported by their spouses (Margaret Abe-Koga and Ronit Bryant) and two business owners (John McAlister and Mike Kasperzak). All of them are homeowners, relatively insulated from the effects of the current housing crisis and skyrocketing rents. Rising housing costs have been blamed on an avalanche of job growth and limited housing growth, reflective of a land-use pattern that most of the council members have supported over the years. Without voter approval of a raise, council members would have to wait until the city’s

population doubles to 150,000 to see a raise to $700 a month. That’s because voters in 1984 tied raises to a state standard for charter cities. “To have to wait for the city to get to 150,000 people before we receive any change in pay, I think is unreasonable,” McAlister said. When it comes to calculating pay per hour, it varies from member to member and week to week. McAlister says he works as many as 35 hours a week, while member Mike Kasperzak said it as high as 25 hours and Inks said he ranges between 30 and 60 hours a week. Council members can easily spend 10 hours a week in meetings alone, plus many more at events, talking to residents and city staff members and examining city staff reports before making decisions that have wide-ranging impacts on the city, from negotiating with Google for leases on city land to reining in relentless real estate development and figuring out how to pay for core city services like police, the library and parks. “I support increasing the salaries of City Council members,” said Michael Fischetti, as he spoke in favor of increasing the city’s minimum wage for all employees within city limits at the start of the meeting, noting that even the city’s Day Worker Center members are paid between $12 and $17 an hour. “I think you are working very hard to try to negotiate the 21st century.” Email Daniel DeBolt at

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April 25, 2014 â&#x2013; Mountain View Voice â&#x2013; â&#x2013; 


7JFXQPJOU Founding Editor, Kate Wakerly

N S TA F F EDITOR & PUBLISHER Tom Gibboney (223-6507) EDITORIAL Managing Editor Andrea Gemmet (223-6537) Staff Writers Daniel DeBolt (223-6536) Kevin Forestieri (223-6535) Intern Kayla Layaoen Photographer Michelle Le (223-6530) Contributors Dale Bentson, Angela Hey, Sheila Himmel, Ruth Schecter DESIGN & PRODUCTION Design Director Shannon Corey (223-6560) Assistant Design Director Lili Cao (223-6562) Designers Linda Atilano, Rosanna Leung, Paul Llewellyn, Kameron Sawyer ADVERTISING Vice President Sales and Marketing Tom Zahiralis (223-6570) Advertising Representatives Adam Carter (223-6573) Real Estate Account Executive Rosemary Lewkowitz (223-6585) 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  t   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. ©2014 by Embarcadero Media Company. All rights reserved. Member, Mountain View Chamber of Commerce

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For Slater, a new lease on life


n stark contrast to the teary-eyed students wandering around the Slater playground in June 2006, the crowd at last weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s school board meeting was decidedly upbeat as they got a good reception to their request to reopen Slater elementary school this fall. According to Voice archives from 2006, the message was decidedly bleak for students who had to endure the closure of the only school they had ever known. This meant many of them would lose their friends who were assigned to one of the four schools that were accepting Slaterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cast-off students. The closure came after a months-long process that rubbed emotions raw among the parents of 364 Slater students whose lives were upended by the decision, which was driven by a shrinking enrollment and a lack of funding to support such a small school. To make it even more poignant, the school was closing down on its 50th anniversary, having opened at 1956 at the same location. Last week, after eight years of requiring many parents in north Mountain View to shuttle their children to schools far away from their neighborhoods, a grassroots effort to reopen Slater met with a warm reception from board members and the administration. Superintendent Craig Goldman was particularly upbeat. â&#x20AC;&#x153;From my perspective, the opening of a school in the Slater-Whisman neighborhood is a given. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a matter of if, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a matter of when,â&#x20AC;? he said. This was welcome news for the more than 50 parents and children who crowded into the board meeting room last week. The neighborhood has been organizing and lobbying to reopen a school site that, since it closed, has served as a Google daycare center, while local children within walking distance were driven to schools across town. It was a tremendous burden on families who had no choice in the matter. We hope these steps ultimately will result in the reopening of Slater or Whisman. To get to that point, neighborhood families must commit to attend the school, so there will be enough students to justify its reopening. Even though the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s demographers have found there are more than enough elementary-age students in the neighborhood â&#x20AC;&#x201D;611 to be exact â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that is not enough to satisfy school board members, who need to know how many of potential students would actually enroll in a reopened Slater or Whisman school. The same study found the number of students would grow to 723 by 2017-18, easily enough to fill a 400-500-student school in the years ahead, if enough agree to attend. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Of those 600 people, how many of them would choose to go to a neighborhood school?â&#x20AC;? board member Ellen Wheeler asked. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 100 people, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not a neighborhood school. If itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 400 people, that is a neighborhood school,â&#x20AC;? she said. If enough parents agree to skip the commute to an out-of-neighborhood school and enroll their children at Slater or Whisman, it will not only put an end to the time wasted in traffic, but it will add to the camaraderie among students who see each other at school and in the neighborhood. For Soosh Gandhi, former president of the North Whisman Neighborhood Association, it will make a huge difference. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have a cul-de-sac in our neighborhood that literally has three families with children that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know each other,â&#x20AC;? he told the board. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go to school together, they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t play together. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s really tough to build community.â&#x20AC;? Greg Coladonato, the president of the Slater Neighborhood Association, was proud of the many residents who turned out for the meeting and that board members seemed to show interest in the ideas presented for reopening the school. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We really brought reality to the board, and showed we had support,â&#x20AC;? he said.

â&#x2013; Mountain View Voice â&#x2013; â&#x2013;  April 25, 2014


PUSH COUNCIL ON RENEWABLE ENERGY Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s very hard or impossible to POLICY

figure out what the members of the City Council were thinking when they approved the Master Plan and all of the development projects that have led us to the current mess. They might have been looking out for the interests of developers, or of property owners and landlords and businesses in the older parts of Mountain View, who might have been impacted by the creation of a new satellite city near the Google offices in North Bayshore. Now they finally appear to have figured out that there is a problem with this scheme, but it may be a case of â&#x20AC;&#x153;closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.â&#x20AC;? We have the Master Plan that doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t allow for housing in North Bayshore, and approval of a whole bunch of office complexes that will bring tens of thousands of new jobs to Mountain View and no way to adequately increase the housing stock in Mountain View, aside from turning it into Manhattan West. An awful lot of this cannot be undone, and the effects on the current renters, residents and homeowners in Mountain View may be catastrophic. Perhaps if we paid the City Council members a decent wage, and expected more of them, and expected them to actually represent the citizens of Mountain View, this might not have happened. David Lewis Oak Street

Council members from several nearby cities, including our own Margaret Abe-Koga, are investigating the feasibility of making our electricity supply greener without increasing its cost. They deserve our support and encouragement. If our electricity supply were 100 percent renewable â&#x20AC;&#x201D; like Palo Altoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Mountain View would be able to meet its 2020 goal of reducing the communityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent compared to the level in 2005. The way to do that is by joining with other cities to form a Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) district that would purchase renewable power on behalf of its residents and businesses. Because a not-for-profit CCA district, unlike PG&E, would not pay stockholder dividends or taxes, it could provide much cleaner energy for about the same price PG&E currently charges. This is not pie in the sky. Marin Countyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Marin Clean Energy has been in operation since 2010 and recently expanded to include the city of Richmond. Further north, Sonoma Clean Energy will begin serving customers on May 1. The crucial next step in Mountain Viewâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s journey to a sustainable future is for the city to budget about $15,000 to jointly fund a CCA feasibility study with the City of Sunnyvale. Please let your favorite City Council member know that this is an investment you want them to make. Bruce Karney Bush Street


Serious impact from climate change unless we act now By Tim Dec


he recent reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) adds to the preponderance of evidence that climate change must be addressed. Prior to this latest IPCC report, the 120,000-member American Association for the Advancement of Science presented similar conclusions in their “What We Know” publication. As the IPCC states, climate change isn’t something that will be affecting us, it likely already is. This year’s drought, one of California’s worse, is consistent with what we can expect to see more of in the future as the effects of climate change become more pronounced. California is all too familiar with the residential water shortages, agricultural impacts and expanded fire seasons caused by drought, but what other consequences can we expect here in Mountain View? Not surprisingly, it’s sea level rise. To diagram what sea level rise along the bay might look like,

the Bay Conservation and Development Commission has produced a mid-century (year 2050) 16-inch inundation map for the region. It clearly indicates how dramatically Mountain View could be impacted. Much of the bayside areas of Mountain View and Palo Alto surrounding Highway 101 would be submerged. The cost to both city and state to protect or abandon these vulnerable areas could be prohibitive. But we can avoid these outcomes if we take more significant steps to curb our green house gas emissions now. California has been a leader in legislation on climate change with the passage of AB32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act. This legislation is a start, but we will need greater emissions reductions at both a national and global level. Many economists believe that the best way to dramatically reduce emissions is with a revenue neutral carbon tax. Detractors who argue against carbon tax say it will kill jobs, drag down the economy and burden fami-


Bay innundation map showing 2050 projections

lies with higher energy bills. But there is no proof that will be the case. In fact, a welldesigned carbon tax that recycles revenue back to households and into the economy would protect families from rising costs and actually create jobs. A recent study by Regional Economic Models, Inc. found that a carbon tax in California, even at very high levels, would increase GDP and add hundreds of thousands

of jobs, provided the revenue is returned to the public, either as tax cuts or direct payments. The revenue neutral carbon tax proposed by organizations like Citizens Climate Lobby ensures that U.S.-made goods can remain competitive at home and abroad, and provides an additional incentive for international adoptions of carbon fees, through the Carbon-Fee-Equivalent Tariffs that would be charged for goods

entering the U.S. from countries without comparable Carbon Fees/Carbon Pricing. The bottom line is that the U.S. must show the world leadership, this time by taking impactful actions on climate change. The consequences of not acting, for Bay Area cities like Mountain View, could be devastating. Tim Dec is an advocate for the Mountain View-Los Altos chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby.

Dining ut 2 O14 O



Reach active Midpeninsula residents who are looking for great places to eat on the Peninsula. The Peninsula is full of wonderful dining establishments, and our residents are always looking for new and alternative options. Our multimedia advertising program will provide you with the opportunity to reach these frequent diners through a powerful combination of print and online advertising. Publication Dates: May 28 (The Almanac) and May 30 (Mountain View Voice & Palo Alto Weekly) Deadlines: Space Reservation and ad copy/ads due: May 2, 2014

For more information, contact Elaine at (650) 223-6572 – Palo Alto or Adam at (650) 223-6573 – Mountain View

April 25, 2014 ■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■


Health. Fitness. Discovery. Community. Join us for

Health Matters Stanford Medicine Community Day Health Talks

Health Matters Saturday, May 10, 2014 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Li Ka Shing Center 291 Campus Drive, Stanford Doors open at 9:00 a.m. Free parking and shuttles

Register today! Follow us @StanfordHealth | #healthmatters


Keynote from Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD, PhD, with new perspectives on cancer


Neurosurgeon Gary Steinberg, MD, PhD, and former San Francisco 49er Steve Young discuss the latest on sports-related concussions


Talks from top Stanford doctors and medical experts about brain and cognitive health, how to get a good night’s sleep, why genomics should matter to you, and breakthroughs in mental illness prevention and treatment

Interactive Health Pavilion @

Research health topics with librarians from the Stanford Health Library


Take an up-close look at Stanford’s Life Flight helicopter and meet the flight crew


Build an origami microscope and learn about its amazing potential


Pick up tips on keeping your family healthy and safe during an emergency


Learn about construction of the new Stanford Hospital


Meet the furry friends of Pet-Assisted Wellness at Stanford (PAWS)


Listen to live music while enjoying a farm fresh lunch created by nationally known organic chef Jesse Cool


Visit other interactive health exhibits and much, much more

Doors open at 9 a.m. Free parking and shuttles. The health pavilion is open to everyone from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Capacity for talks is limited and attendance will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Health Matters is a free community event that explores the latest advancements in medicine and health topics that matter most to you and your family. 20

■ Mountain View Voice ■ ■ April 25, 2014

2014 04 25 mvv section1  
2014 04 25 mvv section1