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Sunburn at Agnews

[whitespace] Measure D is Santa Clara's chance to save a gem for generations

AFTER A TWO-YEAR pitched battle between preservationists and Sun Microsystems, Santa Clara voters finally get to decide. Do they want another high-tech campus built on Agnews Developmental Center, one of the last remaining open, historic public resources in the entire Silicon Valley? Agnews is a 110-year-old mental institution on 82.5 acres at the traffic-congested confluence of the Montague Expressway and Lafayette Street. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and contains 56 historic buildings. Sun wants to build a new high-tech campus for 3,600 workers at the site, preserving only three buildings for public use. They promise that their campus will bring increased development, infrastructure and public services to the north side. But it will also bring more traffic to the Montague Expressway, recently named the valley's most congested artery, and put additional pressure on an already stressed housing market. Sun CEO Scott McNealy champions the fight against government intrusion into his industry, except where it suits his purposes. Witness his support of the Justice Department's inquiry into Microsoft and his willingness to accept government largess in snatching up "surplus" public property. But if Santa Clarans resist Sun's multimillion-dollar pitch job and decide against Measure D, McNealy won't have government to blame, just the people of Santa Clara who decided they didn't want to give away their heritage.
Recommendation: No on Measure D.


Metro's coverage of the Sun-Agnews battle:

How the Mercury News has supported Sun's Agnews takeover.

How Pete Wilson has helped Sun with it's Agnews plans.

Sun's plans for the Agnews site.

An in-depth look at the people served by the developmental center.


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From the May 28-June 3, 1998 issue of Metro.

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