Mountain View Voice

Opinion - February 28, 2014

Letters to the Editor

Option for tech workers: Light Rail to SJ

Each morning I see the white buses, full of Google employees driving south on 101 and each evening I see them returning to San Francisco. Wouldn't it be great if instead of taking the buses, they could take Caltrain (electrification would help) to Mountain View and then transfer to Light Rail to North Bayshore? Google, Intuit, and Microsoft employees living from San Francisco to Gilroy would benefit.

San Jose is planning to build 30,000 housing units, approximately equal to all of Mountain View's current housing units, in North San Jose, near the Light Rail Line, which goes along Tasman, First Street and Capitol Avenue. BART will connect to Light Rail at the VTA Montague Light Rail station. East Bay employees of North Bayshore companies will have a good link.

How do we get this accomplished? Who will pay for it? When Stanford University wanted to add buildings, Palo Alto said O.K., but you can't add automobile trips. Stanford made it happen.

When Facebook moved to Menlo Park, the City Council put a cap on single occupant automobile trips. Facebook worked at it and met the goal.

Mountain View City Council needs to make Google an offer that they can't refuse. Mountain View will approve the eight-story office buildings along 101 for their planned 15,000 to 20,000 additional jobs, if, and only if, Google mitigates the traffic impact by funding the Light Rail extension.

It is time for our City Council to be bold.

City a tough place for low-wage workers

Dear Editor,

People who work full-time should not have to live in poverty. I participated in the Feb. 19 march downtown to protest income inequality and to support an increase in the minimum wage — currently $8 per hour and going up to $9 in July statewide. Here are some surprising facts I learned:

• 35 is the average age of the workers who'd get raises;

• The cost of living in our area is 56 percent above the national average, plus rents have been rising rapidly in recent months.

I have lived in Mountain View almost 40 years and have always appreciated the social and economic diversity in our community. We are in danger of losing that balance if we don't take action to help the working poor in our midst.

Liked report on Raging Grannies

I depend on your weekly print edition for local news. I am so proud of you for your report last week on the Raging Grannies' protest of Google funding of the American Legislative Exchange Council.

I also enjoyed your coverage of Paul George and the Peninsula Peace and Justice Center and Josh Wolf for championing a higher minimum wage for city workers. And of Josh Wolf again for standing up to the supporters of the NRA. It gives us hope to know that we have courageous citizens to rally our energies against the dark, anti-democratic forces that are besieging us at every turn. Please keep up the good work and do more in-depth reporting about these movements. Keep real journalism alive in Mountain View.

El Camino plan violates guiding principles

Thank you for printing the image of the El Camino Real precise plan on a recent cover of the Voice.

It reveals that the City Council is not adhering to its own guiding principles for redevelopment, such as "a graceful transition to neighborhoods" and their other claim, that they will be building only low-density projects in very shallow lots. Yet the diagram you published reveals major contradictions to this.

For example: look at the block where Frankie, Johnnie, and Luigi Too Restaurant is located. This extremely popular icon sits on a very shallow lot that is immediately adjacent to residences of no more than one or two stories. Yet the diagram illustrates this is designated to be "high density." That means way too many stories against the gray area immediately adjacent, which represents the lowest height of construction. The entire block is designated to go high density, but that is certainly not what citizens at the recent community meeting voiced that they wanted. Not at all. And who would want to mess with Frankie, Johnnie, and Luigi Too?

Linda Curtis Cuesta Park neighborhood

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