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News - September 28, 2012

Community briefs

PG&E meeting on tree-removal plan

Residents of San Lucas Avenue have succeeded in getting PG&E to meet with them as a group to discuss the utility company's plan to strip their backyards of trees and other landscaping.

The meeting between PG&E officials and residents is set for Oct. 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the city library at 585 Franklin Street. Public works director Mike Fuller, who arranged the meeting, said PG&E officials will share information about the project and answer questions.

Residents of San Lucas way, led by Beto and Eileen Telleria, want PG&E to move a major gas main -- the same line that exploded in San Bruno — out from under their backyards instead of removing their beloved trees, one of which is the centerpiece of their Japanese garden.

But PG&E officials say it's too expensive to move the line for the 16 affected households. The easement must remain clear of trees and structures to allow overhead monitoring by laser-equipped aircraft, to allow repairs and to prevent damage from tree roots, PG&E says.

Residents of a condominium complex at 1963 Rock Street are also upset about PG&E's plan to remove the trees that shade their backyards and would also like to see the pipeline — and another one next to it — moved to Middlefield Road.

—Daniel DeBolt

Judge can't rule in Bullis case

A judge has ruled that attorneys for Bullis Charter School must file another lawsuit if they wish to continue pursuing their latest legal action against the Los Altos School District.

It is a decision that Arturo Gonzalez, the charter school's attorney, had anticipated. He and his legal team have already filed another suit — this time expanding upon what they sought in their previous action.

"The ruling is consistent with the comments she made at the hearing," Gonzalez said. California Superior Court Judge Patricia Lucas, in a ruling issued Sept. 20, declared she did not have jurisdiction to decide on the motion Gonzalez had brought before the court. "As we said then, we don't agree with her conclusion, but we respect her opinion and have decided to proceed with a new lawsuit to resolve the issues."

That lawsuit, Gonzalez continued, has "broadened in scope," and now includes demands for more furniture and equipment, which the lawyer insisted the students of the charter school require, and calls for the appointment of a "special master" to preside over all future facilities allocations from the district to the charter school.

Ray Cardozo, attorney for LASD, said he was pleased with Lucas' ruling, adding that "It was a legally unauthorized move by Bullis."

Commenting on the charter school's new lawsuit and the move to appoint a special master, Cardozo said, "They can't get what they want out of the court, so now they want someone else."

Special masters, Gonzalez explained, are officials appointed by the court and meant to serve as a disinterested third party with the sole charge of ensuring that a court order is carried out. Bullis is currently arguing that LASD has neglected to fulfill its court ordered obligations.

—Nick Veronin

Council candidate forum at Google HQ

Local election season is here and the Mountain View-Los Altos chapter of the League of Women Voters is hosting its City Council candidate forum at Google headquarters this coming Thursday, Oct. 4.

The six candidates vying for four seats are expected to discuss various issues facing the city in a moderated discussion format in which each candidate will have a chance to answer the audience's questions. The event goes from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. inside Google's building 40 at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, visibly marked on Google maps. Enter the parking lot from Charleston Road.

The event is open to the public, but online registration is recommended at

—Daniel DeBolt


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