Mountain View Voice

News - March 12, 2010

News Briefs

Feds award $17M in transit grants

Nearly $17 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants have been awarded to Silicon Valley public transportation systems, with one of the three grants funding hybrid buses for the Valley Transportation Authority.

Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, said investment in transit is a great use of stimulus money because the work creates jobs in construction and transit operations. Other benefits are fewer automobile commutes by residents and less traffic, with less consumption of energy, Eshoo said in a press release.

The VTA will purchase 20 40-foot-long hybrid buses under a $12,251,784 grant. Samtrans, in San Mateo County, will purchase two 40-foot replacement buses and two 35-foot replacement buses under a $2,045,371 grant. And Caltrain will fund the San Mateo County Railroad Bridge Replacement Project under a $2,684,596 grant.

— Palo Alto Weekly

Bar buddy gets phone stolen, face punched

A man lent his iPhone to a stranger last week at Fred's Place on Old Middlefield Road, and in return got a punch in the face and the phone stolen, police say.

According to reports, the victim, a 29-year-old Mountain View man, and his friends had struck up a conversation with the robber and his friends at the bar last Wednesday evening. The two groups did not know each another, said police spokesperson Liz Wylie.

"At some point the suspect asks to borrow his iPhone," Wylie said, adding that this occurred sometime between 12:30 and 1 a.m., though the incident was not reported until nine hours later.

"The suspect makes a call but then starts to leave the bar with the phone in his hands," she said. "The victim went after him and tried to stop him, but the suspect turned around and punched him in the face multiple times."

When others from the bar came to intervene, said Wylie, the robber fled and drove off in a light-colored SUV. He was described as a black male adult, of average size, in his 20s or 30s.

The victim suffered multiple minor abrasions on his face and a swollen eye.

— Kelsey Mesher

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