12122017Tue
Last updateTue, 12 Dec 2017 10am

Mountain View crash claims life of Sunnyvale man

fatal crash
Courtesy of Mountain View Police Department
A pick-up sits at rest after colliding with a tree on Middlefield Road. The Oct. 30 crash claimed the life of Sunnyvale resident Benjamin Sanchez, 51.

A Sunnyvale man died Monday morning (Oct. 30) in a single-vehicle traffic crash in Mountain View.

Benjamin Sanchez, 51, died from multiple blunt-force injuries, according to the Santa Clara Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office.

Sanchez was driving a pick-up truck westbound on Middlefield Road near Rengstorff Avenue at approximately 10 a.m. when he inexplicably crossed the center median and continued traveling west in the eastbound lanes, according to Mountain View Police Department reports. The pick-up eventually crashed into a tree along the sidewalk and came to a rest.

Emergency responders pronounced Sanchez deceased at the scene, according to police reports.

The crash forced the closure of eastbound Middlefield Road traffic lanes until approximately 5:45 p.m. Monday.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Mountain View Police Department Sgt. Bryan Albarillo at 903-6733.

Local teen faces attempted murder charges after shooting incident

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Courtesy of Google Maps
A Google Maps screenshot shows the Latham Street 7-Eleven, site of the Oct. 29 shooting.

A Mountain View teen is in jail and facing attempted murder charges after allegedly shooting at a vehicle containing two adults and an infant.

No one was injured in the incident, which occurred at approximately 10:50 p.m. Sunday (Oct. 29) in the 1900 block of Latham Street.

According to Mountain View Police detectives, the 17-year-old suspect argued with a man inside the 7-Eleven store at 1905 Latham St., and the two continued their argument outside the business until the teen pulled out a gun. The man then got into his car, which contained a woman and an infant, and began driving away. The teen opened fire at the vehicle, but he missed.

Detectives responding to the scene learned the intended victim knew the suspect, and they apprehended the teen at his nearby home, according to police reports. They found a gun within the home and believe it is the one used during Sunday’s shooting.

“Our officers responded quickly and did an excellent job piecing this incident together to arrest the suspect,” said Lt. Michael Canfield of the Mountain View Police Department. “I am proud of their work.”

Police booked the suspect into Santa Clara County Juvenile Hall. His name was not disclosed to the public due to his age.

MV council offers ‘symbolic’ protection of undocumented workers

The Mountain View City Council unanimously supported additional policy language at its Oct. 24 meeting that, at least symbolically, provides security for the city’s undocumented workers while offering passive resistance to the federal government’s efforts to stem illegal immigration.

The newly adopted language states that the city is prohibited from contributing to identity-based registries; detaining, relocating or interning individuals on the basis of religion, national origin or ethnicity; and will not enforce federal civil immigration laws.

The changes will be combined with the city’s Equitable Communities Resolution, passed earlier this year. New language proclaims that the city “does not use resources to … support any government program requiring the registration of individuals, creation of a database of individuals, and/or detention, relocation or internment of individuals on the basis of religion, national origin or ethnicity.”

Also added: “It is neither the city of Mountain View’s mission nor role to enforce federal immigration laws. Members of the city’s police department will not detain or arrest any person on the basis of a person’s citizenship or status under civil immigration laws.”

Supporters, opponents weigh in

The council approved the new wording after hearing from a series of supporters, many with green tags reading “Yes Sanctuary, No Registry.” Speakers conveyed instances of living in fear. One parent underscored the impact on children of immigrants at her child’s school, noting that some were “afraid to go to the park.”

From a practical standpoint, councilmembers acknowledged that the wording would have no effect on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency “doing what it wants to do,” as one member put it.

Councilwoman Margaret Abe-Koga offered the problematic scenario of the city’s immigration stance hampering joint task force efforts with the FBI.

The city’s action drew strong reaction from those in favor of enforcing federal immigration policies. An Oct. 26 Mercury News article on the issue generated reader comments such as “Treason under our Constitution,” “They have no business here,” “How about an ordinance asking ‘immigrants’ to respect the laws?” and “The (Mountain View) councilmembers have joined the ranks of the criminals they harbor.” None of the readers used his or her name in commenting.

Abe-Koga and Councilman Chris Clark expressed reservations about curbing the ability of the city’s police officers to exercise discretion.
“I hope the symbolic value is worthy of taking away that discretion,” Clark said.

Abe-Koga wondered about the “unintended consequences” of the city’s policy.

But Councilwoman Pat Showalter said even symbolic support could reduce some of the anxiety of undocumented residents, knowing the city was on their side.

“I’m trying to think about ways we can help them with the fear,” she said.

Councilmembers directed city staff to implement five action items related to undocumented residents, prohibiting staff from requiring anyone to report their immigration status before providing city services, unless required by law; reviewing all policies to ensure that information collected is limited; removing questions regarding immigration status from all city forms unless required by law; making information about the city’s immigration policies easy to access; and allowing the use of country-of-origin documents for identification instead of requiring a U.S. driver’s license or ID card.

For more information on the Equitable Communities Resolution and other city initiatives to support local immigrant families, visit mountainview.gov/communityforall.

LAH mulls online service options

Back in April, when Los Altos Hills leaders formed the Emerging Technology Ad Hoc Committee, they hoped to explore the kind of cutting-edge opportunities that define so-called smart communities, advancements like early fire detection sensors.

Committee members have since dialed back expectations – at least temporarily – after recognizing a more pressing need: making reliable, affordable broadband internet accessible to everyone in town who desires it.

Stevens Creek Trail repairs targeted for Nov. 17 finish


Image Courtesy of city of Mountain View
The above map shows the area where fixes to the Stevens Creek Trail bypass are underway.

Repairs to the Hotel Bypass portion of the Stevens Creek Trail in Mountain View are scheduled for completion Nov. 17, with the trail reopened to walkers and cyclists a few days after, according to city staff.

In the meantime, trail users are being rerouted along Yuba Drive and El Camino Real.

West Nile detected in local birds

Two dead birds found recently in Los Altos have tested positive for West Nile virus, the Santa Clara County Vector Control District reported last week.

Both birds were American crows, among the avian species particularly vulnerable to the virus, according to Vector Control. The first bird was discovered Oct. 13 on Palm Avenue, and the second was found Oct. 18 on Orange Avenue. The agency subsequently set 40 carbon dioxide-baited mosquito traps within a 1-mile radius of area, but none of the mosquitoes captured carried the virus.


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