This week, representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency have been in Mountain View interviewing residents to learn how to better involve the community in the cleanup process of TCE. The main concern they've heard: basic information is hard to get.
According to Viola Cooper, community involvement coordinator for the EPA, several residents have suggested improving the agency's Web site, which is difficult to navigate and short on information. An improved Web site would help residents in the area who want to know where TCE has been discovered and how much of a problem it is.
Trichloroethylene, or TCE, has been found in the groundwater in northeastern parts of Mountain View. In the past the chemical was used as an industrial solvent in machine shops and circuit board manufacturing.
Since Mountain View's drinking water is not pumped from local groundwater, residents' main concern with TCE is how much its vapors might be emanating into the air — particularly into homes and workplaces — and what is being done to clean it up. Scientists believe TCE causes cancer and other health problems, but most sites in Mountain View are found to be within the EPA's safety limits.
Cooper said the agency is still in remedial investigation phase, and will hold community meetings in the spring to discuss options for permanent cleanup of Mountain View sites outside of Moffett Field.
'Positive feedback' for city's new Web site
City Manager Kevin Duggan said the city has received several nice comments on its new Web site, which has an improved look while making information easier to access.
Duggan said city staff looked at the best Web sites of other cities for inspiration, and over several months came up with a completely new site. No outside design firm was hired.
Some new information was added to the site, some was updated, but mostly it's just organized differently, Duggan said. "We've gotten a lot of positive feedback on it," he said.
The site, located at www.ci.mtnview.ca.us, may also have more frequent and diverse updates, since it is now possible for city staff to update it on an individual basis.
— Daniel DeBolt
Caltrain increases parking fees
Effective Oct. 1, Caltrain will be upping its rates for daily and monthly parking. The increase will apply to stations from San Jose through San Francisco. The current daily parking rate of $1.50 will jump to $2, and the monthly parking rate from $15 to $20. The increased parking rates are an attempt to offset higher operating expenses.
— Amber Cleave