Mountain View Voice

News - March 1, 2013

Community briefs

TCE meetings

A neighborhood association and a community advisory board have organized public meetings following the discovery of unsafe levels of fumes from polluted groundwater evaporating into homes and offices near Whisman Road.

This Sunday, March 3, the Wagon Wheel Neighborhood Association is hosting a meeting for residents concerned about recent findings of trichloroethylene (TCE) vapors in homes and buildings, including Google office buildings. The meeting is at the Middlefield Meadows clubhouse at 114 Flynn Ave. at 1:30 p.m.

"The EPA has sampled over 30 homes nearest the hot spot areas in the high priority areas and will share those results, answer your questions, as well as discuss next steps in the groundwater and air investigations," said the announcement posted on the association's website.

A week later the Moffett-MEW Community Advisory Board will have an open meeting at 7 p.m. on March 12 at City Hall's plaza conference room to discuss similar issues, including the notification of residents and occupants of office buildings about recent indoor air test results for offices and the availability of free indoor air testing by the EPA for residents in the area.

—Daniel DeBolt

Teens name center "The View"

Teens on the city's Youth Advisory Committee got their way on Tuesday when the City Council voted to approve their favored name for a new teen center on Escuela Avenue.

Council members voted 6-1, with Jac Siegel opposed, granted the teens wish to call the new teen center — being built in a former church at 263 Escuela Avenue — "The View."

"We thought 'The View' conveyed an air of sophistication and simplicity," said Ray Uyeda, chair of the Youth Advisory Committee. "Teens want to be regarded as serious, we can strive to be better and provide a better future for ourselves."

The committee unanimously chose the name after narrowing down 167 entries received. "City of Mountain View Teen Center" was an alternate backed by the group.

Some were concerned there would be confusion with the city's newsletter or the TV show by the same name. "If you see a sign that says "The View" you are probably not going to have any idea what it is," said Siegel, explaining his opposition.

"It's not a name you would normally expect to hear," said YAC member Benjamin Merriman. Like a newspaper headline, it prompts intrigue, he said. If people have questions "we can clarify it's not a talk show."

"YAC has considered what would attract teens," said council member Bryant. "They are the experts on this. If the city's newspaper needs to have its name changed, I'm perfectly fine with that too."

—Daniel DeBolt

County gun buyback Saturday

Gun owners who missed their chance to participate in a highly successful gun buyback in East Palo Alto over the weekend will get another opportunity to sell unwanted firearms in Santa Clara County on Saturday.

The buyback in East Palo Alto netted 355 firearms, East Palo Alto police spokeswoman Veronica Barries said today.

Barries called the buyback "a complete success" and said cars were lined up outside the East Palo Alto City Hall parking lot for nearly three hours before funds ran out.

"We had 99 firearms change hands in the first hour," Barries said.

The buyback was organized through a collaborative effort between the nonprofit Protect Our Children and police departments from East Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Palo Alto.

Those turning in firearms were paid $100 for handguns, $200 for rifles or shotguns, and $300 for assault weapons.

When the roughly $50,000 in privately donated funds ran out, East Palo Alto Police Chief Ron Davis issued $4,000 worth of IOUs to accommodate community members who had made it into the parking lot but were too late to be paid immediately in cash, Barries said.

Those holding IOUs can redeem them through the East Palo Alto Police Department in the next few weeks, she said.

Barries said law enforcement officials are still working to determine the breakdown in the types of guns collected Saturday, but she did confirm that the haul included 11 assault rifles.

All of the weapons have been slated for destruction.

On Saturday, March 2, a gun buyback will be held at the Santa Clara County fairgrounds between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Organizers will pay $100 for handguns, shotguns and rifles and $200 for assault weapons.

Participants are asked to transport unloaded weapons in the trunks of their cars. The Santa Clara County fairgrounds are located at 344 Tully Road in San Jose.

More information can be found online at http://tinyurl.com/SCCbuyback.

—Bay City News Service

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